Daily Devotional 1st Jan to 27th May 2018

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Chapter 3 (v.1) - 15th to 21st January

Submitted: January 15, 2018

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Submitted: January 15, 2018

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Monday 15th January

1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

How do you feel today? Enthused to begin a new week? Tired? Stressed? Life will find all of us thinking and feeling different things at the start of this new week. I want to add something to those thoughts as you begin this week. It is something simple but remarkable, God in his love has declared you his child, and so you are! We start the week as many things, parents, professionals, spouses, brothers, sisters, kids, yet for us all one amazing truth is that in Christ we begin the week reminded of this amazing truth, we are a Gods children. Dwell on that for a little second, perhaps our perspective of parents isn’t too strong, good is the good father. He loves us in ways that can’t be measured or broken, he is interested in our lives more than the best parent we can imagine would be with their child. So you don’t begin this week alone, the God who created and sustain all things, the one who no force nor power could overcome, that God walks beside you, he declares you his child and as a good father we know we can turn to him at any moment. So begin the week with confidence in this, that God is with you, he cares for you and you are his child and draw joy and confidence from this.

 

Daily Readings: January 15th: Matthew 10:27-11:6; Psalm 13; Proverbs 3:16-18.

 

Tuesday 16th January

1 chronicles 16:11 Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

This simple verse reminds us to do something that we can forget to do, to seek the Lord.  Life is so busy with so much going on, so many pressures around that spending time with God, making seeking him a priority can slip down the list and sometimes of the radar entirely. We are reminded by this verse that we are encouraged to seek after God, to seek his presence. If there is something precious we want to find, we will work pretty hard to seek it out, we will make the time to do it, because it is important. I encourage us to recognise that seeking after God throughout our day is important, making his presence part of the lived experience of our day is vital. Brother Lawrence in his book The Practice of the Presence of God wrote “That we need only to recognise GOD intimately present with us, to address ourselves to Him every moment, that we may beg His assistance for knowing His will in things doubtful, and for rightly performing those which we plainly see He requires of us, offering them to Him before we do them, and giving Him thanks when we have done.” God is already intimately present, seeking isn’t too hard when what our hearts desire is beside us, the key question then is only are we seeking to begin with, for if we seek we shall find.

 

Daily Reading - January 16:  Matthew 11:7-30; Psalm 14; Proverbs 3:19-20.

 

Wednesday 17th  January

Eph 2:4-5. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.

We are reminded again today of the rich mercy of God.  A mercy which has transformed our lives, changed our place before him and the destiny we are heading toward. God’s richness toward us is we are told us driven by love, a great love for each and everyone one of us. Because God loves us and because this is not dependant upon our goodness or capabilities but simply because that is his nature towards us, this gives us cause for great hope. For what we have in Jesus is secure not by our ability to hold onto it but because the one who gives it has done so in such richness. What has he given us? Life, more specifically in this context new life in Christ. Whilst of course life itself is a gift from God, the life here that we are being reminded of is the renewal we received in Jesus Christ. That passing from spiritual death to spiritual life. This new life we live has a great call upon it, to do the will of God and life like his son, in both of those we will have victories but also failures, and it can be oh so tempting to dwell on the failures. Let these verses remind each of us of the amazing love of God, that our life in him is secure not because we succeed at everything or never fail or fall but because of God’s rich mercy and great love, HE has made us alive in Christ. It is for that reason alone we can take true joy in this, because it’s not dependant on us to earn it or keep it, but simply live in the wonderful power of it.

Daily reading: January 17: Matthew 12:1-21; Psalm 15:1-5; Proverbs 3:21-26.

