Daily Devotional 1st Jan to 27th May 2018

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Chapter 17 (v.1) - 23rd April to 29th April

Submitted: April 23, 2018

Reads: 126

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Submitted: April 23, 2018

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Monday 23rd April

God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.  This is love; not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)

As you begin a new week, do you feel loved by God?  We begin with verses that remind us of this amazing love of God.  That God didn’t just say he loves us, he acted, he sent his son so that we may live through him.  God acted first, revealed his love for us in this amazing way so that we could find life, life in abundance in Christ.  We can get so familiar with this story that it loses its power but its good to explore again.  God, the creator and sustainer of all things, the Holy One, a God unknown to us in many ways due to sin and the division caused between humanity and God.  That God loves you so much that he sent his son to the world.  Our God loves us so much that he would endure the cross, the sinless one became sin, the immortal one experienced death so that all the powers that separate humanity from God would be broken.  He did that because he loves you, utterly, without condition, and he wanted you to find that life in Christ…and you have.  Are you living in that love and life? A life of thankfulness to God and trust in God, one where we seek after him and rest in him because we know we are loved? Or are we shuffling at the side lines still not sure if he really loves us and wants us? There isn’t much we can be certain about in life, but this is a complete certainty – God loves you and wants you to live your life with him, no exception, no failure, nothing can change this. 

 

Daily Readings: April 23 -  Luke 21:29-22:13; Psalm 90:1-91:16; Proverbs 13:24-25

 

Tuesday 24th April

God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God.  So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. (1 John 4:15-16)

The theme of abiding in God is one we will be looking at a lot this week.  Here we are told whom God will abide in – it is those who confess that Jesus is the son of God.  It is those that have that faith in Jesus for salvation.  This promise is for us then, a promise that God abides in us.  Think of that for a little second, God, the creator of all things, he abides in you, dwells in you, goes with you into this day.  Much will unfold today, things you expect, things you wont.  There will be things that make you happy and there may be things that were not expected and are even scary.  What great news it is to be reminded that we don’t go into the day alone, God is with us, he abides in us.  We are told that God is love, what an amazing statement, God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God.  Why does John write that? Well he is reminding us of something quite simple, God is not some silent passenger in our lives, he is a presence calling us towards something, he is calling us towards his nature.  A nature defined by love.  So rest in the promise of Gods presence but also be aware that this presence calls us into a radical new way of living – living like the Son.

 

Daily Reading: April 24 - Luke 22:14-34; Psalm 92:1-93:5; Proverbs 14:1-2

 

Wednesday 25th April

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us. (1 John 3:23-24)

The call to believe in the Son is again stressed here, what God is looking for from us is not perfection, it is not that we are brilliant at this thing or that, he is looking for our trust, our faith, that we place it in the son.  We can so often complicate things and lose this basic truth, this vitally important trust that this is the fundamental thing God is looking for.  It is as we do this, as we trust God that we enjoy his presence in our lives.  We are given the great promise that God has given us the Holy Spirit.  This is a great promise because of what he does in our lives.  He is the one who is at work in us, shaping us, guiding us, challenging us where it is needed so we continue on the journey to be more like Christ.  So I encourage us, on this day let us not complicate our faith but make it exactly that.  Faith in Christ, a faith that trusts his promises, a faith that rejoices because he declared it is finished, a faith that has hope in every situation because God is with us.  This is what God is looking for, key beyond all else is that we trust him, and when we do, he gives us that righteousness, that forgiveness, that acceptance, that love, that we crave, and it call comes through grace by trusting in the Son.

