Monday – James 1:27 Why does God define religion for us? Because, as fallen men, we tend to constantly define it for ourselves. Recently, four of our sailors were gunned down in Chattanooga, Tn. Those who follow Islam rejoiced worldwide at the senseless death of these young men. For ISIS this was the perfect example of pure religion. So God has given us His Word to tell us exactly what true and pure religion is. Our God is clear to contrast Himself with the false religions of the World. He doesn’t call us to kill in His Name, rather He calls us to care for those who are the most helpless, even if they don’t fully agree with us about truth. That is His nature and so He calls us to be like Him. We are not to let the World or any false religion stain us with false truths and actions that harm others. But rather to become His expression of His love to a lost and dying world, always in the hope that they will come to life in Christ.
Tuesday – Psalms 68:5–6 What is a healthy church and how do we know it is pleasing to God? If, from on high, God Himself says He is a father to the fatherless and a champion of widows, then we should model our hearts after His. If He provides homes for those who are deserted and leads the prisoners our to prosperity, then so should we. Notice how at the end of verse 6 God contrasts how He treats prisoners and the rebellious. The rebellious live in a scorched land, their every effort is hampered by the very wind above them and the cracked ground beneath them. Rebellion against Him, is always dealt with swiftly and harshly, by God. But to those who refuse to rebell. To those who humble themselves and accept the blessing of being set free from sin, He promises prosperity. Which course of action should we choose? We choose daily by how we spend our time. Nail down a time when you stop everyday and worship the Lord, read His word, and pray. He will bless you for it.
Wednesday – Psalms 82:2–4 Today we see a world gone crazy with it’s unjust and ungodly judgments. Practices and choices that only 10-20 years ago would have been seen as ludicrous, today are held up as noble and courageous. The Psalmist asks the same question we ask today of the corrupt politicians and judges who oppress us. How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? This is an accusation against men who publicly favor ungodliness. And the answer is that there will be a day of reckoning when all ungodliness will be judged. Until then, we are told repeatedly to keep things simple and do what we know to be true. We are called to provide justice for those who are treated unfairly. We are even to be their rescuer, just as God has provided justice for us through Jesus Christ. Pray with me. Lord judge the wickedness around us. Move in our nation and the world to publicize your truth. Protect the integrity of Your Word and use it to convict the wicked of their sin. Help us to walk humbly before you and to submit to you. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.
Thursday –Proverbs 4:23–27 Have you ever been in a situation where the best course of action was to look straight ahead and not glance to the left or right? Here, we are commanded, not asked, to do that spiritually. We are to keep our feet away from evil. We do that by not looking at the things we shouldn’t look at. In guarding our eyes we guard our hearts. And we are told in verse 23 that our heart is the source of life. Our joy, our happiness, comes from our heart being rightly related to God. He is constantly calling us to open our hearts to Him and allow Him to fill us with His Holy Spirit. As His Presence fills our hearts, our minds are renewed. Read Rom. 12:1-2
Friday – Micah 6:8 Simple and plain instruction is always good and beneficial for us. Have you ever bought something that had a very complicated assembly manual? Sometimes God breaks down His Word into very simple terms so we can get it and apply it. In our daily lives, we tend to complicate things. Sometimes there are some places in the Bible that are hard to understand. This beautiful passage in Micah reduces Christianity down to three things that God requires of you and I. We are to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God. Of course that is not something we can do without Him. Without Him, we cannot act justly. We might think our actions are just, but if they cannot be reduced to a verse of scripture, we are likely to be deceiving ourselves. Without Him, we cannot love faithfulness, because we have proven that we are sinful and sometimes we are even faithless. As for walking humbly with your God, Adam and Eve failed and without the Holy Spirit, so would we. But thanks be to God, He has made a way for us do these three things mentioned in Micah. Read Phil. 4:13 What does it teach you concerning being able to do what God calls you to? Write down a few sentences below about what this verse teaches you.
Saturday – Galatians 6:9–10 Satan would like for you to give up. The things you have been praying for, the people you care about… all the things that matter most in life. He would like for us to get tired and to give up. But God calls us to His conclusions, not ours. He promises He will provide everything we need so that we can be successful in life. Read Isa. 40:31 What does He promise You? List them and think about them. Ask Him to give His strength. Ask Him to give you His purposes for your life. Surrender to Him and seek Him with all your heart. He cares for you. Trust in Him. Take a few moments and claim these promises in your own life…today.