Thursday 13 Feb 2020

February 13: Isaiah 53:4-6

Key Verse: Isaiah 53:4
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

Devotion:
How many times have you taken the blame for someone else's misgivings or things they have done against others? If you are like me, then the answer is ‘not too many times!’ and yet this is the example Christ gave us when He came to live amongst us. Does this mean we need to go out of our way and take on the punishment for others so they can go free? No, because we cannot and must not judge others – we have a sinful nature and will get our priorities wrong when we try to step in for others.

We need to uphold people and encourage them to leave their sinful ways behind, not blame them and allow the law to break them down so they come crying to God. Allow God to work in their hearts by showing them hope and something to look forward to; allow God to bring their sins to the surface in His perfect timing and not our blundering ways.

Have you noticed how we sometimes get things so very wrong when we try to do things right? We have problems in our lives, each of us our own problems, each of us our own sins – we should not impose our ways or sins upon others. Christ alone is able and willing to take on our debt for the things we have done wrong – He has done this already and does not have to go back and do it over and over again as we sin over and over again. But never forget that it was because of our sins He had to be nailed to the cross – it was because of our issues we (mankind) nailed Him to the cross!

But still Christ was willing to step forward and take on this mantle so we could be free from our sin debt. Christ has paid it all, once and for all; we need to accept this truth and own it! God did not cause Jesus to be crucified – it was the call of the crowd and the giving in of the governor which made it so.

Points to Ponder:
How much have you done wrong in your life?

Do you realise Christ has paid enough to cover it all?

Wednesday 12 Feb 2020

February 12: Romans 11:11-16

Key Verse: Romans 11:14
in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.

Devotion:
The apostle continued on spreading the gospel to the Gentiles making sure they understood how God’s grace covered them as well as the people of Israel. No matter if we are descendants of other people or races, we still have God’s grace covering each one of us. The Apostle was loud about this because he wanted the Israelites to hear how other people were being included in the kingdom of God – hoping they would become jealous and turn back to God in their jealousy!

Sometimes it is not what we can show people they may be able to achieve but rather allow others to see what they are missing by not listening to the gospel that matters. God has chosen all of us and waits patiently for each one of us to make the choice to follow Him – we are not turned away because we do not belong and we are not turned away because we have done things wrong in the past! God’s grace covers us all and all our circumstances!

How great will it be to see every people, from every race, from every country and from every walk of life being together and enjoying eternity in Heaven! I know I have been guilty at excluding some because of they way they have acted in the past, but I have learned from God to show mercy and grace to all people. It is the people who ask who will be given the attention first of all because they have come forward in hope. It is not that I am excluding some because of their actions – it is their actions which push other people forward in their stead.

The same can be said for our lot in front of God. If we continue to fight against Him, we are pushing other people forward because we are withdrawing from the gift God is offering. But when we step forward and accept this free gift of His grace, then we are included in the few who will be accepted by Him. Christ has paid a price which is great enough to cover every thing we could possibly do wrong in our lives – we just have to accept that and invite God back into our lives!

Points to Ponder:
Do you get jealous when others are chosen instead of you?

Why not admit your jealousy to God and ask Him to include you too?

Tuesday 11 Feb 2020

February 11: Romans 11:1-6

Key Verse: Romans 11:6
And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

Devotion:
God has always tried to make sure people understood it was and is because of grace we are chosen to be His children and His remanent. Out of all the people who had been taken out of Egypt and brought to the promised land, only a few thousand did not bow down before Baal. How many more thousands had bowed down to other gods, and yet God was willing to show them grace and mercy and bring them back into His fold.

It was not what they had done, what they had managed to keep to or what they had achieved. It was because of God’s grace the people were being called back into the fold. Without that grace and mercy, people simply would not have a chance! We are all sinners and we all get things wrong – we may well pray to God alone and not to any other gods, but we still manage to get things wrong and sin before our God!

It is His choice to show us grace and mercy and nothing else can be held up as being the reason why He has chosen us! No matter how hard we try to stick to the rules and how much we succeed, it is still God’s choice in the end. Because is this message and because of God’s promises, I know I can stand firm in those promises and expect to be taken to be with Him in heaven in the end! I know I have fallen short of the mark and I know I still break rules – but I also know God shows grace and mercy!

No matter how far you have wondered from the trail, no matter how much you think you have done wrong, nothing can compare to the grace and mercy God has to show for us. His grace is able to cover all and forgive all. We just need to step forward and ask for that grace to cover us as well. If we are not willing to admit God is God alone and that Christ came to die on the cross and be raised up to cover our sins, then God will have to continue waiting patiently until we do ask – He will not force this choice on anyone...

Points to Ponder:
Do you wonder whether you are good enough?

Don’t you know your sins have been covered by Christ and you are free?

Monday 10 Feb 2020

February 10: Psalm 74:1-3

Key Verse: Psalm 74:1
O God, why have you rejected us forever? Why does your anger smoulder against the sheep of your pasture?

Devotion:
What goes through your head when things go wrong in your life? I know many of us turn and blame God for either forgetting about us or for allowing these bad things to happen to us! I would like you to take a step back and look at the people around you – not just the Christians or your friends, but all the people around you. When a flood happens, does it not affect your friends and your enemies? When people get sick and have to go into hospital, are they just your enemies, or does this happen to you and your friends too?

Bad things happen to all of us because we all live in this sinful world. It is not God lashing punishment upon us for doing wrong or forgetting about us because we have not done something right – stuff just happens, and it happens all around us! It is us who have the change of view on what is happening and why it is happening because we assume God is going to place a hedge of protection around us from all bad things such as debt, disease and natural disasters.

If we listen closely to God, He may well be telling us what to do to avoid these sort of things in our lives, but sometimes we have to go through these bad things just as the people around us go through them. It is part of our education and growth in wisdom and spirituality. God is always there and is always looking out for us – the world just does not care one way or the other…

Do not give up on God just because something bad has happened in your life. Do not give up just because you think you don’t deserve it – nobody deserves bad things, not even the bad people. God will throw light on the bad things we do to try and educate us into doing the right things for Him, but He does not level us with a flood just because we did something bad. We live in this world and we have to put up with the good and the bad things which happen – but every step of the way we can know God is with us and is able to give us the strength to get through the bad times...

Points to Ponder:
When was the last time you blamed God?

When was the last time your praised God?

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