Thursday 4 Feb 2021

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.
 
Devotion:
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?

Wednesday 3 Feb 2021

February 3: Mark 5:35-43
 
Key Verse: Mark 5:36
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
 
Devotion:
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?

Tuesday 2 Feb 2021

February 2: Luke 2:25-35
 
Key Verse: Luke 2:27
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
 
Devotion:
There are some things we meet in life which we know are the truth and we accept them without question. There are other things we know to be untrue and yet they stick with us and upset us again and again. Simeon knew He would not die until after he had witnessed the Messiah with his own eyes and this was that day. He was not told by a big announcement Jesus was coming but was led by the Spirit to come to the temple at that time.
 
God continues to talk to us and try to persuade us to be at the right place at the right time; whether we listen and obey or continue on in our busy lives is another thing. God wants us to try to be aware of the Holy Spirit at all times and to listen for those small prompts to be at the right place at the right time. He has many things planned for each of us and some of those will be amazing times.
 
Some will announce an end to something you love doing; I loved being in London serving the local community and I truly miss being there – especially in these dire Covid times, but God has a plan. Simeon knew this was something very special but knew it was a signal for the end. His warning to Mary was also very unsettling. She was warned her heart would be pierced in the future.
 
God does not say we will have a life without sorry or pain but we will have the comfort of knowing we know Jesus personally and we have a home with Him in Heaven when the time comes. What goes on here on earth before that time may be hard to handle or to accept; we simply need to look to the future!
 
Points to Ponder:
What hardships have you faced last month?
 
Are you looking forward to what God can do this month?

Monday 1 Feb 2021

February 1: James 1:19-27
 
Key Verse: James 1:22
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
 
Devotion:
How often do or have you zoned out whilst in a class or lecture? One of my failings is allowing my mind to wander when I should be concentrating on listening or reading; my mind wanders off on a tangent and I lose an hour when I begin to come back to what I should be doing!
 
God does not want us to listen “blindly” to what is being said or what is in our bibles. God wants us to apply what we hear and read into our lives so we can become better people. God wants us to read or listen with intent – to discern what we are hearing or reading and then to make a conscious effort to apply what we learn into our lives!
 
If we take a recipe and follow the words exactly, there is a good chance we will get a good meal in the end; but if the recipe does not list everything exactly as required, then it may be hit-and-miss as to whether we do get something god in the end. This is where experience and advice from others comes in – if we try to make our own rules, things may not work as expected, but when we follow advice from others who have been there, and discern this is good advice, then we will have better luck.
 
So, when you read your bible verses today. Don't just skip over them and then expect me to give you all of the information required – there is no way I can expand enough in these short devotionals for you to get the very best wisdom. God wants us to go through His word, take on board what others are saying and then go to Him for an insight delivered to you by the Holy Spirit!
 
Points to Ponder:
How well do you read God’s Word?
 
How well do you meditate on God’s Word?

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