November 16: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 13:4
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Have you ever tried to describe love? I always turn back to this chapter when someone asks me to try and define love, and every time I realise, I continue to fall short of the mark! Don’t despair at falling short of the mark when you read descriptions like this because love has to start somewhere – and that somewhere is typically in your heart, deep inside of you.
That seed of love from which great big trees and bushes grow is nestled deep in you and fed by God with something so special we don’t realise it is feeding us. Just like you can plant a seed in the ground and see it blossom when we water it, so God has planted the seed of love deep within us and continues to water it with His living water!
Just like a new plant growing uncorrupted and unbroken, so too does our love start to grow. But, just as the world bashes and knocks the plants, so does it bash and knock our love down. As long as we continue to accept and feed from God’s living water, we will be able to see our love continue in its growth. The world will continue to bash us and knock us, but we can continue to grow and even thrive when we stay close to God!
God does not want us to record every step of our love as we would in a scientific experiment, but to enjoy the growth and fruitfulness which will follow from that growth. God wants us to imagine the finished product and not to worry too much about how we will get there. The more we worry about how we get there the more we focus on the things around us and not on our goal to grow in Christ!
Points to Ponder:
Do you focus too much on getting there?
Will you trust God’s guidance and simply grow in Christ?
November 15: Isaiah 41:8-10
Key Verse: Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Don’t you love the way this passage starts out, calling on Israel and identifying Jacob as a servant who He personally chose to lead the nation who are all descendants of Abraham, God’s friend! This is a very personal relationship between God and all of Israel, identified through Jacob and going all the way back through Abraham and beyond!
God reminds us through this we are His chosen people, people who are called to serve Him, not as slaves, but willing servants. That is the huge difference between slaves and servants – servants are willing to come forward and do the work for which they will receive support from the master. It is not a role where we have to stand up and go forward to do work where God is not willing to do it Himself; far from it!
God leads us forward with Him, staying with us every step of the way, leading us through troubled lives toward a place where we will finally be released from all the hassle and strengthened to fight with God, side by side as friends of God. Abraham was willing to stand up and be counted as a friend of God. It does not matter how much he doubted or even how old he was, because God had chosen him to step forward as a father of a great nation to come.
God continues to call people to stand up and be counted as friends and as servants, willing to take on the work He wills in our lives. What an awesome privilege it is to be counted as a friend of God and have Him work by our sides!
Points to Ponder:
Do you like to work alone or as a team?
Will you gather a team and work with God today?