 

Thursday 18th January

 

John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

 

I remember not long after I became a Christian spending a lot of time with someone with severe depression. One of the issues that they wrestled with was does God accept me, does he want me.  I think we can all wrestle with that question on some level, our insecurities can come out, our past can play a factor, our mental health may impact, our esteem and so much more. Here Jesus tells us plainly that those who are given to the father will go to him, which does not perhaps resolve those kinds of feelings mentioned. However he then tells us this amazing truth, that who ever goes to him will not be rejected. When we approach God we are not approaching one who focuses on our flaws, our failures, we approach one who loves us, one who like Jesus describes the father in the prodigal son embraces us when we turn to him. We can then have confidence that God welcomes us, we don’t need to withdraw or doubt or wonder if he care or really accepts us, we are not the one who snuck in the back door, we are invited, welcomed, loved and accepted children of God. 

 

Daily Reading: January 18: Matthew 12:22-45; Psalm 16; Proverbs 3:27-32.

 

Friday 19th January

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

What an amazing verse this is, so many layers of hope and wonder to it. Firstly what God has given us in Christ is something that should impact fear.  Slavery to fear is not uncommon today, so many of us can relate to that.  Fear can be consuming and draining. God has not given us a spirit that in any way feeds into that mindset, instead he has given us something that challenges that, or should we say someone, the Spirit who confirms our adoption as the children of God. The Holy Spirit indwells us, he walks with us, he is active in moulding us and challenging us and guiding us, he is a precious gift from our salvation and as a God works in our lives there is this amazing statement that because of this seal we can cry Abba father to God. Now that has nothing to do with the band! Abba is an intimate word, similar to daddy in our usage today. Whilst we may be some what uncomfortable addressing God with that phrase, it’s likely not one we have used since children, that’s not really the point here. The point is that our relationship with God has so fundamentally changed in Christ that the reality of it is one where we have such an intimate relationship with the Father that it would not be out of place for us to use such close language. God is that near to us, he cares that deeply for us and in Jesus our relationship with him is one in which we can have that level of intimacy.

 

Daily Reading: January 19:  Matthew 12:46-13:23; Psalm 17; Proverbs 3:33-35.

 

Saturday 20th January

 

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

There are times we are praying for something and God just doesn’t seem to be answering. If we are honest we desperately want God to work to our time scale on some things, yet that is not how it goes. We are reminded here that God is not slow in fulfilling his promises, he is at work, he is active, he is listening. Amazingly we are told that his aim is to work in such a way that the offer of salvation goes to as many people as possible. It is not God’s wish that anyone should perish! That is amazing but often missed, I think sometimes we forget that God is determined to save people and will work in many ways to bring that opportunity for salvation, grace is powerful, this is why I think Jesus tells us there will be many surprises on that final day about who will be spending eternity with God. I think this also should encourage us to keep praying. We will all have people we have been praying for for so long to be saved, people who it seems unlikely it could ever happen. Keep praying God desires they come to repentance! The how’s and why’s are a mystery to us but what he has revealed is that he wants all to come to repentance, God loves everyone.

 

Daily Reading: January 20: Matthew 13:24-46; Psalm 18:1-15; Proverbs 4:1-6.

 

Sunday 21st January

James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

We have looked earlier this week at seeking God and as we arrive on Sunday we look once more that this. Sunday is a unique day where we can do this in the company of our whole church family, together, in worship. Yet, we can do all of that and not actually draw near to God. To do this there needs to be intention, desire.  We need to have ourselves in a mentality that God is there, I am going to seek him and experience his presence with me on this day. There are countless things that can distract us, annoy us, busy us, yet, we are given this amazing promise that God will draw near to use if we seek to draw near to him. God is near, he is always near, but it is on us to put our minds and hearts in a place where we acknowledge that and seek to gain the blessings of that. Remember to this promise does not end on Sunday, every day, every moment, God is near and we have this wonderful opportunity to draw closer to him. God desires that connection with each of us, he is holding nothing back, today are you? Draw near to him, and experience the joy and blessing of knowing he will respond likewise.

 

Daily Reading: January 21: Matthew 13:47-14:13; Psalm 18:16-34; Proverbs 4:7-10.


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