Wednesday 24 Nov 2021

November 24: Luke 21:17-19

Key Verse: Luke 21:19
Stand firm, and you will win life.

Devotion:
Jesus does not promise us we are going to have a great life, nor does He promise everyone will love us because we are Christians – after all why shouldn’t everyone love us when we say we love everyone!

Jesus commands us to love one another as much as we love ourselves – which assumes we do love ourselves, after all, what would be the point of loving others the way we love ourselves if we don’t love ourselves! To do that we must accept who we are and begin to realise no matter what, Christ is going to love us and has promised to be here for us. What He does say is the world will probably hate us because we are Christians and dare to tell the truth when the world around us is spreading lies!

He does say we will survive though. But, because there is evil in this world, the evil may well overflow and reach us in physical ways; like we will be affected by a virus in the same way as others are affected by it, we will face the same dangers from volcanoes and earthquakes as the people around us do; but we will survive. We may think of death as not surviving, but life goes on a lot further than our physical lives because our souls are not bound by this life we live physically.

What is going to be sure is the life Christ gives us because we choose to believe in Him. Nothing on earth will be able to take that away from us and nothing can put a chink in that life our souls are looking forward to. Because we chose to believe, He chose to save us from the physical realm and get ready a fantastic life in the spiritual realm with Him! This is the life we win!

Points to Ponder:
Are you working on loving yourself more?

Are you working on looking forward to your spiritual life with Christ?

Tuesday 23 Nov 2021

November 23: Luke 21:5-11

Key Verse: Luke 21:9
When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.

Devotion:
When we look at the splendour of the temples, statues and various other things built as some sort of offering to God, we need to remember they are man-made and nothing more. No matter how much time we spend building something and dedicating it to God, it is still a man-made object. Over time these buildings and objects are going to break down and fall – but our God will continue to stand firm as our God throughout time!

I love going into churches and seeing what people have done to dedicate those places to God; how much time and effort they have put in to remember how much God means to them… but sometimes we forget who we are doing things for and we start to look for recognition from people instead of from God. When that happens, we will see our objects of self praise brought down, ignored and forgotten over time; maybe not in our life-time, but over time it happens.

We lose our way and follow the ways of the world as we get more and more tied up with gaining praise and recognition for ourselves instead of bringing all the glory to God. We lose focus on the object of our praise. Over time we get caught up in arguments which escalate to wars and eventually some end up nation fighting nation. Jesus was reminding us here that these things will happen over time because of the wicked ways we have in our hearts.

These things need to happen at time so we can refocus on God. But if we get too tied up in the wicked ways, we lose focus on God altogether – this is when He no longer gets the glory and we seek it ourselves instead. Who can we blame for the evil we let in but ourselves!

Points to Ponder:
Do you fear the end times are coming because of all the wars?

Will you simply turn back to worshipping God instead of mankind?

Monday 22 Nov 2021

November 22: Daniel 1:8-20

Key Verse: Daniel 1:17
To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.

Devotion:
We can look at this passage in various lights: as the resolve for Daniel to ensure they followed God’s guidance, as the guidance of God over people who do not yet know Him, or as the rewards God gives us when we do listen. It is not about how vegetarians are following God better than meat eaters!

Daniel wanted to make sure they followed God’s advice. He listened to where God was guiding him and he stood up to anyone who tried to lead them away from God. The food which was being dished up by the king was not good in Daniels eyes; it may well have been gained through ill-gotten ways and so Daniel refused to eat it. He knew God provided for him and by eating plain food he was ensuring he continued to rely on God and not man.

Even though the guard looking after them did not yet believe in God, God persuaded him to have have compassion on Daniel and the others. God does not need you to believe in Him before He can do things through you – He can work with anyone. If this were not so, many Christians today would not have become Christians because they did not start out believing!

When we do listen to God and obey His requests and guidance, we will find doors being opened for us in many ways. When Daniel and the others listened to God, they found their health was better (probably because of less unhealthy food stuffs) and they began to learn quicker than normal – not because the food was doing it, but because God was doing it! They because much more learned than the kings magicians and enchanters.

Points to Ponder:
Do you listen to God or take the easiest ways?

Will you try to obey God even when things get a bit tougher?

Sunday 21 Nov 2021

November 21: John 18:33-37

Key Verse: John 18:35
“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

Devotion:
When Jesus faced Pilate after the Jewish leaders had convinced him Jesus was some sort of criminal who was after the throne, Pilate wanted a face to face conversation with Him to find out the truth. Jesus was a bit vague with His answers knowing what He would still have to go through for our sakes; knowing the task at hand was not yet complete!

This showed the vast difference between the kingdom of Heaven and the kingdom on earth! On earth people were encouraged or even forced to bow down before a leader who would treat everyone according to their own wishes and not really according to the law. This is because the kingdoms on earth are ruled by people who have lost sight of God and now are following their own desires and wants instead of the needs of the kingdom as a whole.

Jesus, on the other hand, was facing whatever came His way knowing He had to stand up for the kingdom of God instead of bowing down to earthly leaders. Jesus told Pilate His kingdom was not of this earth – in other words, He was talking about the kingdom of heaven and not on earth. He knew He must go through with the arrest, with the jailing, with all the beatings and eventually with the crucifixion on the cross.

Jesus knew the price He had to pay for the whole kingdom – for each one of us. Jesus knew He had to go through with it no matter what the cost, for it was the only way we would get to enter the kingdom of heaven! Jesus even told Pilate His job was to tell the truth before everyone. He also opened up to say the people who did believe the truth were always going to follow Jesus.

Points to Ponder:
Do you believe everything politicians tell you?

Who are the politicians serving; who should they be serving?