'Everyday People' is a collection of daily thoughts on the devotionals in the book, 'Jesus With The People'. After each day's reading of this great book, simply click 'Everyday People' under the RESOURCES tab, to read my thoughts. To share your comments or questions, just text me; or send a message via the link at the end of the current day's EP. Also, I suggest you find another Christian brother or sister who's also reading 'Jesus With The People', and share your thoughts with them too! It's a great devotional book... I hope you enjoy it! Tim
Day 1-(John 3) "John The Baptist". John The Baptist had one purpose in life. He wanted nothing more than to do what God wanted him to do. With humility, he lived a life that constantly pointed others to Jesus! When asked about why his ministry seemed to be shrinking while the Lord's was growing, he shrugged off the rivalry, and humbly replied: "A man can only receive what has been given to him from heaven...He must become greater, I must become less." What an incredible a way to live. No comparing... no competing... Just surrender. It’s living a life that's focusing on becoming less, so God can become greater. Wow!! How is that going for you? Have you accepted the task God has given you? Are you making it less and less about you, so God can become greater and greater in your life? Will you live your life in such a way, that it constantly points others to Jesus? Jesus called this humble servant one of the greatest men who ever lived! Today, humble yourself in such a way… that Christ is lifted up.
Day 2-(Luke 2) "Mom" Mary meets Jesus in the most unusual way. She is only 15 when she learns she is going to have a son. Imagine the ridicule and shame she endures to bring God's son into the world. Also, imagine, for a moment, what it must have been like to be the mother of the Messiah! Think about it... She meets Jesus every day!! Every day she gets to talk with Him. She gets to hold Him and love Him. While dad eventually fades out of the picture, it's mom who rolls up her sleeves and takes on the responsibility of raising the Lamb of God. So when Mary sees her son on the cross, she sheds tears of gratitude, as well as grief. For, she understands why He is really here; and her son has become her Savior, too. Do you appreciate your mom? How has God used her to raise you for His purpose? Today, take a moment and appreciate your mom. Today, praise God for her role in your life. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 3-(Mark 2:4-5) "The Paralytic" He cannot get to Jesus alone. So with the help of some creative friends, the paralytic is lowered through a roof and placed right in front of the Master. Sometimes, to meet Jesus, you have to have a little help. What would have happened if these four friends didn't have enough faith to get their pal to Jesus? Thank God they did!! It still takes the faith of friends to get people to Jesus. It took the faith of a friend to invite you to church. It took the faith of a friend to open their Bible with you. It will take your faith to pay it forward. Today's passage says: When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Your sins are forgiven." What will your faith show Jesus today? Will your faith create a plan to help a friend meet Jesus? Who will meet Jesus because of you? Today, express your faith in God by sharing his good news with a friend.
Day 4-(Matthew 9:36) "The Crowds" When you think of a crowd of people, what image comes to your mind? Do you think of a bunch of screaming fans at a ball game? How about a cheering crowd of supporters at a political rally? Do you know what Jesus thinks of? When Jesus sees a crowd of people, He sees harassed and helpless sheep that need a shepherd. The Lord doesn't see a project or a problem, He sees a person with potential! So...what will you see the next time you notice a crowd that's at your shopping center? What will you see as you mingle with a crowd of people where you work? How will you feel when your eye notices all those students on your campus? How will you respond when you run into your crowd? Today, look deeper at the crowds you encounter. For out of that crowd, you may see a person needing your help to find The Good Shepherd. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 5-(John 4) "The Samaritan Woman" Jesus is thirsty, and asks a woman for a drink of water. This woman is no stranger to poor choices. She's made her share of blunders. She was looking for love in all the wrong places. Little did she know, she was meeting ‘Mr. Right’. What does Jesus do? He knows everything about this woman; yet, He does not reject her; He does not condemn her. Instead, He lovingly talks with her about her relationship with God. By being kind, Jesus is able to tell her the truth about herself and about The Living water she can drink. She leaves Him, loved and amazed! How do people who are constantly making mistakes feel after they've been with you? Are you kind, or critical? Do they sense from you that God loves them? Everybody makes mistakes! Remember, this includes you. Today, as you meet fellow sinners, extend kindness and compassion to them. With the love of God, dare to be bold enough to challenge their values… and seek God! