Monday- John 15:5–8 Every year I raise tomatoes. The plants grow vigorously and before you know it they are six or seven feet tall. If they remain attached to the vine, they continue to produce fruit. But sometimes they get so big that the weight will split them off the main vine. And they immediately wither. We are the same way. He is the vine, we are the branches. If we remain attached to Him, we will continue to produce good fruit. Notice verse 7 in particular. God’s Words are our nourishment. If His words remain in us, He says He will answer our prayers. Because His Word is in us, we ask for the right things. And because we are in His Word, He is attentive to our prayers. If we continue in this process we will bring glory to His Name. May it be so Lord!
Tuesday- John 3:19–21 We are not saved by works. “But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.” Jesus is the light that has come into the world, and when we come to Jesus, our light, He enables us to be a reflection of Him. As we live by the Truth, the things that we do, our works are shown to be accomplished by God. We live to show others the Light of Jesus’ truth. And in a world that loves darkness rather than light, it is always surprising to know that if the world can get a good look at Jesus, they will unknowingly, unswervingly come to the Light. Read John 12:32. If they can see Him (the Light) they will come to Him. Pray with me. Light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, shine brightly in me. In a dark world may your love shine brightly through me. Be exalted and shine brightly in my family. Let my friends see you in me. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
Wednesday- John 5:19–24 Jesus always did the Father’s will. What we could not do, to please the Father by always obeying Him, Jesus did. And he did that for us. That was the Father’s plan for the ages. The prophecies from the Old Testament constantly communicated a Savior was coming to accomplish what man could not do on his own. Notice verse 21. Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to anyone he wants to. Jesus is telling them that God is going to raise Him from the dead. He is also telling us that when Jesus is raised back to life, He will extend that life to us. “So the Son also gives life to anyone he wants to.” Finally the last thing this passage teaches us is the last sentence of verse 23. “Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” Did you ever notice that many people don’t mind talking about God, but they may not accept Jesus? As a matter of fact, there are many who will talk ambiguously of their thoughts of God, but they steadfastly refuse to accept Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Here in verse 23 Jesus explains that it is impossible to honor God unless they honor the Son. Verse 24 summarizes Jesus’ message. When we hear His Word and believe we pass from death to life. Pray with me. Thank you Lord for life. Thank you that you are the Lord of life and you have extended that life to us. Thank you that you did what we could not do. Thank you for our salvation. In Jesus Name, I pray, Amen.
Thursday- Romans 6:20–23 Who among us does not remember what it was like to live without the Lord? Verse 21 asks the question, “…what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of?” We all have memories of the stupid things we did when we didn’t know Him. But since we know Jesus and have Him in our heart, we have new fruit. That new fruit results in sanctification. Sanctification is being changed from the inside out. Sanctification means that as we follow Him and learn His ways, we are made holy. Different. Set apart. Unique. The end result of that sanctification is eternal life. Thanks be to God that we are not paid because of our sin, but our sin-debt is paid. It is paid because we have confessed our sin, with eternal life because of Christ Jesus our Lord. God gives us a gift because of Jesus. Merry Christmas!
Friday- 2 Corinthians 9:8–12 Grace is the unmerited favor of God. God is able to make His grace overflow in us. His promise here in 2 Cor. Is that in every way, we will have everything we need for good works. It is God who provides all that we need. This promise has to do with good works but it also has to do with God giving increased ability to give monetarily to the needs of the saints. A part of our good fruit is good works and a part of it is giving. Ask Him to help you to have an abundance of both. Ask Him to meet your needs and to “multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. His promise is that “you will be enriched in every way”. And that will produce thanksgiving to God. Not just for the needs of the saints, but also to meet the needs of those who do not yet know Him. Read 1 Peter 2:12.
Saturday- Galatians 5:19–24 As I get older, I keep a book of lists. If I don’t I tend to forget everything I need to do or pick up. So I take five minutes at the start of each day and write down everything I need to remember. God gave us two lists in the New Testament to help us remember. The first is a list of what we don’t need to do. We are to look at verses 19-21 and measure our lives by what it says. Notice, I didn’t say we are to measure others, but that we are to examine ourselves. Matt 7 tells us not to judge. It means we are not to constantly look at others and criticize them. Instead we are to examine ourselves, ask God where we have sinned, and confess that sin. 1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin. Here in Gal. 5:19-20 is a list to examine ourselves with. Then verse 22-23 tells us what will happen when we learn the Word of God and live by the Spirit of God. It tells us what will happen after we examine ourselves and confess our sin. The fruit of the Spirit is the second list. As we grow in Him, we have more love, more love brings true joy. True joy brings peace. Peace results in patience. Patience makes us have more kindness. More kindness brings about goodness. Goodness results in faith. Faith makes us more gentle, like Jesus was. And finally gentleness culminates in self-control so that we have less tendency to willfully sin. Notice this whole process started with self-examination and the end result is “…those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”