Thursday 14 Sep 2023

September 14: Philippians 2:5-11

Key Verse: Philippians 2:9
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

One of the things which impressed the disciples as they grew to know Jesus more was how He seemed to be one of them even though they knew Him as the Son of God! This is one trait which encourages me when mixing with other people; if they elevate themselves above me and try to put on airs and graces, then I am not interested in what they have to say; but when they reach out to me as a fellow person I will listen and learn.

Jesus wanted us all to see this is the way through which we can love one another; but when we start lifting ourselves in position of authority because we think we deserve it, then community breaks down. Jesus wanted to build the church on people who loved one another and did not form a society where there are rulers and slaves!

God showed us all His great support for this by making sure people knew He exalted Jesus above everyone even though Jesus was walking as a person just like everyone around Him. Jesus did not separate people because of their backgrounds or because of their stature in society but treated everyone the same.

God wants us to know if we want to be more like Jesus then we have to start acting the same toward everyone and not picking sides, stature, class, race or any other societal division people come up with. Love starts with us taking the first step and continuing to walk as equals.

Points to Ponder:
Who would you like to invite into your circle?

How about opening up your circle to everyone first?

Wednesday 13 Sep 2023

September 13: Isaiah 46:1-7

Key Verse: Isaiah 46:4
Even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

The prophet Isaiah has a way of making you stop and think. There are so many things he has written down for us to feed on and to remember just how great our God is; this chapter being one of them! We can see this sentiment reflected in the New Testament as the disciples saw this in action when Jesus would drive demons and spirits out of people, the former being scared of Jesus!

God alone is the one who is going to continue looking out for us and caring for us no matter what life can and does throw at us. We may find it hard as we fight with life or with people around us, but God is always there and as long as we are willing to listen and obey, our outcome and life will be better!

We do tend to get things in our lives which we build up and start to depend on because we think they matter. The more we build them up the more we draw away from God because there cannot be more than one god in our lives which we follow. I know as a Christian I used to think I would never be counted as someone who following anything which I would think of as more important than God; but there have been times in my life when that has happened even without me realising it.

Keeping God in the centre of your life and as the most important part of your life is what counts. When we do that He will give us space for loving our partners and friends and family as much as we should – this is what I have grown to realise in my latter years!

Points to Ponder:
How close is God to the centre of your life?

Will you hold Him closer today?

Tuesday 12 Sep 2023

September 12: Colossians 2:6-10

Key Verse: Colossians 2:8
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

Once you make the choice to believe in Christ the first few days/weeks can go either way… you may love the new found happiness and peace you have and thrive in it, or you may find it hard going because of your old life calling you back. Then, after a while, maybe even years, you get people around you trying to encourage you back into your old ways just because they don’t believe.

Life as a Christians is not going to be plain sailing. The evil one is going to plan all manner of things which will trip you up and he will encourage others to distract you from your faith in Christ. He will bring people into your life who will have arguments which sound like they could have ground; but they will be against God’s Word.

That is the one thing we have in our lives by which we can identify whether someone else is for or against God – whether what they do and say agree with God’s Word or not. We have so many traditions and habits in our lives which can go against God simply by looking at them another way and the evil one will use little things like that to try and dissuade your from following Christ.

The best way forward is to have Christ as the centre of your life because it is not us who have true power and authority over everything, but God through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Points to Ponder:
Do you struggle with your Christians life at times?

Have you tried depending on Him more during those times?

Monday 11 Sep 2023

September 11: Luke 6:6-11

Key Verse: Luke 6:11
But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.

This sort of thing makes me mad even when I read about it so many years after it happened; but still, this seems to happen in our modern churches around the world nowadays. Sadly some church leaders will do whatever they can to uphold the letter of the law about what their ‘church’ stands for instead of following the love of Christ as He asked us to.

Yes I deliberately put ‘church’ in quotes because we have to ask ourselves the question – are we the church of Christ if we are more concerned about the local rules and regulations than we are about following what our Church Leader has asked of us? Because this is what I see happening in this recount from Luke.

We may not think we are to blame because we are doing whatever we have done for many years now and nobody has complained (much) so why should we change? Jesus Christ does not change, but He certainly used very different ways to reach all the different people He reached with the gospel. If we are not willing to accommodate the different people in our community then we are not really part of the community!

We have to trust God He will continue to guide us in appropriate ways to reach out to the people He has put in our lives. He has used a vast variety of people to reach an even wider variety of people. He has not asked us to become introverts who only do the things we are comfortable with doing. He is asking us to be disciples who go out and make disciples...

Points to Ponder:
Do you stick to tried ans tested ways of being church?

Are you willing to try something different to encourage someone new in?