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 6-(Matt 8:5-10) "The Centurion" He was the best of the best of the Roman army. When he gives an order, it is carried out without question. So, when this Centurion meets Jesus, he comes with great admiration of The Lord's authority. He says, "Just say the word, and I know my servant will be healed." Jesus is impressed! He has never seen greater faith in Israel. When Jesus saw this man, He wasn't intimidated by his position or power. All He saw was the faith of this man, and was glad to help him. Are you sensitive of people who have faith in God? Can you recognize faith in a person? Are you willing to help a person with a genuine heart? Jesus was consumed with meeting needs. What does your focus and use of your time reveal about your heart? Who do you know that seems to be like this centurion? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 7-(Luke 5:12-13) "The Leper" Because of his illness, he lives as an outcast. He eats alone, sleeps alone, and lives alone. If he has any friends at all, they are fellow lepers. But Jesus has compassion for the sick, and stops to meet this man to help him get better. When it comes to the sick, most folks have an 'out of sight, out of mind' attitude. They are so busy with their own lives, that visiting or taking care of the sick is an inconvenience. But Jesus is different! When His life is interrupted by illness, His heart goes out to the sick, and He is willing to spend many hours to help them (Mk 1:32-34). How about you? Have you been blind to the needs of the sick? What can you do today to be like Christ with the sick around you? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 8-(Luke 7:11-17) "The Widow Of Nain" She slowly follows another coffin. She has lost her husband… and now, her only son. But as she meets Jesus on her way to the cemetery, He is deeply moved by her tears, and says two words: "Don't cry." Here is God in the flesh being vulnerable. Jesus is empathetic to the pain of others. He feels their pain and gives them a reason not to cry. How are you doing at empathizing with the pain of others? Are you moved by the suffering of others? Or do you go on with your day like nothing has happened? When you hear of someone experiencing a tragedy, are you quick to brush it off and be glad it isn't you? Who is going through a tough time right now, who could use some compassion and love from you? Today, open your heart and be vulnerable to the hurts of others. Don't be afraid to feel their pain… and give them some love. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 9-(Mark 5:2-5) "The Demonic" Everyone thinks he’s crazy... and he is! But, what self-help, or medicine, or psychology cannot do, Jesus can do! There is nothing or no one beyond His help! Do you believe this? Do you believe Jesus can change anyone? Why not put His power to the test? Today, stop deciding who God can help, and who God can't. Decide you are going to believe that God can change anyone! Who needs God's power today? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 10-(John 3) "Nicodemus" It's late... While everyone is getting ready for bed, there's a knock at the door. Jesus answers... It's Nicodemus! Though Jesus knows this could be a long visit, he doesn't seem to mind. He welcomes the opportunity to talk with Nicodemus. This encounter with The Lord would change Nicodemus' life forever. That's why Jesus has time for you! It doesn't matter when you call, because it could radically change your life. Think for a moment about the people God placed in your life who were willing to meet with you. They changed their schedule to accommodate yours. They gladly sacrificed their plans to study the Bible with you. How flexible are you with those whom God has placed in your path? Are you willing to meet with people who are seeking God… no matter when? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 11-(Luke 18) "The Rich Young Ruler" Would you agree that love make it easier to swallow the truth? Jesus is met by a young man with a simple question. The young ruler asks, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" What a great question! He sounds open and ready to hear from God. But after answering, a look of love comes from the Lord's eyes. He wants to take it a bit deeper. The young ruler doesn't see himself clearly. In love Jesus offers a challenge: "Sell all you have, give it to the poor, and come follow me!" The rich man slowly bows his head, turns around, and without a word, he leaves Jesus. The Lord loves him enough to tell him the truth. Will you love people enough to tell them the truth? Do people leave you with a feeling of being loved? Today, talk with others with some tenderness. Is there someone you know who needs to be challenged? If so, don't be afraid to challenge them. Make sure you give them love and kindness… while telling them the truth. They will thank you in the end! