Monday  Isaiah 9:6–7  The only salvation possible for man comes through an absolute admission of guilt. The message on Sunday quoted Rom. 5:8, “…while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Around the world, men have a major problem with admitting that God is Sovereign and that we are not. Isaiah 9:6-7 describes God’s incredible plan for man. Jesus was born as a child, then he lived as a son of man. And yes the government was on His shoulders. Jesus came and experienced all that God said He would. Why? Because, Jesus died for sinners.  Jesus came and lived and died in just the right way at just the right time so that sinners could be redeemed in just the right way.  Yes, we will see His dominion and experience it’s prosperity.  He will reign and His Kingdom will have no end. Not only will Jesus reign, He will sustain what He has established. What will He establish in heaven?  A Kingdom full of sinners who are no longer sinful. A planet full of the broken who have been made whole. A world that was imperfect now made perfect. I never get over the beauty of the Father’s plan. How has this been accomplished? “The zeal of the Lord of Hosts”, has made all of this possible. God wanted us more than anything, so the coming Kingdom is more certain than anything else we know. Pray with me: Thank you Lord that you love us, as we are. We praise you for loving us while we were yet sinners. Thank you for the future and hope that we have in You. Use this church to reach and teach sinners how much you love them. Help us to live such good lives among the pagans that they see You and love You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday – Isaiah 42:16 Have you ever been in darkness so completely absent of light that to even take a step is a dizzying prospect? The Bible repeatedly equates the darkness of sin to be that kind of darkness. So in Isaiah when the Lord says that He will, “…lead the blind by a way they did not know..”, He is indeed telling the truth. We do not know how to turn darkness into light. We don’t know how to live in the light of Jesus love.  So through Jesus, the Father has turned, “…dark into light in front of them and rough places into level ground.” Jesus is our Light! Read John 8:12.  Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to “lead the blind”. God says, “This is what I will do for them, and I will not forsake them.”

Wednesday –Matthew 7:7–11  What is the most difficult issue you are facing right now? Write it down in the margin of this page. Concerning that issue and any others you are facing, this passage of scripture is an invitation to ask, seek, and knock. This passage implies that we are to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking. The process itself is lifelong. And while the answers to our immediate concerns may be quick or long in coming, the process itself is one that heals and prepares for eternity. Our Heavenly Father will indeed “…give good things to those who ask Him.” Time is on His side and He is on our side.

Thursday  Matthew 11:16–19 Criticism is not unique to you and I. You may find yourself the object of someone’s ridicule at some point in your life. If you do, you might want to think back on this passage of scripture. Jesus compares the generation he was ministering to, as children acting ridiculously. He is saying that he tried everything to get them to listen to Him and still all they do is criticize Him. He is saying that those who are spiritually arrogant cannot be pleased regardless of what someone does. John the Baptist was criticized because he fasted and did not eat the common foods of the day. Then Jesus came along and He sat down to dinner and drink, with the arrogant of the day. But nothing pleased them. Yes, they called Jesus “…a glutton and a drunkard…” More importantly, they criticized Jesus  and called him, “…a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”  In their eyes, Jesus could do nothing right. But in our eyes our Lord and Savior’s, “…wisdom is vindicated…”, by His deeds.  Jesus always did the Father’s will regardless of what others were saying about Him.  Take a moment and ask the Lord for His wisdom in your life.

Friday – Mark 2:15–17  “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?”, the scribes of the Pharisees knew the law and were anxious to criticize when it wasn’t followed to the letter. Never mind that the whole purpose of the law was being missed by the religious of the day. Jesus was sent specifically to eat with the most spiritually poor and needy. The religious elite missed it.  We can have the same inclination if we aren’t careful. Especially if we have been raised in the church. We too, can have things that we have been taught that are not scriptural at all, but we expect others to follow those traditions. The problem with our expectations is, that if it’s not in the Word, then our expectations are wrong. Many times, the very things we get offended over are not the things that offend God. That’s why Jesus replies to the scribes that the sick need a doctor. Jesus did not cow down to people’s opinions but corrected their wrong applications of the law. “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Because, “He didn’t call the righteous, but sinners.” I’m really glad he said that because I qualify. I am a sinner made righteous only by the blood of Jesus. Pray with me: Lord Jesus Christ, thank you that you are a friend to sinners. I have sinned and fall short. I need You in my life every day and every way. Be My Lord. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Saturday – Luke 6:32–36 It is easy to love those who love you. There is no challenge in caring for those people who care for you. But Jesus calls us to love those who don’t love us. We are to love our enemies and to “…do what is good…” and not to expect anything in return. That is, not to be rewarded from those who we are being kind to. Rather, our reward is from Him. And it says the reward from Him is great. The reward? When we do the hard things and love people who are unlovable, we “…will be sons of the Most High.” Yes, part of His family. His Sons and Daughters extending His love to those who don’t deserve it. It is not a suggestion, but a command, “Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” The reason this is a command, is that we cannot process the mercy of the Father toward us, if we are not being merciful to others. Such grace given to us cannot be contained, it must be extended to others or we will be so miserable keeping it to ourselves, that we lose our own joy. If He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil, we must do the same. It is not optional.

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