Saturday 22 June 2024

Jun 22: Matthew 6:24-34

Key Verse: Matthew 6:24
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

When Jesus was getting the disciples ready to go out and share the gospel, He warned them against doing things in a worldly manner. The Scribes and Pharisees had taken the religion to extremes by making it worldly and focused around the things of man instead of the things of God; Jesus wanted the disciples to be different, just as He was showing people a new way.

What Jesus was teaching, though, was not really a new way but the way God had planned things in the beginning. God wanted us to be in communion with Him and with each other. God wanted us to be close and to love each other like He had planned, not to love the world and all things of this world.

Jesus’ instructions here are to not worry about taking anything with because, if we are working for God and doing things according to God’s plan, then the plan is already in effect and we should have our needs covered already. This can be very challenging for anyone who has doubts about their faith because those doubts are focused around worldly needs and goals.

Yes, we need worldly things to survive because we live in this world. But by following God’s plan, our needs have been covered. This faith in God will speak volumes to the people around us as they struggle with the world. Our struggle should be against sin and the evil one, not against God and His ways. The world is just where we live!

Points to Ponder:
Do you struggle with everyday things?

How often do you give God control?

Friday 21 June 2024

Jun 21: Matthew 6:19-23

Key Verse: Matthew 6:19
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

What are the things in life you strive after? Are there possessions you hold onto because of their worth, or maybe you are trying to build up lots of money in the bank so you don’t have to worry about it when you are older… We all have the things we try to build up, but Jesus was warning people they should not be trying to build up things on earth for the sake of those things…

The more we try to build things up, the more we look for things to add to our collection and the more we get fixated on those things in life. If we are not careful they take over from reality and from God’s purpose and we soon lose our way. When we do that we are no longer giving God the glory but piling it up on our possessions instead.

Our hearts then belong to those things and no longer to God…
We may think we are still following God and trying to do His will; but when our hearts are focused on something else, we don’t always do what is right by God, instead we end up doing what we want to make more of the things we want.

This is not to say we should throw it all away and not get involved with anything to do with money and possessions – God wants us to do what is right and if we don’t have money and possessions we may not be able to pay our taxes or to help people in the way we may be able to otherwise. It is difficult path to follow and a balancing act all the way along...

Points to Ponder:
Do you focus too much on earthly things?

Do you use what you have to do God’s work?

Thursday 20 June 2024

Jun 20: Isaiah 63:7-9

Key Verse: Isaiah 63:9
In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

One of the ways we can tell if someone turns out to be a good friend is by how much they do for us without being asked. Having someone whom you can depend on no matter what is going on in your life is something we would all love to have… but something like that has to start somewhere – how about starting the circle of friendship!

We read of all the amazing things God did for the people of Israel back in our history books. We read of all the things which happened to people who went up against God and we don’t want to be like them! God called Israel His people because He saw what was in their hearts… Unfortunately, like so many in this world, many people work against God’s ways in their lives just because of pride and greed…

God wants us to look out for each other and to share this wonderful planet He has given us. If we are going to work against those wishes, we are going against God’s wishes and should not expect to see the love and mercy God has promised – because we are working against Him!

God first showed us love. If we are anything but stupid and selfish, we should see a life of love and sharing is a life we can spend with God. We have seen this time and time against in history – don’t just believe me, read all about it and make your own mind up!

Points to Ponder:
Do you live your life for Christ?

Or do you live it for yourself?

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Jun 19: Matthew 6:1-6

Key Verse: Matthew 6:5
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

Jesus continued to warn the disciples about not doing things just to be seen by others – He wanted them to do things because of their love for others and their love for God. God is not here to bolster our pride and to lift us up. We are here to lift God up because he is our God, not the other way round!

Nowadays we have people who strive to reach more and more people on the Internet, not to do good and to help people, but simply to have more money and more fame. Yes, there are still good people out there who do things for good, but too many people see the success and want more of it for themselves so they can become famous.

When I was younger I wanted recognition and strived to get recognition for the things I did. The more I did the more I realised the only reward I would get would be from there then and there and nothing would be waiting for me at the end of the day…

God wants us to promote Christianity and all He stands for, not to go round promoting ourselves. This was the downfall of Satan: when he wanted more for himself and less for God. If we go down the same route, we should expect a similar demise! Be faithful and true to God and just help people, not yourself!

Points to Ponder:
How often do you help yourself before others?

How often do you help God before yourself?