Saturday 31 Oct 2020

October 31: Isaiah 60:1-3
Key Verse: Isaiah 60:1
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
As we creep into Halloween, pun intended, we often get carried away with all the horror and evil which this evening carries with it. Many people would celebrate this evening with a party and dressing up in weird and wacky outfits – not so this year! Much of the world is slumping into worsening Covid-19 conditions and running around from door to door is just not going to be acceptable behaviour for many.
Let us not forget we are Christians. We stand for the Light of the world. We stand for Christ. We shine for Jesus. We are examples other people look to. If we are going to act like the rest of the world, people will see no different and will not be encouraged to find God; instead, they will continue to follow the world and sink with it...
God has chosen us to be different for a reason. He has not chosen us to judge others by what they say or do, but to encourage others to say and do what Jesus would like us to say and do. That is a very big difference! We cannot judge because we have been as guilty ourselves as any other people. But we have now been chosen to celebrate God, His ways and His will, to be a helping light for others to follow!
Jesus is the Light of the world and we are guards and guides for people to follow so they can see Jesus. Think of yourself as a person with a torch who can show others the way by shining the light on the world and allowing them to make their way toward Jesus. Don’t switch off your light for any reason because people in the dark are relying on your light to shine for them to find hope!
Points to Ponder:
How often do you shine for Jesus?
Will you keep your Jesus light switched on tonight?

Friday 30 Oct 2020

October 30: Matthew 5:13-16
Key Verse: Matthew 5:14
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
One of the things I struggle with during these lock-down periods is the hidden pressure it places on your spirit when you try to do what is righteous. We are all called to obey the law whether we are Christians or not, but as Christians we should be setting an example other people look up to for hope and encouragement. That in itself puts a burden on our shoulders!
Jesus was not just talking to the disciples when He said these words; He was talking to a crowd of people and was standing on a hillside to make sure more people could hear Him. To be heard, He would have had to project His voice, not like a quiet vicar speaking to a small, quiet congregation; this was more like the shouting of an evangelist to the crowd! Now, read the verses again. They take on a new meaning when you think about Jesus being evangelical in front of the crowd!
We are the salt, the flavour, the seasoning, the small part which makes a big difference to the whole! We are the light, not hidden in a cupboard or under the bed covers, but a bright light shining to allow others to see the truth all around them! Don’t hide your Christianity in the cupboard. Place it in a prominent place where others will stop and look, think and hopefully allow Jesus to work in their hearts!
Above all, give God the glory for everything in your life. Allow others to see how much God has done for you so they can have hope for their lives too. This is the light. Back it all up with words from your bible. This is the salt. Now you have set a table, a meal, properly seasoned, where others can come and enjoy the feast Christ has for them in their lives too!
Points to Ponder:
Are you quiet about your Christianity?
Will you stand up with your light on and season others people’s lives?

Thursday 29 Oct 2020

October 29: Matthew 5:3-12
Key Verse: Matthew 5:3
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The Beatitude are used a lot to show how we are blessed in so many ways, but have you ever looked more closely at the wording used by the author. What does it mean to be poor in spirit, meek, hunger for righteousness, pure in heart or a peacemaker?
As we continue to have the Coronavirus spread through our lands and communities, we begin to be weary, not because of the virus itself but because we are pushed to the limits in our spirits. The more sickness and death surround us, the wearier we become trying to keep things going. The more we grow weary in our spirits, the worse our physical health becomes and, worse still, the worse our mental health becomes.
In these times we need to have hope on the horizon otherwise we fall deeper into a blackness which we feel smothered by. Christ has given us hope beyond what this world can supply; though the talk of a vaccine on the horizon will give us hope for the future!
God does not look at the sick just because they are sick, or the poor just because they are poor, God looks at them because of the deep dread they have within their spirits. God wants us to look up to the hope we have in Christ, but knows we face mental and spiritual battles which prevent us from looking up to God. His heart comes out to us and His faithfulness ensures He continues to bless us in many ways we don’t fully realise because of our downed spirits. Look up to the light which is Christ Jesus!
Points to Ponder:
How are you coping with life under coronavirus?
Have you had a frank talk with God about it?

Wednesday 28 Oct 2020

October 28: Mark 14:32-42
Key Verse: Mark 14:41
Returning the third time, he said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.’

How many times do you ask someone for help before you give up asking? I think most of us ask once and when we don’t get a positive response, we back off to try and find another way forward. This is not God’s way – not the way shown to us by Jesus!
I’m sure the disciples did get tired with all the walking and helping out wherever they went, but despite this all, Jesus, who was doing all the disciples were doing, continued to lift up His prayers to God through everything. The disciples gave in to their tiredness and fell asleep while they waited for Jesus; I don’t think they knew the gravity of the situation which was looming ahead.
Jesus knew exactly what was to happen and announced it here in these verses just before Judas had arrived to carry out his betrayal of Christ. His prayers to God were simple: “If there is any other way, please can we do that instead... but if this is your will, then let it be so.” Did Jesus doubt anything? Why did He ask three times? No, Jesus did not have any doubts, but He wanted to be sure nothing else could be done first.
No matter how difficult things get, or even how easy they are, we need to keep God in our lives and in our lifestyles. We also need to be sure we are doing what God is asking, because when we do get stressed or overly happy, we tend to get caught up in things of this world rather than listening to God! Stop and spend time in prayer – listening!
Points to Ponder:
How often do you ask for help?
When you ask, do you wait for an answer?

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