Sunday 8 Nov 2020

November 8: 1 Peter 5:5-7
 
Key Verse: 1 Peter 5:6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
 
Devotion:
For all of us who still view ourselves as Children of the church and not elders (despite us being “really old” in our grandchildren’s eyes) we do have our parts to play in the church just as much as the elders who should be living as examples. We need to show we are willing to listen and learn from people in the church who have been learning God’s Word a tad longer than we have!
 
I must admit to finding it difficult to follow some church leaders who display a rambunctious attitude toward their positions within God’s church. We need to set aside our pride for self-worth and humble ourselves to the people around us. God does not want a bunch of self-righteous people leading a church in a deprived area! God wants people who are willing to set things aside to live with the people and help from the inside.
 
We are God’s chosen elect – we are people who have been selected by God to make a difference in our areas, in our communities and with our neighbours. To do this we need to put aside our ways and look for the need in our communities. We cannot drive our communities to live as we do. We must live according to God’s will in our lives and be examples for and with the people around us even if we don’t agree with them. We are not called to judge others. We are called to love one another!
 
Does this get you worried you will not be able to live up to the example or accept other people as being different? Well, step back and give your worries to God. He is able to work things out with you in ways you don’t know or think about – because He is God and knows the needs of others. If we stop and listen to Him instead of racing ahead of ourselves, we will be able to be the example He wants us to be!
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you dismiss some people's lives because they are different?
 
Will you stop and think what Jesus did whilst in human form?

Saturday 7 Nov 2020

November 7: 1 Peter 5:1-4
 
Key Verse: 1 Peter 5:2
be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;
 
Devotion:
After continuing to hear business leaders in the UK react to the lock-down with shouts of “unfair” and other short words, I was taken back by some church leaders who are reacting in a seemingly worldly manner to the locking down of church buildings. We are all people living in the same country and we are being led by people we have elected to position. Whilst we should make ourselves heard as Christians, we should also be setting an example for others to follow.
 
God calls us to be leaders in our communities and as leaders we need to encourage people through positive actions and not dismissive or negative actions which undermine society and community. We should not be doing this because we are elected into position or because we think it is our civil duty, but because we want to and are willing to make a difference.
 
The church is not the building – that is just a place where the church meets. The church is us! We are the church. All of us! Our local church used to meet in a community centre as we have not been able to meet up for a very long time because of this pandemic. But we continue to work together as a church and help out our communities as much as possible.
 
God has entrusted us with positions within the church to lead. He has made us the way we are so we can help the people where we are. He has led us to this time and this position to make a difference with the people, not the buildings! Love your neighbours and make a difference for them today!
 
Points to Ponder:
Where do you meet as a church nowadays?
 
Are you willingly doing what God is asking of you?

Friday 6 Nov 2020

November 6: 1 John 5:1-5
 
Key Verse: 1 John 5:5
Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
 
Devotion:
Ok, I get it. We need to follow the law. This is the will of God, our communities and of our countries... But... How many of God’s laws have we corrupted because we think we know what God means! We read a few verses and we think we know the will of God! Let’s get real...
 
It takes a whole lot of studying and even more prayer, meditation and even more reading and studying before we can begin to fully understand God’s Word. I believe that is why Christ made sure we have the Holy Spirit to guide us through our lives. The more we try to figure things out, the more we get tied up in the definition of things according to our country ways or our community ways.
 
When Jesus talked about love, it was all inclusive love, loving the people who are around us; not because we think we should, not because we think they know what is right, but because God wants us to love openly! I despair at so called Christians who use their positions to influence others into doing things their way because I must question whether they are listening to God!
 
How do we overcome this? How do we get away from peer pressure? How do we figure out what is right? God has given us instructions, His Word, the scriptures, from which we need to learn how to trust and obey God and obey His ways!
 
I want people to stop using political excuses, social variances, racial prejudice and homophobia to justify rules in their lives which they say come from God. God inspires me to love people, not matter what their background and no matter where they are in life. Yes, it is hard to love people who abuse your trust or your way of life, but we need to allow God to show us how to include them in our love. Believe in Christ and love all people like Jesus does!
 
Points to Ponder:
What do you do when your country imposes hard-to-follow rules?
 
Will you believe and trust God to give you the answers?

Thursday 5 Nov 2020

November 5: 2 Timothy 3:10-17
 
Key Verse: 2 Timothy 3:17
so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
 
Devotion:
In this second letter to Timothy, Paul writes about a few of the hardships he has had during his ministry and encourages Timothy to stay resolute, not because of the hardships he will face but because he has learned the scriptures from people he knew. Timothy accepted the scriptures as the truth in the beginning and continued to grow in his faith because of what he had seen and heard.
 
We don’t get to hear much about some of the important people who lived during these times because they simply believed the scriptures and got on a did the work which was required. They did not boast about things they did or make sure they attained important positions within society or the church – they just got on and did what was asked of them by God.
 
This is the example we need to follow; just like the example Jesus gave to us as well. Now, we know of Jesus and many things He did because He is the Son of God, but so many of the things which Jesus did are not written down because the disciples could not write and remember of them all the time!
 
The one thing I want to highlight here is Timothy knew what to do and did it because he read about things in the scriptures. The same scriptures some were using to try and trip Jesus us were used to support Timothy’s teaching. We need to take the scriptures and use them to support our argument that Jesus is the Son of God and has come to save the world. We need to be the workers who get out there and do the work because God has asked us, not because important people said we should!
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you trust God’s Word?
 
How do you listen to Christ?

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