Friday, November 19, 2021

Friday, November 19, 2021
A psalm of David affirming the mercy, grace, and long-suffering nature of God to His children.

Psalm 103:8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. (NASB)
God’s love is easy to take for granted: as one Bible teacher declared: “God will never love you any more or less than He does right now”! God’s love for you is not performance based: it’s unconditional.
Yet, there’s more. God understands we are weak, flawed human beings. The first time we fall into sin – God does not strike us down with a bolt of lightning! Instead, He is long-suffering . . . slow to anger, willing to forgive.

Wednesday November 18, 2021

Thursday, November 18, 2021
The apostle John writing to encourage people to believe in Jesus as the Son of God.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, (NASB)
When Christ walked the earth declaring, “I am the way, the truth and the life”– not everyone believed! In fact, most did not believe. Scriptures make it clear no one can believe in Christ unless the Spirit draws them.
However, when someone reaches out in belief in the finished work of Christ on the cross – a transaction occurs! The Holy Spirit gives us the right and privilege to become legal sons and daughters of God. With that family relationship comes the Holy Spirit to live within each Christ follower to strengthen and empower a life which pleases God. In fact, a process of transformation begins . . . making the child of God more like Christ!

Wednesday November 17, 2021

Wednesday November 17, 2021
The apostle Paul writing to offer encouragement to suffering Christians.

I Thessalonians 3:12 May the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; (NASB)
Christ-followers are not to be static in their relationships. There is no point at which we can rest on our laurels and feel we “have arrived”, in our desire to live as Christ lived. We are either growing more like Him – or not.
The context for this prayer was the persecution of the Thessalonian church. Paul’s emphasis was showing the love of Christ to not only other believers — but also to those outside the bounds of faith. Not just that – but a Holy Spirit supplied, unconditional love . . . growing, increasing to all humanity – including the persecutors!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
The apostle Paul writing to encourage Christ-followers that they are a united body and need each other.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (NASB)
Funny how such little things can come between you, friends and family. Misunderstandings can mushroom into all-out animosity! It’s easy to become so isolated and self-centered that you don’t care to reach out in kindness to restore a relationship
In college a friend came into the dorm fuming and saying he could “never” forgive the person who had offended him! We’ve all felt that way, but Christ is our example: “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Forgive, as you have been forgiven.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Monday, November 15, 2021
The apostle Paul writing about the security Christ-followers have in the Savior.

Romans 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB)
Any number of situations can make you feel very alone and abandoned. At times like that it’s important to be intentional about choosing to believe what God said in His Word about you and His love. No disappointment, no failed relationship or job can separate you from God’s love.
Human friends come and go. Some are there when things are going well but are nowhere to be found when the chips are down. Jesus is a friend that sticks closer than a brother!

Friday, November 12, 2021

Friday, November 12, 2021
The apostle Matthew records Jesus words of prayer from the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 7:7-8 [Jesus said] Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Ever hear of a person living abject poverty who died leaving behind millions of dollars they hoarded . . . but never used! Christ-followers scrape along with their sins forgiven – and yet experience no power for daily living because they never pray for it. Grasp the reality that everything needed for living a godly life has been provided to the Christ-follower — but we must take some of that spiritual capital and use it!

Let’s be more specific: the God of infinite power is bending over backwards in this portion of Scripture asking His followers to pray. When the Bible or our Lord repeats something it’s for emphasis! He says: “Ask”, “Seek”, “Knock” Three times God invites us to talk to Him. God wants . . . no, commands us to pray! No, every prayer is not delivered on your door exactly as you requested it! God already knows what some of us have learned — that not every prayer request is best for us. God is not a divine vending machine: but if you’re willing to trust Him when He says “No” or “Not now” then you will find He is far more willing to say “Yes” than you could imagine!

The image in the verses that follow is that of God as “our heavenly Father”! Does a loving earthly father give you everything you ask for? Of course not. But do they long to answer your requests? I believe the key is to surrender your desires to God . . . trust Him . . . want what He wants . . . and the scope of your prayers will be more aligned with what God wants to give you and your prayer life will take off!