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 12-(John 8) "The Woman Caught In Adultery" She's caught in the very act, so there's no disputing her guilt. She meets an angry crowd carrying rocks. She knows she deserves to be punished. But as she meets a mob, she meets someone else. She meets the Master. He doesn't threaten her... He doesn't condemn her; instead, he forgives her: "Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin." What wonderful words to hear. Every time you come to Jesus, you will not find condemnation (Rom 8:1), but mercy. You leave Him with a clean slate! When you leave Him, you leave your old life behind. You leave with a brand new start! What will guilty people get from you? Criticism? Condemnation? Or will they find mercy and kindness? Remember, you are forgiven by God too. Shouldn’t His mercy shape your approach to other sinners? Today, examine how you treat others 'caught in the act', and let God's mercy for you spread to others through you. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 13-(John 9) "The Man Born Blind" He had never seen a sunrise. He can only imagine what his parents look like. He's always been blind. But when he meets Jesus, he will see it all. The disciples ask, "Is he blind because he sinned or was it his parents’ fault?" It was no one's fault. You can learn some important things from this blind man. 1- Your vision may be 20/20, but you can still be as blind as a bat spiritually. But remember that Jesus wants you to see. So when you meet Jesus, you can expect him to reveal your blind spots. He put's extra eyes in your life to help you see where you can't. 2- God unleashes His power when you simply do what Jesus tells you to do. It doesn't matter if it makes sense to you or not; all that matters is this: Will you obey? Jesus used spit and mud to give this man sight. You have to admit, that is a crazy remedy for blindness. But Jesus didn't ask him to do something impossible. Are you willing to obey God even if it sounds crazy? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 14-(Luke 19) "Zacchaeus" He's disliked by just about everyone in town. That's because he's a tax collector! But Zacchaeus would meet a new friend. Looking up into a tree, Jesus invited himself to have dinner with Zacchaeus. Can you imagine how Zacchaeus must have felt? Me? You want to come to my house today? Maybe you don't know who I am. But Jesus doesn't see him like everyone else does. Jesus doesn't see just another crook. He sees Zach's heart, and He likes what He sees! So Jesus doesn't give him a lecture; instead, He offers His friendship. This friendship would change Zach's life forever. How about you? Do you look at the heart of people? Is there someone, or a type of person, you are prejudiced toward? What would Jesus do with them? Who could benefit from a friendship with you? Why not offer your friendship to someone this week… and see if it leads them to Christ? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 15-(Matthew 18) "Children" Jesus loved children! He admired little kids!! He loved them... He hugged them... He healed them... He held them up as an example for his disciples to follow. Little children are excellent examples of faith and obedience. Vulnerable and impressionable, they are like sponges! They watch, listen, and imitate the mature. What a great example for you and me. For, we are to be like a little child when it comes to our approach to Jesus. When we are humble and teachable like a toddler, we learn and benefit the most from God. Are you like a little child when it comes to learning from Jesus? Are you a sponge? Are you watching and listening so you can imitate Christ? Today, bring out the child in you… and learn from your Lord!
Day 16-(Matthew 15) "The Canaanite Woman" Her daughter is suffering from demon-possession. So when she hears of Jesus, this gentile meets Him with desperate pleas for help; but Jesus is silent. At first, He doesn't even acknowledge her presence. He calls her a dog! The disciples agree. After all, Jesus once cautioned them to not give what is sacred, to dogs (Matt 7:6). The disciples urge her to go away; but she pushes through her fear, and pleads for a 'crumb'—a morsel of help from The Lord. He gives it to her. Have you ever felt like a dog in the eyes of God? Do you ever say to yourself, "I'm unworthy for God to pay attention to me; my faith is weak; my convictions aren't very deep; why should Jesus give me His attention?" Well, you are unworthy. By the way, no one is worthy (Rom 3:10, 23)! Yet, God extends his amazing grace to you. He gives you the help you need. Maybe He wants you to remember something: It's not so much about how bad you are, but about how good He is! For, He sees in you what you can become when you trust Him. Today, praise your God for paying attention to you! Resist the desire to write people off, and extend to other dogs, God's love!
