Nov 30-(1 Corinthians 1-4) "Co-Workers" It's amazing how much you can accomplish with a little help from others. The apostle Paul reminds the church in Corinth that they are not to be divided or independent of one another. God brought them together to work as a team. He reminds them to appreciate one another's help. Whether they like it or not, they need each other. Life in God's Kingdom hasn't changed. You still need other believers to help you grow. You still need the help of co-workers to accomplish what God wants. Who are your co-workers in God's Kingdom? Who needs your help to move the Kingdom of God forward? Today, appreciate the co-workers God has placed in your life. While you are at it, lend a hand, and help other believers grow and mature.
Nov 29-(2 Thessalonians 3) "The Idle" It's not that they cannot work; it's that they won't do the right kind of work. For, the Apostle Paul points out that ‘the idle’ are busy. But they are busy being busybodies. They are always finding ways to stir the pot and polarize people. The idle work hard at getting out of working. Hmmm... It sounds silly doesn't it? But it's true. You've seen it happen. When there's work to do, you will find the idle giving you all kinds of reasons why they can't contribute. God takes idleness seriously. He thinks that the idle do not have the right to eat! Look... God wants you to be active! He doesn't want you wasting time by sitting on your hands. He wants you to work hard. For, hard work can be very rewarding, and it honors God. In fact, everyone admires and respects a hard worker. Don't you? Today, don't make excuses. Be ambitious, and work hard! Honor God and your employer by being diligent and dependable. Earn your keep; earn your wage… and experience a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from working hard. CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 28-(1 Thessalonians 5) "Children Of The Day" It's been a few weeks since Daylight Saving Time ended. Have you adjusted to it yet? Studies say that it can take up to ten weeks for people to adjust to 'falling back one hour'. Think about it... Right now, most folks wake up in the dark, and return to home from work – you guessed it – in the dark! There's something strange about living in too much darkness. It can make you moody and frumpy. The Bible compares living in sin with living in darkness. For, you can't see very well in the dark. You lose your way without some light. You are more likely to bump into things and get hurt. It's dangerous living in darkness!! That's why the Apostle Paul encourages you to live like a child of the day. What does this mean? It means, to choose to live with GOD'S light on in your life! It means, to think and conduct yourself radically different than you did when you lived in sin (darkness). It means you can look forward to the future, because you can see much further down life's road. It means you can live confidently, because you can avoid the 'pot holes' of life. Most of all, the light leads you home! Praise God! Today, be excited about living in God's light! Be a light for others. Let your life encourage those in the dark to come into God's wonderful light.
Nov 27-(Acts 15:36-41) "Mark" It doesn't matter who you are… everyone blows it. Nobody bats 1000 all the time. When was the last time you spiritually struck out? When the apostle Paul needed Mark the most, he wasn't there for him. So Paul doesn't want to take him along. This is not the first time John Mark ran out on someone (Mark 14:15). But Barnabas still believes in Mark. Barnabas believes so strongly in Mark that he has a falling out with the apostle Paul, and they part ways. John Mark eventually dealt with his fears, and became useful to the apostle Paul (2 Tim 4:11). If you have blown it lately; if you have disappointed someone because you lacked the courage... Take heart! For, God can and will help you overcome. Today, be encouraged by the grace of God, and keep moving forward. If you know a John Mark, be a Barnabas… and encourage them to do the same. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 26-(Galatians 1:1-6:18) "The Galatians" They initially obey the gospel with enthusiasm. After all, they have a relationship with God. They are excited to be free from sin. But, over time, the Galatians get caught up in the rules. 'Following the rules' becomes more important than their relationship with God. Their love for God has been reduced to a love for law. The apostle Paul is worried. Why? They are enslaved again. Look, you can obey all the rules, and miss the Lord. If you are not careful, your passionate beginning as a Christian can evolve into nothing more than going through the motions of keeping a few rules. Your purpose gets lost. Your mission gets lost. You start to depend on your track record more than on the Lord. This will make you smug with self-righteousness, and miserable! Always remember: It was what Jesus did that saved you; not what you do. What you do now is simply a response to what He did for you. Today, ask yourself if you are following Christ, or simply going through the motions. Focus on pleasing Him. Let your actions, (what you do), be an expression of your gratitude toward God.
