10-7-2017 Take It Through The Week
Monday – Hebrews 11:1–2 My wife and I enjoy certain forensic detective shows. We watch several that rely on Hollywood’s version of science to solve various criminal acts. I am sure they are much dramatized but have some basis in truth. The criminals are convicted on evidence that is admissible in court. In Hebrews 11:2 the NIV says …faith is the evidence of things not seen and the substance of things hoped for.” It is faith that connects God’s supernatural creation to our temporal world. We can’t always see God at work but by faith we can please Him and see him working in our lives. There many times we have to discount what we do physically see to tap into God’s unseen riches, by faith. Many of the things we value the most cannot be physically held in our hands, faith, hope, and love. Faith is what opens the door to God’s blessings in our live. It is our spiritual beginning and what sustains us for the journey. Just as we are saved by faith, so the Old Testament believers were saved in their faith in the coming Messiah. Pray with me. Lord, increase my faith. Give me more of a desire to read Your Word and to live it. Help me to have more faith for the journey ahead. Thank you that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. My ears and my heart are open to you. Lead me. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
Tuesday – Psalms 27:13–14 News headlines can be disturbing. Bad news sells more papers than good news. But here the Psalmist says that he is certain that he will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. He means that as he lives and walks on this earth, in the midst of trials and joys, he is confident that the Lord’s goodness will be plainly visible. Of course, it may not be immediately apparent. That’s why he says to wait for the Lord. I have to tell you that I don’t like waiting on the Lord. I don’t like waiting for Him to move when I think He should have already moved. Rarely, or never, however, has God shown much regard for my timetable. Rather, it is much more common that God has a good reason for us having to wait. There are times when we just have to be strong and be courageous and wait. In verse 14 the writer says it twice, “Wait for the Lord.” Write down something below that God might be telling you to wait on. Put a date beside it and refer back to it when God has resolved it on His timetable.
Wednesday – Jonah 3:3–6 After the ship. After the three days inside the whale, Jonah hit the beach running. And he ran right for Nineveh where God had told him to go in the beginning. And his preaching was a total success. Upon hearing God’s pronouncement on Nineveh, they believed in God. Even when the King of Nineveh, heard about Jonah’s message, he also repented. He even commanded the whole city to repent. It was one of the most successful spiritual renewals in history. I was watching the New Year’s Eve show in Times Square in New York City a few days ago. I wondered how all those people were thinking about the New Year. I wondered what their expectations were for 2015. I am sure for many of them their plans didn’t extend beyond New Years Eve. But for some, I am sure they have dreams and goals for the coming year. I sat and wondered if they knew how much God loved them. God loved the people of Nineveh enough to send them Jonah. God loves the world enough in our day to send…us. Pray with me. Lord help us to do what you call us to do. We pray for our friends and families in 2015. May they see Jesus in us. Help us to say what you want us to say, when you want us to say it. May people see your love in us. In Jesus Name we pray, amen.
Thursday – Luke 17:3–6 A word of caution. This is one of the most difficult passages in the Bible to understand and once its understood, it’s even harder to actually do. It can quickly become a license for judgmental people to make other people’s lives miserable. There may come a time when you need to humbly talk to someone to solve a difficult situation. As a matter of fact, it is very likely. But the important part of this passage comes in verse 4. How many times should we forgive our brothers? Seven times a day if he asks for forgiveness. That is why the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” I am sure they looked around the room at the motley crew that made up the other Apostles and realized just how hard forgiving at that level would be. So they asked for more faith. Jesus replied that they had enough faith, if they would only use it. That is the challenge for you and I today. We must walk by faith and not by sight and we must actually do what we know to do. As it says in the proverbs, “a soft answer turns away wrath.”
Friday – 1 Corinthians 13:11–13 Have you ever met an adult who still acted like a child? I have known quite a few of them. They never really grew up. Here Paul is talking in spiritual terms when he says he used to act like a child. But by the writing of 1 Corinthians, Paul had become a man of God. He had put away childish things and he was looking toward eternity. In other words, He was walking in faith and looking toward eternity. I am sure he was actually thinking of seeing Jesus again when he talks about seeing “face to face.” Jesus had actually appeared to Him on the road to Damascus and though the light was bright, I am sure he caught a glimpse of Jesus. And catching just a glimpse of Jesus totally changed Saul, to Paul. Like Paul, I long for the day when I see Jesus. I long for the time when I will know fully, as I am fully known. I will see Him. And in that day my faith will have become sight, my hope will be fully realized, and I will fully know His love. And that love will continue for all eternity. Praise God we don’t have to continue acting like children. We can mature as believers in this life. And praise God that we will someday be with Him and totally for Him, forever.
Saturday – 1 Peter 1:5–9 God protects all those who find faith in Him. Even through trials, we are being protected by God’s power. He allows the trials so that our faith will grow and we will be genuine. I remember the first time my wife showed me a “knock-off” purse at a flea market. I was shocked to find out by looking at it, you couldn’t tell it from an original. Then I found it was only in using it over time that the fake began to fall apart and then you could tell the difference. The fake had substandard components and wouldn’t stand the test of time. God wants you to be genuine in your faith. God wants us to love Jesus though we have not seen Him and even though we are not seeing Him now. He wants us to believe and have joy and ultimately, to receive the goal of our faith. He wants us to be saved and live with Him forever, in perfection and glory. Take a moment and reflect on this scripture. Write down what is most precious about it to you. Share that with someone this week.