Sunday 31 Oct 2021

October 31: Deuteronomy 6:1-9
 
Key Verse: Deuteronomy 6:3
Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
 
Devotion:
When Moses learned about what God was going to do for the Jews, it was his task to tell people and to get them to follow what God was instructing them to do. Some of those instructions would be hard to follow and some would be easy; but all were designed to show people how much God loves them and to lay down a guide for the right way of living – with God!
 
These instructions were not just going to be for the people who heard them, but for their children and their children, right down many generations to come. This was how to stay close to God so God would be able to protect them and provide for them. At first the people were more than happy to listen, learn and obey God so they could be safe.
 
What people did not see was the temptations which would come and drive them away from God, the things which would make them think they knew better than God because they were the ones facing the situations and not God. People would begin to think they were separated from God – only because they chose to walk a different path instead of following God’s commandments!
 
God wanted the Jews to be serious about their way of worshipping Him. He wanted people to wear their love for God openly and not in secret. God continues to want to see us being proud of being in a relationship with Him, not just showing off we have a God who can do anything, but showing others how much we love and respect God in our whole lives!
 
Points to Ponder:
How do others see the relationship between you and God?
 
Are you willing to allow others to see how much you love God today?

Saturday 30 Oct 2021

October 30: Romans 11:1-6
 
Key Verse: Romans 11:4
And what was God’s answer to him? ‘I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’
 
Devotion:
How many times have you given up on something because you thought nobody was there to help or support you? I wonder if you have ever found the most unlikely support from someone you never thought would support you? Too many times in our lives we don’t do things because we think of the failure which we are sure is just around the corner...
 
Jesus wanted the disciples to get out there without thinking of failure. He told them to step forward and tell people about the gospel without any thought for how they would survive and from where their support would come from. He said this because of the promises He has made to people from the very beginning. He has promised to be there for us when we call out for help; most often than not He is there before we call out for help and we only see the help after calling out!
 
When Elijah called out to God, he was sure there was nobody left who was looking to God. He was sure everyone had turned their backs on God because he continued to get so much opposition in everything he did. This is quite likely what we see when we face opposition – but God is already there and answering our prayers and supporting us behind the scenes.
 
He has promised to make sure there will always be people who are willing to worship – this means He has already gone out there and reached into people’s hearts before we get there. We just need to step forward and give people a little nudge so they remember what God is doing!
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you feel alone as a Christian?
 
Do you not know He has already got people ready to hear the gospel?

Friday 29 Oct 2021

October 29: Ephesians 2:13-16
 
Key Verse: Ephesians 2:14
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility

Devotion:
Have you ever become friends with someone who you never thought you would even like? We don’t have to look too far throughout history to find this type of thing going on all over the place – people making friends after swearing they would be enemies for life... or becoming arch rivals even though they swore they would stick together no matter what!
 
Humans tend to go overboard with feelings and emotions when they should not and clam up and hide their feelings when they should be letting go! God has seen this happening from the beginning of time, and yet He continues to share His open love with us all. If we swore to be His enemy and then changed our minds, we would be forgiven and accepted back into His family!
 
The Jews had built up a hatred for the people around them, not because God had commanded them not to mix with others early in their history, but because they took those feelings and emotions too far, allowing them to get the better of their lives. The more they allowed the hatred to build up, the more they hated the people who were not Jews – just because they were not Jews!
 
God allowed Jesus to give His life for everyone, not just the Jews, but the whole world, using the Jews as the example. He continued to try and show the world how much He loves us all and wants us to see the futility of building things up around our own notions of what we think is right and wrong. God allowed Jesus to pay the price for everyone in the hopes we will come together and see how much stronger we can be when we live together as one family instead of perpetually fighting!
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you carry grudges around with you?
 
Will you give them to Christ to allow Him to help you forgive and move on?

Thursday 28 Oct 2021

October 28: John 15:9-17
 
Key Verse: John 15:17
This is my command: love each other.

Devotion:
Often we think of love in terms of how much we give someone... We think of love as being able to be measured by what we do whilst being measured in worldly term; like it cost a lot to buy such-and-such for you therefore I must love you...
 
Love doesn’t work like that and Jesus wanted people to realise this. Far too many people were thinking like this in the temples. They measured their love for God by how much they gave in tithes or how much time they spent in the temple. What Jesus was trying to teach was not a new way of loving but a true way of loving. Yes I know we do go further because we love people and we do buy more because we love etc, but this is not a measuring stick to measure love by.
 
What Jesus was hinting here at was the willingness to carry on giving and carry on obeying. Love is not a once off how much can we give, but are we willing to continue giving even when the going gets tough. Jesus wanted people to show God their love by obeying Him too; not just saying they do, but actually obeying God! Jesus showed us His love by giving right up until the end. He did not brag about how much He would give only to step aside at the last moment – Jesus gave and continued to give even when it meant giving His life!
 
God does not want us to be servants who have to obey Him and do exactly what He says when He says it – that is not love but duty. God wants us to be willing to give I.e. give because we want to give and not because we have to give. Jesus showed us His love by doing some pretty extraordinary things. He continues to show us His love by answering our prayers and by continuing to give to us – even now!
 
Points to Ponder:
How far do you go to prove your love?
 
Will you simply obey God to show Him you love Him?