Nov 25-(Acts 13:1-15:35) "Paul and Barnabas" They are better together. The kingdom grows from their alliance. The combination of Paul’s and Barnabas' strengths and weaknesses made them a good team. Together, they established new churches and strengthen existing churches. Together, they were able to sustain their faith when facing difficulty. It's good to partner up with other disciples. You are stronger with other believers at your side. So....who are you partnering with? Who would you say is your Barnabas? Remember, two are better than one (Ecc. 4). Today, link up with another believers. Strive for deeper fellowship with other disciples. You will be stronger and more effective when you do. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 24-(Acts 10) "Cornelius" Here is an example of an open heart. Cornelius is a guard in the roughest and toughest army in the world. But he has a heart of gold. He is generous to others. He sincerely prays and worships God. Though he does all these things, Cornelius is not saved. God rewards Cornelius' open heart with salvation. God knows who is ready to hear the gospel long before anyone else, (e.g., The Ethiopian Eunuch, Saul, Lydia). And when He sees their humility, He sends someone into their lives to tell them the Good News. If you look closely, you may recognize people like Cornelius near you. These are people who have an open and teachable spirit. They are helping others. They may start attending church for some particular reason. Yet they do not know the Lord. God puts you, (just like Peter), into their lives for a reason. Remember this the next time you cross paths with a 'Cornelius' type person. Let God use you to bridge the gap between them and heaven. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 23-(Acts 8:2-9:31) "Simon The Sorcerer" He uses sleight-of-hand to impress his audiences. Simon knows how to pack a crowd. After all, he puts on a pretty good show. But when Philip comes to town, Simon is outclassed by this newcomer. For, Philip is no magician; he is the real deal. Philip brings more than a few impressive miracles; he brings a powerful message. And the enthusiastic people respond. Many will come to Christ! Simon responds too! But the gospel appeals to Simon for a different reason. Yes, the good news is about what Jesus offers mankind from the cross. What a wonderful gift! Right? But the gospel is also about living with greater purpose. It's spending the rest of your life following the teachings of Jesus. It's building the character of Christ in your life. Simon wasn't in it for that. Simon was in it for the excitement... the wonder... the show. There are a lot of folks following Jesus for the show. As long as they are entertained; as long as following Christ is fun… they’re in! As long as no one hurts their feelings, they have no trouble being involved in their church and small group. But as soon as someone rocks their boat; as soon as their values are challenged; when they are called to sacrifice; or they face a little difficulty… they are out! Why? To them, this is not what Christianity is about. Like Simon, it's about what they can get. They have not grown to the level of maturity that sees past what they are consuming, and looks for opportunities to contribute. How about you? Are you in it? If so, why are you in it? Are you seeking to know Him and what He wants you to do? Or are you prone to 'bail' when you see the first sign of sacrifice? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 22-(Acts 6:8-8:1) "Stephen" How familiar are you with the story line of the Bible? How well do you know how things progressed between the time of Abraham and Jesus? Stephen is well acquainted with the story of Israel. He can tell others how God has worked with His people for centuries. He knows about Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, the rest of the Kings, and the prophets in exile. By knowing this story, Stephen's faith is strong. He is bold!! Why? He sees the bigger picture. He has a deeper sense of purpose. What God is doing, matters the most to him. His confidence in God is secure. Stephen recognizes his part in God's grand scheme to save mankind. Stephen is able to see when God opens a door… and he goes through them. Because Stephen knew God's story, he faced his persecution and death with incredible joy; because the story of the past gave him a very good idea of how it will be in the future. It's very important that you have a good grasp of the history of Israel. Reading a chronological Bible can help you understand it. It will give you greater confidence in what God promises each time you read through it. Today, make a commitment to have a better grasp of what the Bible says. Decide to read the Bible in chronological order… and watch your faith soar!!