Day 17-(Luke 8) "Jarius' Daughter" 'It's too late...your daughter is already dead!' This is what a father hears as the crowd closes in around him. But this devastating moment doesn't escape the Master. Though busy addressing the needs around Him, Jesus takes the time to be tender. He follows him home and takes his daughter by the hand... she sits up... she's alive! As everyone celebrates, Jesus sees a greater need: 'You’d better give her something to eat.' Caring hearts notice the small details don't they? Do you? Would you say you are tender-hearted? Or has your heart grown a little cold toward the needs of others? Jesus was never too busy to help others. He responded to an interruption by readjusting his plans in order to lend a helping hand. Today, nudge yourself to be a little more observant of the needs of others. Try breaking your normal routine. Fight your fatigue. Let an interruption adjust your agenda. Why not go out of your way… and serve someone? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 18-(Luke 7:36-50) "Simon The Pharisee, and The Sinful Woman" The aroma of expensive perfume fills a room full of men. It's an awkward moment in the meal. For, a skanky woman weeps behind the Master. She desperately dries off her tears from the Lord's feet with her hair. Eyes are darting back and forth, revealing cold and critical hearts. The Lord breaks the silence with a simple question: 'Simon, Do you see this woman?' Of course he can see this woman; but all Simon can see is her sinfulness. Jesus, on the other hand, sees surrender. Simon sees someone repulsive... Jesus sees someone repenting. Simon sees a prostitute… Jesus sees a person!! When you look at other sinners, what do you see? Are you critical… or compassionate? Today, remember how The Lord treats you. Let His love for you change the way you see and treat others. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 19-(Matthew 9:9-11) "Matthew, The Tax Collector" Matthew is not what you would call a popular guy. Most people can't stand the sight of him. Why? He's crooked—He's on the take! For years, he's always been taking; and while he takes, he takes a little more for himself. You see, he works for the government – THE ROMAN GOVERNMENT – collecting taxes from the Jews! But Matt's life is about to do a '180'. He meets a man who is not into getting, but is into giving. Now, Matthew may not be the kind of guy you would ever reach out to… but Jesus would. For, The Lord wasn't intimidated by Matt's position in society. Behind the veneer of power and position, He saw a man who needed God. He saw a person who needed a bigger purpose. So he called Matthew to follow him. Matthew left his tax booth, and followed Jesus. LISTEN!!! God can change anyone... anywhere... at any time! Do you believe this? Today, don't be intimidated by people. Don't assume they are not interested, and cannot be reached. Everyone is, in some way, ‘a mess in the flesh'. Everyone needs Jesus! So be ready!! Who knows? You may meet someone like Matt today! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 20-(John 1:42) "Peter" Of all the people listed in the New Testament, three or four standout the most. Peter is one of them! Here, he appears in scripture as an ordinary man with an ordinary life; but that would radically change when he met Jesus! For, The Lord saw potential in this temperamental fisherman. Jesus did not see Simon for who he was, but saw Peter for what he could become. Jesus believed in Simon's potential so much, He changed his name to "Rocky"! Wow!!!! It wouldn't be easy to become Peter. Simon would fall on his face in failure many times. That's how it is when you chip away on rock. You don't become a masterpiece overnight! But each time he failed, a little bit of Simon would be chipped away, so a little bit of Peter could take shape. Jesus never gave up on Peter! Have you ever thought about how much God believes in you? He knows what you are capable of doing when you turn your life over to Him. Every day He chips away what you presently are, so you can become what He knows you can be. He will never give up on you! Today, let The Lord's faith in you motivate you to trust Him. Allow Jesus to radically change your life! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 21-(John 19:25-27) "John" He's The Lord's closest friend... Jesus would share everything with John. And when it was time to die, Jesus gave the responsibility of taking care of His mom to His most trusted friend. Friendships like these don't develop without sacrifice and investment. It takes major chunks of your time. It takes being open and vulnerable too. This close bond would transform the Son Of Thunder into the Disciple of Love. Are you initiating and cultivating friendships like this one? Are you willing to pay the price to build intimate friendships? Today, imitate your Lord. Jesus knew how to build great friendships... What do you need to do to build closer friendships in the Kingdom? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 22-(Luke 10:1-2) "The 72" Jesus worked with individual people, as well as all sizes of groups. He worked with 12. He also worked with 3—Peter, James, and John. Here in Luke, He works with 72 disciples, and sends them out in pairs into the villages He would visit and teach. This nameless group, Jesus would train and equip to preach the gospel. The 72 would shake things up in Judea… and in Hell! You don't have to be famous to do something significant for God. All you have to do is be willing to serve; allow someone to teach and train you; work as a team with others… and do your best. Do you take seriously any task that's given to you? Can you be counted on to do what's been delegated to you? When you meet Jesus, He will give you a mission and a ministry. Today, be faithful to the mission God has given you to seek and save the lost.
Day 23-(Matt 23) "The Pharisees" They were self-righteous and smug. So when Jesus met the Pharisees, it was no surprise they would oppose Him. Jesus made them nervous! For He saw right through their religious appearance, and exposed the hypocrisy in their hearts. They despised Him for this, and gave Him nothing but trouble the entire time He ministered to the people. Yet Jesus loved them just as much as He did everyone He met. Matthew 23 is not a rant of hatred, but a warning of love. There's a little Pharisee in everyone. Everyone can, from time to time, compare themselves with others, and feel a little superior. But the truth is, we are all in the same sinking boat; and Jesus patiently loves us and hopes we will come to our senses. Today, be humbled by God's love for you. Let his love expose your hypocrisy. Allow His love to melt away your self-righteousness… and approach other Pharisees as Christ did.
