Friday 12 Nov 2021

November 12: 2 John 1:4-6
 
Key Verse: 2 John 1:5
And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.
 
Devotion:
The writer addresses an elder in the church, a lady whom they knew well and knew they stood for the truth and followed Christ and His gospel. But, in amongst all this, they choose to include the commandment Jesus gave the disciples, the one which was said to be above all others, to love one another. This is not one of the commandments they would have learned from the old scriptures, but one which Jesus Himself had told the disciples.
 
Why did they expound on this commandment? Was it because there was something in her life where love should have been abounding? Was it because one of her children was not following the command to love others? We don’t know, but it should be a passage which makes us stop and think!
 
Jesus would always make sure people stopped and thought about what He was saying. He would encourage people to meditate on what they were hearing – not to just believe everything, but to study things and see if they agreed with what was the truth. Jesus made a point of highlighting this as a commandment, but in truth, it was nothing new.
 
If we stop and spend the time to go over the Old Testament, we will see how much of it points to us loving one another. Often, we see the Old Testament as full of wars killing many people and laws which were too hard to follow. But when we spend the time to study what it is about, we find it is God trying to teach us how to love each other without condition. If we really want to obey God, then we need to learn how to love each other without question.
 
Points to Ponder:
How many grudges do you hold?
 
Will you take them to God and try to love instead?

Thursday 11 Nov 2021

November 11: Luke 17:20-25
 
Key Verse: Luke 17:21
nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
 
Devotion:
We all like to think we can see things coming and how prepared we are for the unseen things which may happen in life. But, in reality, many of those things happen in a split second and we don’t see them. Take an accident, for example. We think we can avoid accidents and keep out of trouble – but by its very name, it is an accident!
 
We don’t always see everything happen in slow motion or watch things unfold; sometimes a volcano will simply explode. Sometimes a crash happens before we even have time to react. Jesus was warning the people His coming would not happen in slow motion. It would not be announced in the papers. There would not be a ‘breaking news’ event on TV!
 
We don’t have to go searching for God. We don’t have to go to university to learn of the love of God. All these things are with us now and Christianity lives all around us. What we do need is to accept it as it is and accept it when it is, here and now. If we miss out on the acceptance, then we will have missed out completely when it comes like a bolt of lightning! The sound will only come after the event!
 
There are going to be people who will announce His coming and those who will say they know the secret time and place. Don’t be fooled by them because Jesus has already told us, He did not even know the time and place when He was here with us. Jesus has warned us to be ready all the time; just as a thief comes unannounced and probably while you are away doing something else or asleep in bed...
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you know when the next person is going to knock on your door?
 
Are you ready for Jesus’ return?

Wednesday 10 Nov 2021

November 10: Luke 17:11-19
 
Key Verse: Luke 17:17
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”
 
Devotion:
At first glance when you read through this passage, you may be think about the lack of thankfulness of the nine lepers who did not come to Jesus’ feet and praise Him for what He had done. But the laws in those days were quite strict and the people upholding the laws very strict!
 
We could imagine the other nine to be strict Jews because they were not explicitly listed as foreigners like this Samaritan. If they were, then the laws strictly forbade them to approach anyone until they had been given the go-ahead by the chief priest or whomever was presiding over the lepers at that time.
 
If they were Jews, then they may well have tried to avoid Jesus because the priests were saying Jesus was not the Messiah. How could they go and tell the chief priest they were healed by the man pretending to be the Messiah. How could they admit to Jesus being all powerful?
 
This is the type of quandary we are caught up in our lives. We get so tied up in laws and rules we lose sight of what is real. We focus too much on the rules we have made up because we think they make sense. After all, why should we admit to being weak and in need of a Saviour! Jesus just wants us to be honest and open with Him. This may well mean coming to bow at His feet and acknowledging Him as Saviour in front of other people!
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you hide your relationship with Christ?
 
Will you be more open about your love for Christ?

Tuesday 9 Nov 2021

November 9: Isaiah 5:22-25
 
Key Verse: Isaiah 5:22
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks,
 
Devotion:
These are a few of the warnings which go out to people who are depending on their own strengths and powers and using them against others in one way or another. I’m sure we can all relate to this through mankind's recent history where we can see how the smoking of cigarettes is now frowned upon as opposed to being the latest fad during the sixties and seventies.
 
The people in charge of those commodities knew the risks but chose to ignore them because so many people were buying into their products. We are now facing the dangers of over-drinking once again; long gone the days of prohibition! People choose to ignore the dangers because of the profit they were gaining even though it was at the expense of other people's lives.
 
The same can be said about the things which take us away from God. Too many things are much greater temptations to us and many are ignoring the dangers of these temptations simply because they can gain from the supply chain in one way or another. I like the way the prophet likens this to the flames of a bush fire.
 
If you have seen a bush fire roaring away in real life, then you will know how easily everything surrounding it gets consumed by the flames in seconds. This is like the temptations which take us away from the gospel and separate us from God. They do spread quickly and uncontrollably because they are temptations! God sees every step of this happening and it upsets Him to know people are being carried away by things outside of their control.
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you stoke the fires against God?
 
Will you try to reverse the course of the temptations surrounding you?