Nov 21-(Acts 5:17-42) "Gamaliel" Could you be fighting God? You don't want to be on the wrong side of the Lord's work!! The apostles are spreading the Good News about Jesus. Everything seems to be going well. Little do they know, that what they are doing is making waves in their community. Jealousy and opposition begins to mount against the Lord's work. The apostles are called in to face a governing committee called the Sanhedrin. They are told to stop speaking about Jesus; but the apostles refuse. They can't help but speak about what they've seen and heard. This escalates the situation to the threshold of bloodshed. But a Pharisee named Gamaliel tries to calm everyone down. He strongly urges the Sanhedrin to reconsider what they are about to do. He mentions other movements that have come and gone. These were movements built on human effort. They imploded on their own, so they didn't last. But Gamaliel thinks this movement could be from God, and opposing these men would be a terrible mistake. For, they would be fighting God Himself!! Today, take a few minutes and ponder what you are doing with the work of God. Are you giving yourself to the work of your church, or do you find yourself resisting and criticizing it? Are you supporting, or suppressing God's work? Think carefully about how you are approaching what God is trying to do; because you don't want to be on the wrong side of what God is doing.
Nov 20-(Acts 1:1-5, 2:1-47) "They" 3000 people are baptized on the day the church began! That's amazing. But something else is just as impressive. Luke records that, after their baptism, 'they' devoted themselves to the teachings of the apostles; to fellowship with each other; to breaking bread together; and to prayer. 'They' give you a great example of what to focus on after your baptism. You see, your baptism is not the end, but the beginning of a lifelong process of change. What are you devoting yourself to today? Would you say you are devoted to learning what the Bible says? Are you devoted to connecting with other believers? Do you have an active prayer life? It's these things that help you grow and mature into the likeness of Christ. Today, devote yourself to the disciplines that will help you develop the character of Jesus Christ.
Nov 19-(John 20) "Mary Magdalene" Try to imagine how it must feel to come to a grave of a loved one and find it empty!! Would you be excited? Would you be frightened? Would you be both?? And what do you do with news like this? Who do you tell? Where do you start? Mary is worried... She assumes the body of Jesus has been stolen. She quickly makes her way to Peter, James, and John, and tells them the tragic news! But as she lingers near the tomb, she discovers that it is empty for another reason. It's not vacant because someone stole the body; it’s empty because of a miracle! Jesus has risen from the dead!! A lot of times, you may find your faith to be weak. It may be difficult to believe some of the accounts in the Bible. You may even feel a little guilt over your doubts. But remember this: The disciples had their moments of doubt too… and God answered them. He will answer yours too! Today, don't let your doubts discourage you. Linger close to Jesus. Call out for His help. He will help you believe. For, Jesus IS alive, and waits for you to come near. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 18-(Matthew 27:32-66; Mark 15:23-47; Luke 23:32-56; John 19:18-42) "Rebels" Jesus hangs on a cross with two rebels. One rebel is on his right. The other rebel is on his left. But there are more than two rebels at Golgotha. Some of the rebels pass by and hurl insults at him. Others mock Him while disguised in their religious garb. There are rebels all around Jesus. And what is Jesus doing? He is saving the rebels around him. Hmmm... Things haven't changed much, have they? Rebellion is still alive and well on the earth. People are still resisting authority. People are still complaining; protesting when they don't get their way. People are still fighting. And when you stop and think about it, Jesus is still saving the 'rebels' around him. Aren't you glad He still does? Don't you have a rebellious streak in you? Will you admit there are times you resist the Master's call? Do you ever find yourself fighting the will of God? Everyone does. That's because everyone has a rebellious nature; everyone is a sinner. Yet, Jesus sees something other than rebellion in your heart. While others may have given up on you, (or will give up on you), He sees potential... He sees great promise… He sees in you what you could become if you were free from sin. So He is willing to die to set you free. You see, He's still saving the rebels around him. Today, be grateful that Jesus was willing to resist His selfish desires to save a rebel like you. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 17-(Matthew 27:2-31; Mark 15:1-22; Luke 23:1-31; John 18:28-19:17) "Pilate"
Pilate doesn't know what to do with Jesus. He doesn't see anything wrong with Jesus.