 

Daily reading: April 25 -  Luke 22:35-54; Psalm 94:1-23; Proverbs 14:3-4

 

Thursday 26th April

We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

This small verse is such a vitally important verse.  It lays out a profound but important truth.  We love in response to Gods love.  What does that mean? It means we can only offer the type of love that God is looking for towards him and others based on how much we have experienced his love.  If we don’t think God loves us much, if we are unsure of that, if we are focused on our doubts, our defeats, our sins, our struggles, our insecurities then we don’t have much a capacity for the form of love that God has revealed in Christ.  If however we know we have been forgiven much, that it was an acts of God because he loves us, that Jesus has paid the cost for our sins, that he endured that because he loves us and wanted us to know the father….if we know that even when we mess up and fail, even when we wonder off that the Father is waiting and watching for the prodigals return, if we know God like that we see ourselves and the world differently.  An overflow of love, that is perhaps the best way to describe it, what flows into us will flow into the world.  If however we are not resting in that love, not experiencing it, we will struggle to respond with love.  Our love for God and others needs to be built on the love of God revealed to us in Christ, for it is that type of love that God wants us to share with the world.  Do you feel loved by God today? If not call out to him, ask him to reveal his love for you and watch for that prayer being answered.

 

Daily Reading: April 26 - Luke 22:55-23:10; Psalm 95:1-96:13; Proverbs 14:5-6

 

Friday 27th April

Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.  I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)

The theme of abiding continues and this time it is Jesus who is calling us to consider it.  His call is that we abide in him.  That is that we are with him, fellowship with him, stay with him, for it is there as Jesus plainly states here that we will bear fruit.  Fruit is such a significant part of the Christian life, yet so often we can look at the action and forget the source.  Here we are reminded plainly what that source is, it is Jesus and without that relationship with him there will not be fruit.  So my encouragement today is a simple one, that we put our focus into living with Christ, that relationship with him, and recognise that the fruit is the product of this.  Let us not think we can force the fruit for things only grow in the right season and environment, Jesus has picked these metaphors for a reason.  Let us instead strive to know our God, strive to draw close to him, strive to learn from him.  For it is in that seeking of God that we abide and it is there that the fruit will come.  Ensure we place our energies into the right areas, a branch cannot force fruit to grow, it cannot grow it if it is severed from the vine, neither can we force it, we can only hear the call of Christ and abide in him.

 

Daily Reading: April 27 - Luke 23:11-43; Psalm 97:1-98:9; Proverbs 14:7-8

 

Saturday 28th April

Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:6-7)

One thing that strikes me about this is, isn’t it amazing that Christ wants us to abide with him? This is the holy one, the one we may think is busy or rather frustrated by us and yet he tells us to abide in him, to be with him.  This is his call to us and it is because God enjoys our presence, he wants fellowship with each of us and it also actually matters vitally for us too.  For the reality is that as Christians we may want to do many great things for God, we may wish we were doing things that we see others doing, but Jesus call to us is a simple one, abide in me.  It is there that there is power, fruit and fellowship.  So often we seem to want to skip that to get to doing stuff, yet God wants us first with him, fellowshipping with him.  We are warned here that if we don’t there may likely be consequences because our vitality will begin to sap away, we will wither for in him is life.Vitality is being with God, living with God, from that source comes the lifestyle of Christ for we imitate the one we are living for.  Don’t make your faith about works, Jesus didn’t die to gain workers, he died to make those separated from God, Gods children.

 

Daily Reading: April 28 -  Luke 23:44-24:12; Psalm 99:1-9; Proverbs 14:9-10

 

Sunday 29th April

From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him.  (Psa 22:25)

From you comes my praise declares the Psalmist.  A praise because of the faithfulness of God, that he is one who answers the pleas of his people and moves in power.  The psalmist remembers the faithfulness of God and I think this is something we are prone to forgetting at times.  So as we go to worship God today I encourage us to think about those times we have seen god be faithful, think of those moments where we have seen him answer prayers in mighty ways.  Think about those times when his presence has been powerful in our lives.  Have those in mind as you sing him praise for much like the Psalmist our praise doesn’t need to and perhaps shouldn’t be abstract, it is personal, based on our experience of a living God.  Let today not a be a day where we go through the motions and simply sing some songs and hymns but a day when we praise the living God who has blessed us abundantly, one who hears and answers our prayers too.  So praise that God today, remember his acts, acts that give us great hope for the future.

 

Daily Reading: April 29 - Luke 24:13-53; Psalm 100:1-5; Proverbs 14:11-12


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