Monday 16 Nov 2020

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.
 
Devotion:
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?

Sunday 15 Nov 2020

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.
 
Devotion:
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?

Saturday 14 Nov 2020

November 14: Acts 10:34-38
 
Key Verse: Acts 10:34
Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism
 
Devotion:
When you see people in need, who do you approach first? Do you go toward the person who you like the look of, or maybe the person sitting in the right place? We all have our failings and we do tend to show prejudice against whom we help – because we are the way we are. God accepts we are all going to be very different but would like us all to be able to set aside our favouritism and help those people who need the help most of all rather than the people we want to help!
 
As we start to get closer to Christmas and we see the desperate need for people in our society and local communities, we need to put aside our own feelings, pride and favouritism and reach out to the people who need help most of all. The group of Christians I am currently working with are reaching out to the people who will not be able to afford a proper Christmas meal by themselves; we put together everything a family would need to have a meal in a box and deliver it to them a couple of days before Christmas.
 
If you can see the need of a family close to you, why not reach out to them by giving them some support coming up to Christmas. If we want to be more like Jesus, then we need to step forward and help those whom society is rejecting or ignoring because that is what Jesus would do!
 
God does not show favouritism when it comes to those who need help. He wants us all be able to live together and share things willingly. God has continued to show us how He cared for the people who were desperate for some sort of hope. We can give people hope by giving them help and allowing them to see how God can enable anyone to help anyone!
 
Points to Ponder:
What will you be doing for Christmas?
 
Will you help someone who needs it today?

Friday 13 Nov 2020

November 13: Romans 8:35-39
 
Key Verse: Romans 8:37
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
 
Devotion:
No matter how many times we are told “we are safe,” we still doubt and have this nagging fear we are not as safe as we should be! To a large extent this is normal human behaviour, but it is also learned behaviour because we see people projecting this on our TVs and social media, but we do not see enough of the truth Christ is trying to spread – the truth we are totally safe in His arms!
 
Does this mean we will never have to face any hardships or confrontation? Far from it because we may well face more confrontation because we are making a stand against what people see as the social norm. We are working to bring hope and assurance to people where circumstances are taking everything away from communities.
 
None of this will be able to separate us from the love of God. His love remains strong and secure no matter what we face in our lives. It was the ultimate declaration of love when Jesus gave His own life up on the cross so we could live forever in Heaven with Him. Nothing on earth will detract from that demonstration of love despite people trying to say otherwise.
 
When an act of love like that is shown, nothing can take away from it; but, because we are who we are, we allow time to slowly erode our hope until we think there is no more hope. Bu, when we turn to fully face Christ and ask Him for love and support, we again see the fullness and extraordinary depth of that love.
 
Points to Ponder:
Are you getting down with lock-downs?
 
Will you turn to face Christ and ask Him for strength to carry on?

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