He doesn't want to condemn him. The people pressure Pilate to crucify Jesus, but he won't do anything. He goes back and forth until he washes his hands of the matter, and basically kicks the can down the road. But Pilate doesn't get off the hook that easily. His indecision leads to handing Jesus over to be crucified. What are you doing with Jesus? What will you do with Jesus? You can't ride the fence! Your indecision will eventually lead to a choice. What choice should you make concerning Jesus? He demands a response. You must clearly choose one way or another. Today, rededicate your life to Jesus Christ; and make a clear choice to follow Him. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 16-(Matthew 26:36-27:10; Mark 14:32-15:1; Luke 22:40-71; John 18:1-27)
"A Servant Girl" He warms himself near a fire just a short distance from Jesus. He watches... He wonders what is going to happen next. All of a sudden, his concentration is broken by a question: "You are one of his disciples, aren't you?" Fear grips him. "I am not!” Peter replies. But the voice presses the issue again. "Yes, you are one of his disciples. I saw you with him!" Peter's eyes dart back and forth. "I've already told you, I don't know him!" Who is intimidating Peter? Who is testing his faith? It's not a Roman guard. It's not a Jewish official. Who is it? It's a little girl; a powerless servant girl. It's surprising what a little peer pressure can reveal about your faith. It can come from anyone and anywhere. Who has been testing your faith lately? Today, expect your faith to be challenged. When it happens, be courageous, and trust the Lord. But in case you cave, get back up and stand strong! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 15-(John 15-17) "Disciples" Very few prayers of Jesus are recorded in scripture. Those that are, must have been His best. These prayers may have covered what the disciples believed mattered to Him the most. For example: As the day of the cross is inching closer, Jesus starts giving His disciples some final instructions. He talks about how vital it is for the branches (The Disciples) to be connected to the Vine (God). This drives Him to His knees to pray. He prays for His disciples. He knows they will have a tough road ahead. As Jesus continues to pray, He shifts His focus from the 12 to include all believers who will follow Him in the future. In essence, He is praying for you! And what does Jesus pray for? He prays that you will be 'one' with other believers. Jesus is asking His Father to help you be close to other believers. Why? 1- A tough road is ahead of you, and you are going to need lots of help following the Lord. 2- Your relationship with other followers of God is as important as your relationship with God Himself. 3- The world learns what God's love looks like by watching how you engage with other believers. Will you answer your Lord's prayer? Will you be connected to other disciples? Today, begin to look for ways to be closely connected to other Christians. Don't wait for someone else to connect with you; initiate it yourself. Get closer to other disciples!
Nov 14-(Luke 22:31-34) "Simon, Simon" Can you imagine the Lord saying to you that Satan wants to sift you like wheat? How would you feel knowing that Satan is wanting to personally attack you? It's a little intimidating, isn't it? This is exactly what Simon Peter is hearing from the lips of his Master. "Satan has called you out!" "He intends to grind you into little pieces." Yet, Jesus reassures Simon with these words: "I have been praying for you Simon... and when you get through this...and you will...strengthen your brothers." This had to encourage Simon. What attacks are you going through at this time? How is Satan messing with your faith right now? Look... Jesus has been praying for you too. He is praying that your will not crack under the pressure. He wants you to come through this season of testing with stronger faith and purpose. Today, be encouraged to keep believing, because your Lord and your friends have been praying for God to give you strength. Simon's faith was seriously tested, and he bounced back stronger. It's the will of God that the same happen to you too. So hang in there!
