February 4: Matthew 6:16-18
Key Verse: Matthew 6:18
so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
How many churches or gatherings have you been to where the leader has gone overboard with the theatrics to try and emphasise a point? Very subjective and leading question... because we all have differing view of what is acceptable and what we need to encourage us. But God has warned us against using theatrics for our own gain as opposed to for God’s glory... which greys the line even more!
It is not so much the use of theatrics or overt ways, but the reason for using such ways. Are we using it to build up ourselves or to glorify God? I’m afraid the answer goes both ways because we do find people who are using theatrics and advertising, not to promote God, but to promote themselves!
God should get all the glory in what we do and what we say. Just because we are going to fast does not mean we have to tell everyone what we are going to do. If we are telling them to try and encourage them to join you, then that is different; but doing it to make yourself look better is not promoting God and His ways!
God will see you whatever you are doing and wherever you are doing it. You don’t have to put it all over social media to get lots of likes and shares – that is simply building yourself up. Doing it because you share those view is different. Allow God to reward you in ways He wants to reward you – don't try and force His hand because you get more shares and likes!
Points to Ponder:
Do you share your faith with others?
Why do you share your faith with others?
February 3: Mark 5:35-43
Key Verse: Mark 5:36
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
We accept death as something final from which there is no return, so the people in these verses were not ready for what Jesus was about to do... Jesus wanted them to see the power of God in a way they had not seen before – His comment to them before the miracle was to simply believe!
We have God’s Word we only have to believe in order to be saved. We have His Word we are able to pray to Him and ask anything through Jesus’ name. We have God’s Word! Let that sink in a bit after reading these verses. God can do anything, and we have His Word saying he wants us to simply believe in what we are praying for.
The people here thought it was too late because the girl had already died. That was the end in their minds and all they could do now was to pray for comfort and mourn the death of this girl; or at least that is what they imagined! But Jesus knew what was possible through God and through believing what God can do.
After having gone through the death of both my parents now (but I still have an amazing mother-in-law) I know the finality of physical death, but I also know the peace and comfort which can follow because both my parents believed in Christ and knew they would be with Him in Heaven after their physical bodies gave up on them. The doctors and nurses around both of them had done amazing work to keep them alive after they should have died, but only Christ could give them eternal life because it was their time to join Him in heaven.
Points to Ponder:
How much faith do you place in Christ’s hands?
Will you stop being afraid and simply believe?