Sunday 5 Jan 2020

January 5: Ephesians 5:19-20

Key Verse: Ephesians 5:19
speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,

Devotion:
“If only I had...”, “If only I did...”, “If only I...”, “If only I...” and before too long you are in the depths of despair. “Why did they do that”, “Why couldn't they just...”, “Why do they...”, “Why can't they...”... and before too long you are feeling hatred towards them.

It is amazing how quickly you can talk yourself into a hole, or talk yourself into more trouble than it was worth! It is amazing how quickly you can change your mood just by thinking about something which goes against your feelings. It is amazing to look at actors crying their eyes out on demand... It's all in the mind...

The more we think about bad things, the more those things are going to start to surface in our lives. The more we think in bad ways, the more those ways are going to creep into our lives. The more we imagine doing things wrong, the more likely we are to do wrong.

Our minds are extremely powerful in directing our lives. By making sure we are thinking in “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” we are making sure we keep our minds clean. We are making sure we do not allow evil thoughts and things into our lives. What would bring more joy to the Holy Spirit than to be in a body which is always thinking about spiritual matters, always singing praises to God, always letting God's Light shine through?

It is a wonderful thing to listen to a full orchestra in perfect harmony. How wonderful it must be for the Holy Spirit to listen to a body resonating in praises to God constantly. How wonderful it must be for God to listen to a church in perfect harmony, singing praises to God through mind and deed, always!

Points to Ponder:
Have you ever sung totally out of tune with everyone else?

Are you doing your best within yourself for The Holy Spirit?

Saturday 4 Jan 2020

January 4: Ephesians 5:1-17

Key Verse: Ephesians 5:15
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,

Devotion:
Have you taken a step back from life recently to have a look and see what is going on? I wonder if you have seen the same thing as me – a world which is becoming more and more filled with hatred. Not a hatred that boils up on the outside so much as a hatred which seems to be buried within, seething, bubbling and every now and again showing its head.

If we follow God's will in our lives, He will lead us to the places where He needs us to be; He will lead us to the places where we can do our best for Him. Like Jonah, we may not like what we have in store, but when we take a step back and look see, we will see the perfect will of our Lord, we will see the sense in everything He is trying to get us to do in our lives.

It is so easy to let go and fall in line with the rest of the world, but we have to remain strong, remain with our heads above the water, remain with the knowledge it is God's strength which will allow us to keep ahead of things in life.

In order to show we are wise, we have to listen to the truth and know it is the truth. We have to listen to the lies and know they are false. We have to be able to discern good from evil. Our only hope of doing that is with the Wisdom which lies within us – not our own wisdom but that of the Holy Spirit.

One thing we must be doing in our lives is taking the time to look at what is happening around us so we can listen to the Holy Spirit to find out the wise things to do in our lives. The last thing we need to be is fools, because 'fools rush in'!

Points to Ponder:
Have you ever jumped at something only to realise it is not quite what you expected?

Will you take a second to listen to the Holy Spirit this year?

Friday 3 Jan 2020

January 3: Ephesians 4:25-32

Key Verse: Ephesians 4:30
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Devotion:
Now we have had a gentle reminder about just how much the Lord is doing in our lives, let’s start to think about the ramifications of what we do. It is so easy to listen to a conversation between our friends and join in using the same foul language as they do... It is so easy to watch our friends and join in with the things they do... It is so easy to turn you back on God!

We are reminded in these few verses about what we should be turning away from. Once we have been reborn, once we have accepted God into our lives, we then have a responsibility to carry out His will in our lives. We have the responsibility to turn away from our former lives, from our former ways of talking, from our former ways of doing things, and to turn to Gods way of doing things.

There is no way we could ever hope to be like Christ was when He was with us on earth, but we can certainly do a lot in our lives to turn our lives round towards God. What use is it of having God's light in our lives if we are not going to let His light shine through us? What use is it to have that light if we are going to hide it under a bushel?

When we are saved, we have the Holy Spirit living within us. This does not prevent us from doing evil or from sinning. What it does mean is every time we do sin, we are letting God down; every time we do sin, we are grieving the Holy Spirit who is within us; every time we do sin, we are driving the Holy Spirit into a corner. How would you like to be held captive in a small cell which has nothing in it that you like, but instead has everything you do not like?

Points to Ponder:
Are you trying your best to do things God's way?

Is your body a living nightmare for the Holy Spirit?

Thursday 2 Jan 2020

January 2: Ephesians 4:17-24

Key Verse: Ephesians 4:24
and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Devotion:
As we get further into the new year (yes, I know it's only the second day) we all start to think of new things and new ideas in one way or another. Maybe some of you have made new year’s resolutions or have decided to turn over a new leaf. Whatever you have or have not done, we need to give thought to our new life in Christ; our new life as a Christian. Are we living it according to His will? Are we living it according to His wishes? Or are we simply going to stumble on in the dark like we have been doing for the last year?

It is such a wonderful thing to know Christ is your Saviour, and to know Christ is with you all the time. But those are just a few things some of us forget in our daily lives. Maybe you have had a narrow escape recently which has made you think again. Or maybe you have not thought about the ramifications of what happened. I know I have a lot of thinking and meditating to do over what has happened to me last year!

Maybe you have been in a near accident recently, but when you came out of it without damage or incident, you thought nothing more of it? Have you stopped to think about what could have happened if the accident had turned out differently? Think about the worst case scenario... think about what could have happened... then think about how God was actually looking after you at the time and let everything happen in a controlled manner.

I am not saying bad things happen to people who deserve it in any way, because I am a firm believer of giving everyone a second chance. I also believe we need to be introduced to Christ to understand how Christ gives us all a second chance. Nobody should have to endure anything to make them think about God... but because of our closed off minds, because of the way we don't think when things are all OK, because of our self-centredness, we do sometimes need a gentle reminder...

Points to Ponder:
Have you had a gentle reminder recently?

Have you thought about how The Lord is constantly looking after you?