Nov 13-(Luke 22:10) "A Man Carrying A Jar" Jesus knows His days on earth are numbered. The Passover is days away. The disciples ask Him where they will eat the Passover together. The Lord gives them these instructions: As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters. Hmmm... Who is this guy? The man is nameless; He works behind the scenes; He's a servant; His role may appear to you as minuscule… but it's not. Everything and everyone mentioned in the Bible is significant. For, though this man is a nameless, he leads through his service. How about you? When called to serve behind the scenes, will you rise (or better yet, stoop down) to the occasion? Do you have to be noticed? Do you have to be recognized? Are there some jobs that are beneath you? Does it matter to you who gets the credit? Today, just be a servant! Be the man/woman who is first to serve. Be excited when you are asked to do something for God. Most of all, be satisfied with being a part of His great plan. Lead others by serving Him. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 12-(Matthew 24:1-25:46; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-36) "The Thief" Have you ever been burglarized? It's awful, isn't it? There's nothing worse than discovering that you’ve been robbed. You feel so violated and foolish when a thief breaks into your car or house. It makes you afraid… and angry too. Why is a thief so successful? Well, the thief depends on the element of surprise. He is hoping you will forget to lock a door or turn on a light. He's hoping to catch you asleep and unprepared. Jesus compares His return to the coming of a thief. He says that He will come when most will not expect it. But Jesus doesn't want His return to blindside you. He wants you to be ready. He wants you to be prepared. Are you ready? What will Jesus find you doing when He returns? Will He find you prepared? Will He find you faithful? Will he meet you like a friend, or surprise you like a thief? That all depends on you. Today, be alert... be faithful... and be ready!
Nov 11-(Matthew 21:20-23:39; Mark 11:20-12:44; Luke 20:1-21:4) "The Widow" Jesus and his disciples gather together across the street from the Temple. He wants them to see something. Today, people are giving to the temple treasury. A rich man walks up and places a large amount of money into the collection box. You can hear the coins clanging against the container as he dumps an avalanche of money into it. The disciples are impressed. Then a poor widow approaches. She slowly makes her way to the Temple treasury box. She pulls out of her pocket two small coins. She looks at them for a while. Then she drops them over the edge of the huge container. You can hear the two dime sized coins bounce off the sides of the treasury box like a couple of quarters landing in a basket at a toll booth. This time Jesus is impressed. Why? She gave all the money she had. She gave sacrificially! God is watching your giving. God is not interested in how much you give, but in how much you are willing to sacrifice. Today, revisit your approach to your giving. Decide today that you will give sacrificially.
Nov 10-(Matthew 21:1-19; Mark 11:1-19; Luke 19:29-48; John 12:12-36) "The Hardhearted" Once again, Jesus is looking over the city of Jerusalem. On this particular day, the skyline of the city is spectacular! As He looks at Jerusalem, He recalls the colorful history of this holy place. His eyes catch a glimpse of God's Temple as it stands out like a diamond among the other structures. Then, tears begin to flow down his cheeks. He loses control of himself, and starts to wail. This is a hard cry from deep down in His soul. Why is Jesus crying so hard? Is He crying over His future? No... He's crying over theirs. He knows the tragic fate that awaits the prideful people of Jerusalem. He doesn't want to see it happen. He doesn't want the people harmed. But the people refuse to listen to Him, and leave Him little choice. Because of their insistent stubbornness, the people are going to go through the ringer. In 70AD, a Roman army will level the city!! This is the ultimate fate of the stubborn. When you harden your heart, you leave God with little choice but to have to use something horrific to break it. This is not what God wants to do. In fact, it breaks God's heart to have to do it. But because He loves you, He will do it. Hey!! Are you listening to Jesus?? Will your pride and stubbornness force God's hand to act? Will God have to use His hammer to humble you? Today, recognize any stubbornness you have, and humble yourself before God. Rid yourself of pride before it's too late. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
He isn't very big, and he isn't very popular. For, Zacchaeus is a sawed-off
tax collector. Yet, The Lord's encounter with Zacchaeus has some huge
implications about how God feels about you. 1- No matter who you are, God
notices you. Everyone else tries to ignore Zacchaeus.
