Sunday 30 June 2024

Jun 30: Ephesians 3:16-19

Key Verse: Ephesians 3:18
may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ

Devotion:
One of the things we find hard to accept is the grace and mercy Christ shows us. We get upset by people doing things wrong to us and we hold grudges against people who have done wrong against us – this is why we find it almost alien to forgive people when they say sorry, especially when they say sorry after doing something horrible!

Now, turn that into Christ’s view of what you have been doing, what you have done and the way you have come to Him to ask for mercy! Think about how He would feel if He were human like us! But we live with someone who goes far beyond our understanding and far beyond the levels of our grace and mercy!

The Apostle prays for strength for people to remember how special Christ is and how we can always be forgiven if we are willing to come to Him in honesty! The Holy Spirit wants to dwell in us all the time to guide us and to love us from the inside out. If we are willing to try and do  things Christ’s way, then we can expect Him to forgive us and make us clean so the Holy Spirit will not be horrified by what we are doing against God!

Start afresh, start now, be honest.

Points to Ponder:
How honest are you with your friends?

How honest are you with Christ?

Saturday 29 June 2024

Jun 29: Matthew 16:13-19

Key Verse: Matthew 16:13
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

Devotion:
How many times have you noticed how Jesus would ask loaded questions? Here He is almost teasing the disciples by asking them who people are saying the Son of Man is… they would have known full well the next question to follow would be who they think the Son of Man is!

Many times when God tries to speak to us we don’t hear the calling because either the world is too noisy or we are not focusing on Him. Jesus, I think, was trying to get the disciples to tell the difference between listening to the Lord and listening to the world around us. Sometimes God just wants us to shut the world out so we can hear what He wants from us.

As long as we can remember just who Christ is and how much He means in our lives, we stand a good chance at getting to hear Him even when the world is screaming. I have a hard time hearing people talk when I am in a crowd because the noise and voices around me are distracting my brain too much to follow a single small voice in amongst that.

The same can be said for us and Christ; it is as if we are standing in a crowded room (the world) where everyone is trying to speak loud enough for themselves to be heard above the noise of others. The louder everyone speaks the louder the din is and the less we can differentiate single voices. This is where we need to be able to listen to that one special voice – the voice of Christ!

Points to Ponder:
How well do you do in a crowd?

Are you close enough to Christ to hear Him?

Friday 28 June 2024

Jun 28: Philippians 4:4-9

Key Verse: Philippians 4:9
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Devotion:
How often do you rejoice in God? I say this because we were talking about this last night in our home group and we all knew we could be doing more of rejoicing! The idea we came up with for “what is rejoicing” was the idea of having joy with us always, or “re-joying” always!

So where do we get this joy from and how do we go about sharing it and giving some joy to others? What use is having joy in our lives if we are not able to share it with others? We have Christ in our lives and the best thing we can do with that is to share Christ with others. We do not have to explain everything in minute detail before others will be able to know Christ. We introduce the idea of Christ and He will do the cleaning and encouraging.

Once someone else gets to know Christ, they will have the ability to have joy in their lives. It all requires a certain amount of faith in Christ knowing what He has done for us is always available and is open to all no matter what we have done. How could anyone not find joy in knowing Christ is on their side…

This is where the Apostle gives us the idea we should be taking what we know, what we feel and what Christ has given us and sharing it with others. We do this by being an example for others to see. If we are successful at showing others we know Christ, they can get to know Him just by watching us – as long as we are putting into practice all Christ is doing for us and has shown us. This is being a disciple...

Points to Ponder:
How often are you happy about something?

How often are you joyful about knowing Christ?

Thursday 27 June 2024

Jun 27: Matthew 7:21-23

Key Verse: Matthew 7:23
Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Devotion:
To me, this is one of the scariest passages in the bible where Jesus is telling people there I a difference between true disciples and those who do things for themselves. Jesus wants us to have a personal relationship with God. This means a one-to-one link with God, not through a third party or hiding behind a bunch of miracles or prayers even!

Jesus wants us to be totally open, honest and real with God. This means we should not be hiding the things we do wrong, we should not be doing things to show others we are ‘super Christians’ and we should not be lifting up our ways even if we are saying they are what God is telling us to do.

Jesus did not go round telling people God was commanding Him to do this and that; He simply spoke the truth and told people about this very personal relationship He seemingly had with God the Father in Heaven. If we can show people we too have a personal relationship with God, then what we do should be supporting that and not trying to build up our image for others to see!

Our relationship is between us and God; that alone is what counts. If we do have a good working relationship with Him, then we will listen to His instructions and do them without boasting we are doing God’s work. We are not doing God’s work but instead are obeying what God wants us to do in our lives!

Points to Ponder:
Why do you listen to God?

Why do you obey God?