Sunday 31 Jan 2021

January 31: Proverbs 13:16-17
 
Key Verse: Proverbs 13:17
A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.
 
Devotion:
I have always been taught it is best to live with the truth all the time because when you try to deceive others, that deceit will be found out one way or another. The longer you try to hide the lies, the more stress you bring upon yourself and the more likely you are to slip up and let people know what you are hiding!
 
That being said, so many people do try to hide behind lies – far more people than you realise, including ourselves. We do like to expand on the truth and bend the truth, but this is only bringing deceit into our lives and there is no long-term solution for deceit! So much so, when we find someone who is always willing to tell the truth and share the truth, we find it a pleasure to be around them... unless we are trying to hide the truth in which case we get found out!
 
When we know this, we should be acting to expose the truth always and to be willing to share that truth with everyone around us. The more we see the positive side of the truth, the more we learn it is the best answer and we turn toward having the truth in our lives. The more we do that, the more others get to share the truth and the more they are willing to live in the light of the truth as well!
 
God wants us to continue sharing the light – His light, brought to us by Jesus Christ and continuing with the Holy Spirit every day. The more we share this light, the more others will see how pleasing it is to be in the light and they too will shy away from the darkness. It’s Sunday – share the truth with someone else today, be it your own life or the life of Christ, be willing to tell the truth!
 
Points to Ponder:
How often do you think you bend the truth?
 
Will you try to express truthful things today?

Saturday 30 Jan 2021

January 30: John 9:1-7
 
Key Verse: John 9:6
After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.
 
Devotion:
Why would Jesus put mud on the eyes of the blind man? I don’t know if you have ever god mud in your eyes – I have a long history of getting things in my eyes when I was small and still seem to get things in my eyes nowadays! It is not comfortable and certainly not something you would ever equate to getting better or healing!
 
As we go through the words Jesus spoke here we begin to realise it is the circumstance and the way forward which makes a big impact on what people remember. If Jesus had simply healed the man who was blind from birth, would it have got so much attention? Would people remember it? Jesus knew exactly what was needed for people to remember what was happening here!
 
The pool of Siloam was also remembered, and people cling to things and places where the extraordinary has happened – it gives us something to focus on and something tangible to believe with. Jesus knew it would be a much bigger impact if He stuck mud in this mans eyes so he would have to wash his eyes out properly. The act of doing something would make more people believe in what Christ could do!
 
Similarly, God may allow something into your life which you feel is unfair or even unjust, but the results and the outcome will be remembered much more due to the extent of what has happened. My faith has grown so much more since I was in hospital and brought back from near death a few times. Not something I would wish on anyone and not something I want to repeat – but I know how much God did for me and how much He comforted me during those times!
 
Points to Ponder:
What will it take for you to take notice?
 
Do you really want to go through bad times to see God’s grace?

Friday 29 Jan 2021

January 29: Matthew 26:47-50
 
Key Verse: Matthew 26:50
Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

Devotion:
I wonder what the disciples really went through in their hearts and minds during these few minutes when the crowd of people came to arrest Jesus. This was the man they had been following every move of for a few years and it was all about to come crashing down around them. I must say I could probably relate to the disciple who reached out with a sword instead of words – but Jesus quietened him and brought back the words.
 
One thing we often forget is Jesus reaching out to His betrayer, Judas, and calling Him friend one last time before being taken away and abused so horribly. When we think of the things we say and do in our lives, we often get caught up in the words and think Christ could never forgive us because we went that step too far even though we know Him...
 
But, even when we press one too many buttons and we kick the proverbial sand in Jesus eye, He is still willing to stop and look us in the face to say: friend. Jesus is willing to forgive us no matter what we do; and we need to remember that and depend on it too, believing He is going to call us friend and forgive us.
 
No matter what you have done in your past, no matter what you are doing right now in your life – if you step forward and ask Christ to forgive you, He will. He looks into your heart and not into your past. He looks forward and waits for what you can do with Him. And with Christ we can do anything!
 
Points to Ponder:
Are you standing scared before Christ?
 
Will you ask Him to forgive His friend - you?

Thursday 28 Jan 2021

January 28: Matthew 26:36-41
 
Key Verse: Matthew 26:38
Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Devotion:
As we see so many people dying from this pandemic, we are allowed to lament and grieve and mourn. God does not say we must keep a stiff upper lip and not show our emotions. Jesus Himself went to Gethsemane to grieve over what was happening and what was about to happen. It is allowed.
 
What God does say is that we should comfort those who do mourn, even mourn with them – allow them to come to terms with their losses and just be there for them. The disciples were very tired and fell asleep when Jesus went ahead to pray alone. When Jesus returned He questioned their falling asleep – not because He was cross with them daring to fall asleep whilst He was grieving, but to draw light to their purpose.
 
I have had several people in my immediate family catch the virus and thankfully they have and are making a good recovery. My heart goes out to those who are less fortunate and lose their loved ones or their own lives to this terrible virus. I have now, like almost everyone will do, lost both my birth parents and that was hard; but losing a loved one to anything other than natural causes brings on new depths of grief.
 
Why not try and make a difference by being “awake” for someone who is mourning, being there as a shoulder to cry on. Why not make a difference by calling someone who is going through a rough patch (that opens up so many calls we can make at this time!) Being there to support someone can make all the difference to them.
 
Points to Ponder:
Do you know someone who is struggling?
 
Will you give them a call and offer them help?

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