But Zacchaeus doesn't escape the Lord's notice. You are so
significant to God that He sacrificed His own son for you. 2- No
matter what you've done, God cares about you. Tax collectors had horrible
reputations. They cheated people to line their pockets with cash. Yet Jesus
would invite himself over to Zacchaeus' house. You can have the worst
reputation in town, and God will still love you; He will still want you. 3-
No matter how sinful you've been, God can forgive you. Zacchaeus
stands up and promises to make amends with anyone he may have wronged. Jesus
gives him salvation. God can wipe your slate clean. He can help you start
fresh. God will give you another chance. Today, let the life of Zacchaeus
encourage you. Let Jesus’ treatment of this man reassure you how God feels
about you, and lead you to change. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 8-(John 11) "Lazarus" He had been dead for 4 days! 4 Days!! When Jesus arrives, people are weeping and sad. Jesus even gets chewed-out for arriving late. But this would soon change. For, Jesus would walk up to an occupied tomb and make it vacant once again. With three words, a man would walk out of his grave. Jesus would use His dear friend Lazarus as an example of His immense power over death. You see, Lazarus represents all the things in your life that appear impossible to change. When the power of God is unleashed, the impossible things you face can suddenly change! That's the power of the Resurrection. God promises that the same power that raised Lazarus and His son from the dead can radically change your life too. God can bring life back into whatever is dead. Where could you use God's power in your life? What are you doing to unleash His power in your life? Today, trust the Lord to help you. Rely on Him, and start facing the impossible with greater hope. For, when you trust the Lord, He works powerfully in your life. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 7-(Luke 16) "The Shrewd Manager" For years he had been cheating the public and skimming money off the top to line his own pockets. But one day, he's finally caught. The owner wants to see the books. The manager panics! He is not prepared for this. He knows he is going to lose his job. What does he do? He calls in his debtors and lowers their bill. Why? He is hoping his fairness and generosity will help him later when he's out of work. The owner compliments his shrewd management. Why? The manager is thinking ahead; He's preparing for the future. How about you? What are your plans revealing about your stewardship? How far are you looking down the road? Do most of your dreams and plans deal with the time you have left on the earth, or do they include the life beyond the grave? Will your plans include your eternity? Today, be shrewd! Start right now!! Prepare for the future with your eternity in mind. It's the wisest decision you could make. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 6-(Luke 10:38-41) "Mary" You can hear the noise of housework. Two sisters are frantically getting ready for a visit from Jesus. But one stops what she is doing, while the other is hard at work. Mary stops what she is doing and sits down to listen to the Master. Martha is livid! Martha can't believe Mary is doing nothing. But the truth is, Mary IS doing something; she's chosen something better. She has chosen to give her full attention to Jesus. Everyone faces what some call the crazies. Life can be so busy with the urgent, that it can eventually crowd out the important. Your culture will pressure you to pursue pleasures and possessions over the presence of God. You can probably think of a few times when something else took your attention away from God. When these things collide, will you choose what is better? Mary made her choice, and you must too. Today, look carefully at your priorities. Don't give God your leftovers. Make sure God gets your best. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 5-(John 8:12-10:21) "The Blind" Close your eyes and try to imagine what it must be like to be born blind. Imagine never seeing the sunrise, blue skies, stars, flowers, or the faces of your family and friends. Then, all of a sudden, you are able to see!! A major part of enjoying life is being able to see. But Jesus is dealing with more than a man who is blind; He is dealing with people who cannot see the will of God. This is the worst thing about being spiritually blind. Imagine waiting for the Messiah, and when He finally comes, you cannot recognize Him; you refuse to 'see' Him! But Jesus wants to open the eyes of His people. He wants to open your eyes too. He wants you to clearly see the truth about what sin does to you, and what God did about it. He wants you to see how deeply He loves you. He wants you to see that you can change. Now, He may use an unusual way to open your eyes. He may use an accident, a disease, a person, or a passage of scripture to open your eyes to what is really going on. The question is: Will you let Him open your eyes? What does God want you to see today? What does He want you to realize? Today, let God open your eyes! