Saturday 2 Sep 2023

September 2: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 4:1
Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.

I find the honesty in the letters the apostle wrote enlightening and something we should strive for in our own lives with the people around us. Why should we every try to deceive anyone when the truth will be known in the end? The church in Thessalonica must have been doing well because this letter is very supportive but there is an underlying tone of ‘you can do more!’

It’s not a case of the writer telling the people they have fallen short of the mark but a simple encouragement on all fronts. When we know we are doing good in our communities, there is always room for improvement in one way or another. This does not mean that we have to work twice as hard! This means we can do more by sharing what we do and encouraging others to take up the work too.

The encouragement is not to be louder and more brazen but to do things quietly and behind the scenes so others can get the right idea of what being a Christian is all about. The way to make disciples is not to shout at them to do more but to show them by example so they will feel they can do more too.

One of my friends who has travelled all over the place is a true inspiration to me through their selfless actions they do as a matter of normal life. Not going out of their way to show others what they can do but simply to do it without broadcasting what they are doing. I wonder, do you know someone like that?

Points to Ponder:
Are you living like Christ wants you to live?

Are you encouraging others to live a better life too?

Friday 1 Sep 2023

September 1: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 4:7
For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

The letters to the various churches written by the apostle and brave and typically forward words where the writer expresses what they understand to be the guidance God is giving them through him. This is what being a disciple is all about and something each of us should be aiming to do every day just as the apostle is encouraging the church of Thessalonica.

We have this choice as to whether we wish to live like the world or to live like you want to be with Christ. This is a bit more difficult that what it first seems because we are surrounded by people trying to encourage us to live the way they wants us to or expect us to; not all of them are doing so because of God! The instructions God has given us through our bibles are not so difficult to follow…

The apostle writes to encourage the people to be more like Christ in how they live. They are acknowledged as living in a good manner but there is always room for improvement. Christ lived a life which stood out during His ministry on earth. We are encouraged to stand out more like this!

God is Holy. This means He cannot and will not accept sin in any form. This makes it difficult for us sometimes because we are sinners in nature and we are tempted to do so many things by the world around us. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can be presented to God as being innocent – but that does not give us the right to do anything we like; that would be an affront to Christ...

Points to Ponder:
Do you try to live a good life?

How many things can you do better at?

Thursday 31 Aug 2023

August 31: Matthew 24:42-51

Key Verse: Matthew 24:45
Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?

One of the things we never expect is the unexpected – why else would it be called the unexpected! But seriously, there are things in life we just don’t think about and when they do happen to us we are caught unawares. How we handle those times will often be seen by others as the times which shaped our lives… and I don’t think God looks at us any differently, because He will see those times and He will know why we made the choices we did.

How many of those times do you call on someone to help out? How many of those times do you call on God for guidance and help? Too often when we are faced with worldly things and dangers we call upon worldly people to help us out when we could be calling on someone who is way above that position!

God may not physically be here like Jesus was here, but it does not stop Him from getting involved in our lives. If He cannot do something physically He will probably get the right person to approach us at the right time. Who we allow to help us out is also going to be a choice we have to make which defines us too. If we call out to people who do not have a vested interest in us, we may well find ourselves being let down by them when we do not dance to their tune!

God has created each of us different and He wants each of us to dance to our own tune so we can be an encouragement to others in one way or another. If we all follow the crowd we will get lost in the crowd; but when we stand up for justice and love, we get to shape a lot of what others see in their lives. God wants to use us in ways we cannot imagine He is looking for the right people at the right time!

Points to Ponder:
Who do you call for help?

How often do you call for God’s help?

Wednesday 30 Aug 2023

August 30: Matthew 23:16-24

Key Verse: Matthew 23:16
‘Woe to you, blind guides! You say, “If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.”

After reading through the woes on the teachers of the law and the Pharisees I thought I would do one more before moving on to something new. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees were heavily pushing the giving of gold and other gifts to the temple but Jesus was questioning their motives. People wanted to offer what they could and make these sacrifices from their hearts and by what they were able to do. The temple guards were being instructed to only allow certain offerings.

How does that sit with you? I get cross when I hear of people trying to manipulate people’s relationships with God through their own rules and regulations; that just does not sit well with me! We can look back at things like this and heap up criticism on what they were doing, whilst ignoring the march of the big churches in modern society – which again does not sit well with me.

God wants us to come to Him will a willingness to listen to His will and to do what he asks of us. He does not want us to be driven down a certain path just because some leaders are dictating we do things in a particular manner. He wants a personal relationship with us…

So do we ignore what big church organisations tell us? Far from it. We need to compare what they are telling us with what God tells us through our bibles. It is God’s word which should be the driving force in our lives and we should be upholding what God tells us through His Word, just as Jesus was trying to do during His ministry on earth. Stick to making your promises with God a direct and personal link rather than a dictated event.

Points to Ponder:
What is more important to you, your church building or the people?

What is the most important part of your relationship with God?