Friday 12 Feb 2021

February 12: Mark 6:7-13
 
Key Verse: Mark 6:8
These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.
 
Devotion:
When Jesus sent disciples out to spread the gospel, it was not in any form a big public affair which was going to make anybody rich, well known or an upstanding public figure. Christ was sending them out to reach the real people in the communities they were walking into.
 
Sometimes we get afraid of doing something for God because we fear it will not succeed or the public will stand up against you and you will look like a fool... This does not come from God but from the evil one who is trying to trip us up before we can share God’s Word with others. The instructions for the disciples here were to become totally exposed to the public with nothing to fall back on!
 
Why should God wants us to be totally exposed and without a fallback if He loves us so much? The answer is to help us to understand just how much He is with us. If we never step forward because we are too scared, then all we will live with is the fear. But if we step out and place ourselves wholly in God’s hands, then we will see how much he does look out for us!
 
God does not want us to fall flat, He wants us to succeed in sharing His Word. But He does not want us to think we are fully capable of doing it all without Him! Far from it. We are nothing without God! With Him we are more than capable to doing amazing things – these disciples found out just how much they could do because they were willing to listen to God and obey Jesus first of all.
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you make long and complicated plans to make sure things always work?
 
Will you be willing to simply listen to God and obey?

Thursday 11 Feb 2021

February 11: Psalm 36:5-6
 
Key Verse: Psalm 36:5
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.
 
Devotion:
I do like watching films about the things mankind is doing in space – about the lengths they are going to find what is going on with the planets around us... even though they are millions of miles away from us! The way we are getting pictures sent back from another planet is just remarkable... And when someone does finally step on Mars or some other planet, we will be reminded of the words Neil Armstrong used when they set foot on the moon.
 
God is there! No matter how far we think we have gone in space, God is still there with us! No matter how little air there is, or lack of gravity and light, God is there! He continues to be faithful and just no matter what we get up to. No mountain is too high, no sea too deep, no planet too far, God is there!
 
And on of the most pleasing things to me is how God is there for all animals and mammals and insects and all manner of life! God cares for all of His creation and will continue caring for it all for as long as He deems necessary. We don’t know the limits of it, the time, the depth, the height – they are all just measurements we put on things to try and allow us to figure things out!
 
Nothing will ever cost too much for God and nothing will ever be too cheap for God! Just as we are as important as the sparrows in the marketplace, so too are the things going on other planets we can hardly see with our own eyes! Don’t try and limit the everlasting all-encompassing love of God. As I watched the snow flurries drifting past my window today, I was in awe of God’s creation once again!
 
Points to Ponder:
What makes you think of God?
 
Will you give more credit to God’s creation today?

Wednesday 10 Feb 2021

February 10: Psalm 33:1-4
 
Key Verse: Psalm 33:3
Sing to him a new song; play skilfully, and shout for joy.
 
Devotion:
I marvel at people who are skilled musically and who can lead worship! I am normally the other end of the scale trying to make what they produce sound good in churches or other buildings – I'm the sound engineer! Whatever we are skilled at we should be willing to use our skill to bring praise and worship to Christ our King!
 
We may be skilled at typesetting and can produce the sheets of words we use to sing to God. You may be skilled at making people feel welcome and meet and greet people as they come in. You could be fit and help put out chairs and stack them away afterward. You could be skilled at talking and studying and am able to teach others. You could be skilled at thinking about all the things needed to pray for. You could be skilled at making flower arrangements...
 
You could simply be good at timekeeping and arrive at church on time giving the meet and greet people a lift as they welcome you, making the people who set out the chairs feel like they have done something worthwhile, making the florists happy people enjoying the flowers, making the speakers more confident to teach, giving the sound technicians a task to bring the best sound forward from the worship band who see the people and thrive in worship...
 
Bringing joy to Christ our King who sees every little step every person does and accepts with open arms and heart the worship and love we all pour out to Him.
 
No matter what part of the chain we are – God sees us all and is overjoyed when we praise Him!
 
Points to Ponder:
What do you do to worship God?
 
Will you think of something else you may be able to do?

Tuesday 9 Feb 2021

February 9: 1 Corinthians 9:16-18
 
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 9:18
What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.
 
Devotion:
I have often been asked why I don’t advertise my devotionals or charge for them or make them into a book; I guess this passage says it all for me. I do this because I want to keep myself in the Gospel as well as knowing that I am giving the gospel to others for free – as it was intended to be. I despair at the history books when the church tried to restrict who could have access to the gospel by chaining bibles down in churches!
 
God has requested we each play our part in telling others the gospel truth. Jesus came to reinforce this by giving the disciples permission to go out and teach to the people and not just the Israelites, but all the Gentile world as well! Maybe Jesus opened up the doors because it was getting to be a bit of a select group of people. Maybe the early preachers in our history were placed there to open the doors to those who needed it because the church was becoming a select group.
 
Our church still has an air of selectiveness or even oppression – open the doors and shout out the gospel! God wants His word to be heard up and down the land without limits. God wants us to share the gospel with our neighbours and them with their neighbours – this is how the gospel is spread.
 
I know some people want to be able to make a living out of being a preacher who can go up and down the lands to spread the word, but maybe God is simply saying we need to focus on the people who are close to us and allow the natural spread of the word to gain ground like it was intended!
 
Points to Ponder:
How many people know you as a Christian?
 
How many of those people are outside of your normal church group?

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