Wednesday 6 Sep 2023

September 6: Colossians 1:3-8

Key Verse: Colossians 1:4
because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people

How often do you try  to encourage people who already believe in God? We all have our good days and our bad days and during those bad days it is very good to hear from others and be encouraged by simply talking. Social media is used as a venting station for many people and can be quite depressing at times because of that. But without being able to vent some will not be able to survive the onslaught of emotions they are facing.

Our Lord has reminded us on many occasions to love our neighbours; this also means loving those who are reaching out through whatever means they can. A physical shout out for help is answered whenever anyone hears it, but a more silent scream for help through other means is not always answered. We can stand up and stretch out our arms to those who call for help – God will be able to guide you in what help is needed.

The point here is we have to be willing to answer God’s call for help for someone else; He puts these times in our lives when others need help and will put things out in other people’s lives when we need help. But unless we are willing to listen out for those silent calls for help, we will not get very far.

God wants us to have a willingness to stand up and say “do you need help?” Some will not ask but wait for someone to offer. Others will shout out at the least problem. Being willing to wait for any call and answer calls is what God would like us to do in our communities.

Points to Ponder:
How often do you help others?

How often do you silently call for help?

Tuesday 5 Sep 2023

September 5: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

How many times have you read a part of the bible and said to yourself “I’m already doing that…” As Christians we are taught to read our bibles, though some fall behind on that. We are taught to pray all the time, though some fall behind on that. We are taught to love one another, to love God and to do many things… But how many of those things do we let slide because we are too busy with something else?

We do not know when Jesus is going to return and have been given no indication when that exact date will be; but we have warnings about how the world will be before He comes. Needless to say it has been like that for a while and yet many still ignore the warnings “because it hasn’t happened yet!”

Many things in the world still continue to tempt us and we do give in to things all the time. We can use excuses about how weary we are or how we lack strength but each time we are admitting to weaknesses in ourselves. Don’t worry, God knows those weaknesses and has already placed the people around us who will make a difference.

Our task as disciples is to encourage each other and to build each other up so when we are faced with adverse times, events or even people, we can gain strength from the people around us to face up to those times, events and people. We just have to open our eyes to all God has already given us!

Points to Ponder:
Do you sometimes feel alone?

Will you help someone close to you to have courage today?

Monday 4 Sep 2023

September 4: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 4:18
Therefore encourage one another with these words.

One of the hardest things to go through is the death of a family member or of a loved one but each time I have gone through this I have remembered these words and they have comforted me more than anything. I have been to many funerals and have seen how some cannot cope with the loss; how they are affected for many years afterward and maybe continue to be affected now.

I do go through days when I remember those loved ones I have had to say goodbye to, but, equally I have been able to take comfort with these words knowing so many of them have known God and trusted in Him. As Christians we do believe we are going to join Christ in heaven after we die, and whilst some will disagree when they will get to Heaven, the comfort is still there.

We are also reminded in many places in the bible we have a right to mourn, not just to accept what is happening and say everything is fine, but to mourn properly. As humans we know our lives will come to an end at some stage and how we live them will give us comfort or stress in the end. If we live with Christ every step of the way, we will know the comfort He alone will give us at the end, and so will those around us.

I do look forward to the day that I am able to see all my friends and family once again but I am in no rush to get there soon. I know God has given me time to confront and comfort many more people before they have to mourn my passing; I step forward and I say “here am I Lord, use me!” each day I wake up.

Points to Ponder:
Are you mourning for a recent loss?

Will you wake up today and join me in saying “Here I am, use me”?

Sunday 3 Sep 2023

September 3: Romans 12:17-21

Key Verse: Romans 12:19
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.

Whenever I read anything where someone is saying we should separate ourselves from the wayward people, the evil people and the worldly ways I always cringe a little; God tells us to go out and spread the gospel. How are we going to go out and spread the gospel unless we go to people who do not yet know Him and are in worldly positions and doing worldly things?

Whilst I do understand we should be separate from evil because we may well give in to temptation (indeed we do from time to time) we should also be willing to face the world but with one provisor: we take God with us! There is no way we should be facing the world and its people by ourselves because we are sinful by nature.

So when people point out the Old Testament passages which preclude Israel from mixing with the foreigners, I like to remind them what Jesus taught the disciples. The apostle writes here how we should be willing to feed our enemy when they are hungry and to give them water to drink when they are thirsty. This is not saying we should side with the enemy, simply saying we should be willing to treat them as human beings!

When we are able to show kindness to our enemies, they will start to think twice about why they are our enemies. When we do not exclude non-believers from our churches we will show them there must be something they are missing. Disciples go out into the world with Christ by their sides, but it’s also OK to stay indoor with Christ because you need a rest!

Points to Ponder:
Do you get angry with others who don’t do what you do?

Will you try to include someone who needs the truth?