February 24: Acts 1:15-26
Key Verse: Acts 1:20
“For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms: “‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’ and, “‘May another take his place of leadership.’”
Can you name a person in your life who has shown you the gospel but is no longer alive? Two of my favourite people to name are Billy Graham and Ravi Zacharias! Both these men have died within the last few years and both have allowed me to become the Christian I am today through what they have said and written. I first got to know how much Jesus loves me during a Billy Graham crusade in Africa (for which he was not actually present) and the recordings of Ravi Zacharias have been an inspiration to me during tough times.
God calls us all to reach out to others and He is constantly calling new people. How would we get to hear the gospel unless new people replaced the people we used to listen to? How would we grow in faith if we did not continue to hear God’s Word? Sometimes we need to stop and listen to what God is asking of us. Sometimes it is us who need to step forward and fill the gap left behind by a person of God.
God calls both men and women to reach out to others; and yes, that is clearly written in the bible! Let's take Deborah for instance! She was called by God to be a church leader, a prophetess, a judge to the Israelites. Don’t be put off by what other people say should be happening or the rules people lay out saying it is what the church demands. God calls the shots here and God alone!
Matthias was called to fill the gap left by Judas because he had been with the disciples and following Jesus. It was not just the twelve disciples. It was all the people who continued to follow Jesus’ teaching and wanted to draw closer to God by learning directly from Jesus. When Judas died, the disciples wanted to fill the gap and they chose someone who had been with them and was willing to take on the mantle.
Points to Ponder:
What is God saying to you?
Will you obey what God is asking of you?
February 23: Psalm 34:15-18
Key Verse: Psalm 34:17
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
I am sorry this comes out late today, but I got carried away with things yesterday and did not get round to updating the devotionals until now! But as I go through the words in this Psalm, I am reminded of just how much God continues to care for us. Though the words here are for those who want to do what is right with God, it is for the people who fear what could happen that I lift up my prayers for.
We know God cares for us because we know He answers our prayers. We feel the love of God as we bathe in the peace He showers over us in times of need. We love others because of the love He shows to us and we try to live as best we can for Him – just because of His love for us. But how did we get here? How did we realise the peace which really does go further than we can understand?
We must have reached a breaking point in our lives when we reached out to God and begged Him for forgiveness. This could have been a time when we were at our lowest and even thinking of taking our own lives; or it could simply have been a single thought which made us realise life could be different... It was God who came to meet you and not you having to find the secret passage or hidden treasure...
God lays out this life in front of us all and invites every one of us to come to Him. But He does not lay it down in secret where only the righteous can find it. God lays this life down for all to hear about and all to see. God sends out invitations to us all daily and even reminds us time and time again – because He loves us that much! God wants to be able to bless us all; open the door and invite Him in!
Points to Ponder:
Are you waiting to reach the end of your tether before reaching out for help?
Will you ask for help right now?