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Nov 4-(John 7:17) "Anyone" As you read the Bible, do you ever wonder if what God says is true? A lot of people do. A lot of people have trouble trusting the Bible. They will tell you that the Bible is outdated. They will tell you that it doesn't apply anymore. They will tell you that it doesn't work. For many folks, God's word does not work in their lives because they have either misunderstood it, expected something else from it, or have trusted it only for a little while. Jesus promises that anyone – ANYONE – who chooses to do the will of God will discover that God's word is true. For example, you do not know if a chair can hold your body until you trust it enough to put your full weight on it. The same is true with God's word. You can read and research the scriptures until your head explodes; but there's really no other way to know if God's word has any weight until you fully trust it and apply it. Is there something in the Bible you have a hard time believing? Is there something in the Bible that you have a hard time accepting as true? Today, try to test these passages. Put your full weight on them and see what happens. By applying it, you will soon discover how true God's Word is. Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them. Psalm 119:140 (NIV)
Nov 3-(Matthew 16:13-23; Mark 8:34-9:1; Matthew 17:1-21; Luke 9:36; Mark 9:14-9:50; Matthew 17:24-18:35) "Simon Peter" At times, he could say the most amazing things; and, only minutes later, stick his foot in his mouth! But when Peter was asked who Jesus was, he got it right! "You are the Son Of God!" He answered. Who is Jesus to you? Is He a prophet? He's more than a prophet! Is Jesus a good man? He's much more than a good guy. Is He your Savior? Of course He is. But Jesus is more than someone who got you out of a jam. He is also Lord! He is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. He is God in the flesh! He actually conquered death! He has authority over everything and everyone. Only God can have this kind of power. So... Who will you say Jesus is today?
Nov 2-(Matthew 15:21-31; Mark 7:24-8:26; Matthew 16:1-12) "The Canaanite Woman" She is in way over her head. So she begs Jesus to help her with her daughter. But this woman is a foreigner and is getting nowhere. Jesus initially refuses to help her. He feels He should be taking care of God's people over her. He calls her a dog! In desperation, she points out that even dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master's table. Her humility impresses Jesus so much that He heals her daughter. What is this really about? It's about God rewarding humility. It doesn't matter if you are 'in' or 'out' as long as you are humble. For, God opposes the proud, but gives His grace to the humble. Humility is quick to admit any shortcomings or wrongs. Humility recognizes the supremacy of God over the powerlessness of self. Humility is being openhearted and vulnerable when facing problems. Are you humble? Do you accurately see yourself as you truly are? Today, humble yourself before God. Admit your inability and power to control 99.99% of your life. The sooner you do, the more God can help you.
Nov 1-(Mark 6:34-7:23; John 6:5-7:1; Matthew 14:28-33, 15:10-20) "A Ghost" The Disciples have had a long and exciting day. They get into a boat and start heading to Bethsaida. But the winds fight against them as they strain to row across the sea. Suddenly they see a figure. It looks like a ghost, and he's coming their way. Yikes!! In fear, the disciples begin to panic and put everything they've got into the oars. Stroke! Stroke! But it's no use; the wind is too strong. The ghost is gaining ground. It turns out, the terrible ghost is Jesus... They are relieved. Are there times when Jesus scares you? Are there times when you are frightened of what The Lord might want from you? Do His teachings ever intimidate you? Are you scared of what Jesus might do if you fully trusted Him with everything? There's nothing to be scared of. He's not your ghost; He's your God. He loves you and wants what is best for you. Yes, trusting Him can be a little scary; but it's when you trust Him the most, that He will bless you with the best. Think about it... Peter got to walk on water!! What a life's changing moment!! Today, face your fears of God with your faith in God. Don't be afraid, just believe!!