Monday 8 Feb 2021

February 8: Mark 1:29-34
Key Verse: Mark 1:31
So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.
Ok, let’s be honest... how many times have you said you were going to do something for God when you were not too well or in a bad place... but when you came out the other end of the bad session, you kinds forgot about the promise you made... I know I am guilty on a few occasions, but I also know God has continued to be by my side even when I have let Him down!
When Jesus came to the house of Simon and Andrew after ‘church’ at the synagogue, He heard how Simon's mother-in-law was ill in bed. He went through to her and healed her, not to have someone to wait on them but because He had compassion on them all, for the mother-in-law and for the rest of the family too – what better way to spend the day than with the full family and not just those who are not off ill!
The Holy Spirit continues to reach out to us and wants us to join in the work for God no matter where we are and no matter how we feel. If we are at the end of our tether, He is there to give us the support we need. If we are about to explode with happiness, He is there for the party with us! God wants to be in our life at all times.
God wants us to enjoy our lives with Him and He is willing to bring healing and restoration to any of us who do ask. We should be willing to get on with doing God’s work no matter where we are in our own lives and not to have to wait until the “time is right” or “we have enough funds” or whatever other excuse we use in our human nature. Set aside human nature and live in God’s nature!
Points to Ponder:
How are you coping during these rough times?
How much are you doing with what God has given you?

Sunday 7 Feb 2021

February 7: Matthew 4:1-11
Key Verse: Matthew 4:4
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
We often complain about how much we are tempted and we somehow use this as an excuse so we can give in to temptations now and again; we try not to, but we do and we say it is human nature to do so. Well, it may well be human nature to give in to temptations and sin, but we do have a choice and we can choose not to give in. Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert and He stood by the Word of God so He would not give in.
If we need to find something to help us avoid the temptations or sin, then we need not look any further than God’s Word. It has everything we need to avoid temptation and to give us strength to fight the temptation to give in to sin. We have God’s strength backing us up all the way, just as Jesus had in the desert, so we have in our lives.
God wants us to stand up and ask for help. He wants to be able to help us in all circumstances in life, but He is not willing to be taken for granted and used as a tool instead of as a partner. We can draw parallels with our human relationships here – nobody wants to be taken for granted and nobody wants to feel like they are being used... so why should we expect God to be any different...
The big difference in that God has continued to offer His help and support throughout time. He continues to tell us He is here for us and how much He wants to support us in dire times... all we need to do is to ask in the first place!
Points to Ponder:
How do you cope with relationships?
How do you treat Christ in your life?

Saturday 6 Feb 2021

February 6: Ephesians 4:17-19
Key Verse: Ephesians 4:18
They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
How many times have you been told to change the way you are? Maybe you were told at school you would never amount to anything unless you changed your ways... Maybe your parents told you things would get bad unless you changed your ways... What have you done about it? What is it going to take for you to change your ways?
None of us like to be told we have to change our ways because we feel safe with things we know. We want to continue to feel safe, so we stick with what we do know and not the unknown. But when someone else tells us something different is what is required, we get scared and back away from them...
Jesus wants us to pick up His ways so we have a better chance at living the life God wants us to live. This is going to mean turning away from our old ways and embracing new ways which can be scary and we tend to back away from that. But when God tries to encourage us to change to His ways, He is doing so to make our lives better – not to try and make us scared!
God knows what is best for each one of us and allowed Jesus to come to earth and share those ways directly with us. Jesus in turn shared those ways with the disciples and encouraged them to pass them on to all of us, Jews and Gentiles alike. The warning was most stark for the Gentiles because they had entrenched themselves in a way of living which was far from what God wanted. The Jews were a bit closer, but they still had a lot to learn too. Let us embrace what God is sharing with us!
Points to Ponder:
Do you get scared of change?
Will you have a look at God’s ways through Jesus?

Friday 5 Feb 2021

February 5: Matthew 6:11-13
Key Verse: Matthew 6:12
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
As each of us continues to read or hear God’s Word, we need to apply it into our lives, not just in deed, but from and through our hearts. This means doing things God wishes in your life because you want to do it, because you want to please God and bring glory to His Holy Name!
One of the greatest ways we can do this is to forgive people just as God forgives us. We know we are guilty and we know what we have done in our lives – each of us knows deep in our hearts we are guilty of many things. Yet God was willing to allow His Son to take on the punishment for our sins, for our wrong-doings, so He can forgive us through the blood of Christ – our sacrifice.
If God was willing to do that for us even before we knew Him, then we should be willing to forgive those we know and those we are yet to meet. Just think how much joy and peace could be in this world if we were all willing to forgive; not just for the little things we do wrong, but for the big things too! Nothing is too great for God to forgive apart from consistent and recurring disbelief – even after we have been given the truth.
Accept God’s Word as the truth it is. Accept God as the one true God. Accept Christ Jesus as your own personal sacrifice God has accepted so we can be forgiven for the things we are holding deep in our hearts. God has set us free, but we need to accept that freedom and release it into the world by sharing it with the people around us. Forgive someone...
Points to Ponder:
Who have you blamed in the past for things you have done?
Do you know Jesus willingly accepted the punishment for that already?

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