Wednesday 24 Feb 2021

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?

Tuesday 23 Feb 2021

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?

Monday 22 Feb 2021

February 22: Matthew 25:31-40
Key Verse: Matthew 25:40
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
There is going to be a time when it will be too late to turn away from our lifestyles and follow what God considers to be righteous. We may think we do the right stuff by going to church on the right days at the right times and giving our tithes on time, but what are we actually doing for God?
God asks us to reach out to His people, those around us and in our communities. He doesn’t want us all to go out to foreign lands and be missionaries to new people in different places around the world – God is calling us to be disciples, reaching out to the people in our own communities. When they have enough support to know they are loved by God, then we can step out and reach out to others!
We don’t know who will turn to God and when they will; but we do know we are all given the same chance to do so. God is making sure every part on this planet is going to be given a chance to get to know Him and He is doing this my asking us to reach out to people next to us. The internet has made this world seem a whole lot smaller, but there is still nothing like reaching out with physical help to someone who may be your neighbour.
And before you ask why have I left out the goats and those being rejected by God, it’s because I have used those verses already in the past! We have time now to make the choice to do something for God by doing something for His people. We have the chance right now. Don’t waste it and don’t set it aside saying it will be done tomorrow – just maybe tomorrow will be too late!
Points to Ponder:
What do you do for people in your community?
Did you know God is watching over your whole community?

Sunday 21 Feb 2021

February 21: 1 Peter 3:18-22
Key Verse: 1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
I think all of us can look back over the past few months and see how many of us have suffered in these horrible times, not because of any fault of our own, but because there is a pandemic and we all have had to do something abnormal for ourselves in order to try and keep safe or to keep others safe. We may even look back and think we have suffered over and over again – but this is nothing compared to the suffering Jesus went through when He came to be amongst us!
We can look forward as the vaccinations kick in and say we have suffered but now see light at the end of the tunnel. We can say we can see an end in sight. We still have to be careful and cautious, but we have hope once again.
Let's compare this to the life we have with God... We have been living under the threat of death because of our sinful lives we have lived and we were coming up to the time where we would have to face up to what we had done. The horrible reality is the price for this sin would be our lives. Then Christ stepped in, so much better than any vaccine, and took that threat of death away by laying down His life for us instead!
As we look forward we need simply accept Christ into our lives, believe He took on the debt for our sins and ask Him to be a part of our lives from now on. Nothing to look back on... Christ willingly stepped forward to take away the eternal death and give us eternal life instead. He did this because of His love for us and continues to show us the way forward – if we are willing to listen to Him!
Points to Ponder:
Have you had a horrible year?
Will you look forward to God’s year with me?

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