Day 24-(Luke 10) "Mary and Martha" How exciting it must have been, knowing that Jesus was coming to dinner! But this excitement soon turned sour, into bitter resentment. For, Mary did little to help her sister as she sat at the feet of Jesus. Martha is all worked up and complains, "Master, tell my sister to help me!" But Jesus calmly explains to Martha that Mary has been wise; she has chosen what is better. Hmmm... chosen what is better... Is it possible to be so busy with working, you can forget about walking with The Lord? Jesus would rather know you than know what you are doing for Him. He's more excited about people than performance! Are you so busy working, that you have forgotten that life is about walking with God? Today, choose what is better. Before you do anything for God, make sure you are working to know Him better.
Day 25-(John 11) "Lazarus" He wept when he died... That's what you do when you lose a close friend. In a world of users, Lazarus was the kind of friend that didn't want anything from Jesus. It's no wonder Jesus would often drop by the little town of Bethany for a little R & R. Being with Lazarus was fun... Being with a friend like Lazarus was really good. Do you have a friend like this? You know, the kind of friend where you can let your guard down and be yourself. The kind of friend who gets you? Better yet...Are you this kind of friend? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 26-(Mark 16:9-10) "Mary Magdalene" She will never forget that Jesus was with her at her lowest point. Tormented for years by demons, Mary would be set free by the Master's touch. That's why you find her at the cross and at the tomb. She can't leave Him! She loves Him too much to just move on... She wants to follow Him. What about you? Have you forgotten all that Jesus has done for you? Are you grateful for your 'healing'? Will you give God the credit? Most of all, will you follow Him?
Day 27-(Mark 12:41-44) "The Widow" How generous are you? Do you ever give sacrificially? When was the last time you gave sacrificially? Jesus and his disciples watch from across the street, an example of sacrificial giving. A woman drops 2 copper coins in the Temple plate. Two copper coins may not sound like very much, until you realize it's all the money she had. Jesus wants his disciples to understand that there will be moments when they must sacrifice what they have, in order to please God. For, it's not how much you give, but how much you are willing to sacrifice, that matters the most. This speaks volumes about your faith. God watches what you give and what you keep for yourself. Today, show God your gratitude by being a generous giver.
Day 28-(Matthew 27; John 19; 1 Timothy 6:13-14) "Pontius Pilate" When he met Jesus, it wasn't a good time for either of them. In fact, Pilate would try to wash his hands of any responsibility for The Lord's fate. But there was no getting around it; he couldn't ride the fence on this one; he had to decide one way or the other. Jesus would show him what it meant to firmly stand on your convictions; but Pontius Pilate would bow to the peer pressure of the people. When it comes to your faith, do you stand firm on your convictions, or do you wimp out under the pressure from others? Today, do not fight the Holy Spirit when He nudges you to speak up. Stand firm on the promises God gives you! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Day 29-(John 13) "Judas" When it comes to loving your enemies, how are you doing with that? Just the mention of his name is enough to make you shake your head! No one ever names a child Judas; the kind of words associated with Judas make it impossible: Words like traitor, devil, two-faced, and despicable are a few that cross the mind! Yet, no one ever suspected Judas to be the guy who would betray Jesus… except, of course, Jesus. He knew all along that Judas would do Him in. But Jesus never busts him out. Instead, He does something with Judas that all people find nearly impossible to do—Jesus loves the man who will betray Him! There are a couple of things here we need to remember: First of all, God loves you, though you betray Him from time to time. Praise God!! Secondly, Jesus shows you how to love those who treat you awfully. Today, try to be like Jesus—Love your enemies... Do good to them... Leave it up to God to settle the score. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
30-(Luke 24) "The Road To Emmaus" They
are going to the local Spa, (Emmaus means warm waters). Who knows why
they are heading there? Maybe the soothing waters would temporally take their
minds off of what just happened. After all, their Messiah is dead! Then, out of
the blue, a stranger suddenly joins them and walks along. They walk
and talk together until the eyes of these guys are opened. This is not a
stranger—it’s Jesus! With their hearts full of joy, and their faith
strengthened, they run to tell the rest of the guys that The Lord is back... He's
alive! You have to remember that your life with Jesus is like a journey—a
road of ups and downs; twists and turns that are all designed to
help your faith grow until you reach God's destination. So hold on and keep
walking with Jesus. For, you never walk alone when you walk with Him… and He
will help you make it home. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)