January 27: Isaiah 49:14-17
Key Verse: Isaiah 49:16
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
It’s horrible to feel alone. The feeling of being alone when you know there is a crowd ‘out there’ cannot be expressed in words – it's something which dwells deep inside you and only comes out when you do feel singled or left out. I have been to large gatherings of Christians and felt alone in the crowd, not because I am surrounded by people who don’t care but because I am missing something...
I love these words penned by Isaiah so many years ago – they are so valid and so meant for times like these we find ourselves in now. We are separated from our loved ones to try and keep others (and ourselves) safe from spreading or catching this virus and that makes us feel alone. But one thing we can always count on is God being with us, every minute of every day!
We do feel left behind by God at times. We do feel like He may have forgotten us... because we start to think we are or should be the centre of attention; as soon as the focus goes off of us, we feel left out. Well, just maybe God is so comfortable with the way we are He is silently sitting on the sofa with us watching the movie we are! Just maybe He is walking beside us in the forest as we try to get a bit of fresh air.
Just as we don’t always talk to our best friends, so God is with us. It’s not a case of God is so busy with so many other people He doesn’t have time for me... He always has time for everyone, but sometimes we are so engrossed with the movie or the trees around us that we forget He is right next to us! Reach out your hand and hold His hand – it's there!
Points to Ponder:
How often do you feel alone?
How often do you reach out to hold God’s hand?
January 26: Matthew 20:20-28
Key Verse: Matthew 20:28
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Zebedee was a prosperous fisherman whose sons, James and John, were called to be disciples by Jesus. We surmise Zebedee believed in Jesus because he made no attempt to stop his sons from following Jesus when they were called. His wife approached Jesus and asked for her sons to be given prominent positions in Heaven, to be sat either side of Jesus!
I think they must have been looked up at in society for her to approach Jesus and ask such things, but Jesus told her He could not give them such positions in heaven because it was not His position to do this. This is God’s realm we are talking about and only God, the Father of Jesus should make such decisions; Jesus was already in His role as the Messiah, the human man living amongst us.
God looks at the work we do here on earth, not the results of the work we do... This seems like a small difference because we view a successful disciple as one who has shared the gospel with many and brought many to believe in Christ... But it is not all about the numbers or who we bring to Christ, it’s about how we measure up to the task given us by God!
God may be calling us to simply bring the gospel to one other person in our lives. He may we calling us to build a community which will in turn bring people to Him. He may be calling us to reach out to a single person who will make a difference in our community. He will judge us according to what He has called us to and not the numbers affected by us!
Points to Ponder:
What is God calling you to do?
Are you really listening to God’s instructions?