Month: December 2022

December 21st – Romans 16:1-16

Romans 16:1-16

At the end of every movie the list of credits roll, listing the hundreds of people it took to make the film. Yet it’s always the star who gets the credit. The apostle Paul reminds us about the importance of remembering those who contribute to the ministry of the Lord. Those who aren’t necessarily in the “spotlight”, but whose work is invaluable just the same. In the eyes of the Lord no one is unimportant and as the Bible teaches us, no one is called to go it alone.  Not even Paul. There are 27 of Paul’s friends who helped him. And he takes the time to list each of them with love and adoration. As Christians we are called to step outside our own busy schedule to help one another. Not only to glorify God, but also because we don’t know what the future holds or the help we ourselves may need. So today, acknowledge and thank those who have helped you on your spiritual path. And thank God for sending them into your lives!

December 20th – Genesis 28:15

Genesis 28:15

When God called Jacob out of Canaan, He did so with a great promise. No matter what God would always be there, never leaving or forsaking Jacob. When God puts a dream in our hearts or a calling to step out in faith, it can be scary. Because when things don’t happen when or how we like, discouragement and self pity can set in. We can start to question God and give in to fear. But we must remember that whether we feel Him or not, God is always there. And when we put faith over fear, we can have peace. Because whatever plan God has, He will see us through from start to finish. Psalm 122:3 reminds us that our Father never slumbers, always keeping His watchful eye on us day and night. No matter what God commands us to do we can have joy and confidence knowing He has a plan for each of us. And when we put our faith in Him, the Lord with us step by step along the way!

December 19th – 1 john 5:11

1 John 5:11

When Moses gave Israel God’s Law, he told them of the grave punishment for bearing false witness against another. If the testimony given was untrue, the liar received the punishment intended for the one they falsely accused. When witnesses testify in court they’re sworn to to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Yet unfortunately we know that people and their promises can’t always be trusted. But that’s never the case with God. We can trust that He is always true, honest, and faithful to keep His word. Throughout the Old Testament we read the glorious testimony given by God. Promises about a Messiah who would come to save the world. Which came true with the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Who is the Savior God sent to redeem the world. In His unmerited love, God has provided the way to eternal life through His only begotten Son. This is true, and this is life!

 

December 18th – Matthew 1:24

Matthew 1:24

When we see the nativity scene, we are reminded of the precious gift of our Savior. But also found in that stable is a reminder of the faithfulness of a man named Joseph. A man who stands in the shadows, but whose obedience to God is a lesson for us all. Obedience is a daily struggle for me. Too often I find it easier to ask forgiveness for my disobedience than to be obedient in the first place. But not Joseph. When he found his fiancé pregnant yet still claiming to be a virgin, Joseph could have turned Mary away. But instead, when an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and commanded him to take Mary as his bride, Joseph obeyed. And as a result he was blessed with the awesome job of caring for God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Oh how awesome is our Father in heaven! When we deserve nothing, He blesses our obedience richly, and gives us everything!

December 17th – Romans 5:8

Romans 5:8

The word “wretch” can be traced back to the Old English word “wrecca”, meaning one who is despicable, or contemptible. An outcast or an exile. A perfect description for each of us when it comes to our standing before a holy and perfect God. But because of His grace and mercy, through the blood of Christ, our Father in heaven takes us once wretched, and makes us His beloved. What does this mean? This means that even though I am a sinner and fail daily, God wants me. All of me; the good, the bad, and the ugly. And not because of my great love for Him, but because of His great love for me. Richard Sibbes is quoted as saying, “there is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.” As I continue to have good and bad days, successes and failures, I will be forever grateful for God’s grace and mercy that no matter what will remain the same. And most of all, I will rejoice in God’s amazing grace that saved a wretch like me!

December 16th – Corinthians 13:4-8

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Every day society bombards us with false ideas of what love is. It makes us think that love just happens to us, and we have no control. For we’ve all heard the expressions “the heart wants what the heart wants”, or heard someone described as “hopelessly in love”. But the Bible teaches completely the opposite. Love is a choice we make, something we can control, and the fruit of a spirit filled life. And here in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul gives us a beautiful description of what a true, faithful, brotherly, selfless, love looks like. The same love perfectly exampled by Jesus. Such a love, “is an unconditional commitment to imperfect people. A love for the utterly unworthy, and a love which proceeds from a God who is love. It’s a love lavished upon others without a thought of whether they are worthy to receive it or not.” (Grace Notes) This is the love that Jesus gave so willingly to us with His sacrificial death on the Cross, and the same love He calls us to reflect.

December 15th – 2 Peter 3:9

2 Peter 3:9

Because God takes no pleasure in the destruction of His children, He implores each of us to turn away from our wickedness; crying, “Repent and Live!” But repentance isn’t easy, and if you’re like me, it’s usually two steps forward, one step back. God knows and understands our weakness. All He cares about is that we keep trying, and trust in Him to change the wickedness of our hearts. That means not just confessing and apologizing for our transgressions, but actually turning aside from that sin. And believing that change will come through the strength of Jesus (Phil. 4:13) Unrepentant sin brings with it a host of consequences. Consequences God wants to spare His children. Which is why His own heart aches for the wicked to turn aside from the path of sin leading to death, and back to Him and everlasting life. Gods wants all His children to live eternally by His side, and to experience the perfect, love, joy, and peace that He alone can give!

December 14th – Joshua 21:45

Joshua 21:45

Jesus is the promised Messiah, our Savior who gave His life to redeem us from our sins. At Christmas we celebrate His glorious birth as a fulfillment of the promises of God. And as heirs through Christ’s blood, we can rightfully claim those promises. Everyday people fail us. They hurt, betray, and fail to keep their word. But not God. His promises will never fail, His Word is flawless, right, and true. I love how Dwight L. Moody said, “God never made a promise that was too good to be true.” Faith placed in God is never misplaced. For He can be fully trusted, always and forever. So no matter the situation you may be facing right this very minute, trust God. Wait patiently and obediently for Him, and God will fulfill His promises to us just as He did for the Israelites. And He will fulfill them in ways that are far greater than anything we could ever imagine!

December 13th – Psalm 51:1

Psalm 51:1

David committed horrendous sins against God. Sins others might find unforgivable. The conviction was heavy on the mighty king of Israel. And the pain he felt knowing the hurt his sin caused God, brought him to his knees. It was there on his knees where David confessed his wrongdoings and begged God for forgiveness. And you know what? Because of His never ending forgiveness, love, and mercy, and David’s repentance, God did just that. And He promises to do the same for us. No matter how big or small the sin, when we come before Him with a “broken spirit and a contrite heart”, confessing all our transgressions, we too will receive God’s forgiveness. Our God is an awesome God! When we return to Him in true confession and repentance, He is faithful to wash away the filth in our hearts and cleanse us with His loving grace. Better still, God will renew in us an unmovable and unshakable spirit dedicated to Him alone!

December 12th – Luke 1:14

Luke 1:14

In ancient times, reputation was everything. And those without the blessing of children meant God’s favor had turned away from them. Zacharias had always wanted a child, but his wife Elizabeth was barren. Many assumed it was a punishment from God. But not so. For when Elizabeth was 60 years old, an angel of the Lord came to Zacharias and told him not only was his wife going to get pregnant, but it would be a boy! I’m sure there were plenty who scoffed at the thought. But when God makes a promise, we know He will always deliver! God blessed Zacharias with his son John whose great work would be to prepare the hearts of the people to receive the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ. The world can laugh and mock the promises of God. But we as Christians can rejoice. For we know each and every one will come true!