Wednesday 27 Jan 2021

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.
 
Devotion:
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?

Tuesday 26 Jan 2021

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.
 
Devotion:
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?

Monday 25 Jan 2021

January 25: Proverbs 23:15-16
 
Key Verse: Proverbs 23:16
my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.
 
Devotion:
I am very proud of my children. They continue to show wisdom in their lives! I know we have all had our rough times and I know they do go through terrible times too – but they continue to uphold righteousness even when I have not shown them the right way! I really do love them and probably don’t tell them enough!
 
But this is not about me and my children, or about you and your children; this is about God and His children... and not just God and Jesus. We are all called to be children of God, so this applies to all of us! If you have children, then you know the feelings of joy you have when they do something right! Somehow, even though you think it not possible, your love continues to grow for them each day.
 
We cannot express how much God loves us because we don’t have the words to do so, and yet He continues to love us more each day just as we continue to love our children more each day. So what do you think you do to try and show some of that love back to Him? What sort of things do you do for your parents to show them love?
 
God should never be taken for granted, though we do from time to time. God continues to love us and we need to love Him back for all He does for and with us. We shouldn’t be doing this out of a sense of duty, but as a child loving their parent because they first loved us. Sometimes it is a phone call at the right time which makes the difference. Sometimes it is a quiet word which makes all the difference...
 
Points to Ponder:
What do you do to show God you love Him?
 
Will you take time out today to talk to God and open your heart?

Sunday 24 Jan 2021

January 24: Proverbs 8:1-5
 
Key Verse: Proverbs 8:4
To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind.
 
Devotion:
I can remember my son coming home and inviting me to church – somewhere I had not been for more than a decade! I can remember the pastor knocking on my door on Saturday to invite me to church after I had ignored the call from my son for a few more weeks. I can remember the feeling of being back in church after such a long time away...
 
God continues to call out to us and to invite us to join in the call for wisdom to flood into our lives. I know there are many reasons we can come up with not to go to church, even more now we are in pandemic times... But when it comes down to it, we are the ones making the choice to ignore the wisdom God has on offer to us.
 
We really should be listening to anyone who is willing to share wisdom with us... We do have to step forward and make the choice to follow wisdom and to share in the truth. We must make a stand against evil and against lies. We must stop the spread of the rot in our communities and in our countries.
 
It must start somewhere and that could be a simple invite to a friend – maybe not to come to a physical church service but to listen to one online. Share a devotion with a friend. Play a worship song instead of something else. Read a bit of the bible instead burying yourself in the newspaper. Spread the Good News instead of helping with the gossip.
 
Points to Ponder:
What do you talk about with your friends?
 
Do you uphold God’s ways in your life?

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