Monday – Proverbs 13:20 You may have heard the old saying, “You are what you eat.” But there are holes in the logic. Diet is really no indicator of who we are or what we can accomplish. But The one who walks with the wise will become wise makes sense, because it has a basis in the absolute truth of scripture. One of the most treasured afternoons of my life was spent in the company of a half-dozen pastors who, when all combined, had over 225 years of pastoral experience. I was the rookie in the room with only 10 years. But the other six ranged from 30 to 50 years each. No one had to say, now lets share some wisdom, it just happened naturally in the course of conversation. I just sat and listened. They had become wise by a lifetime of working with the Word. They had become wise through prayer and perseverance. They openly shared wisdom after wisdom. The few hours I spent with them was invaluable over the next few years. Who do you know that is biblically wise? Listen to them. Conversely, who do you know that seems to go from foolishness to foolishness? Do not allow yourself to be influenced by them. A companion of fools will suffer harm. How many people do you know that have been harmed… or worse, because they chose to be a companion of fools? The clear lesson here is that we need to walk closely with those who are wiser than we are. We need born-again mentors who improve our lives by sharing some of the wisdom they have learned in theirs. Do you have someone like that? Thank God for them and pray for them. Do you need someone like that? Ask God to bring wise people into your life. He will hear you.
Tuesday – Proverbs 27:17 Have you ever seen a chef using a sharpening rod to sharpen his cooking knives? In that way Iron sharpens iron. So it is when believers walk with one another and encourage one another. One man sharpens another, is a principal most of our spiritual growth is built on. Young believers are sharpened by more mature believers. That should happen in a worship service and a Lifegroup. When the Word of God is preached aloud, God causes it to carve truth into our lives and slice out the lies and deceptions we believe. Read Heb. 4:12. The Word of God is living…When believers hear the Word preached, it becomes alive to them. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. How does iron sharpen iron? God does it spiritually, when believers come together and share His Word with one another. What is amazing is that for 2000 years, the church has consisted of such meetings and that has been the source of radically changed lives. Iron sharpens iron, has been His method to change the world, and still is today.
Wednesday – Matthew 5:13 Salt is necessary for life. Only recently has modern man gained an appreciation for high quality, natural table salt. Sea salt or salt that is mined from underground deposits has become a gourmet necessity. Regular table salt that has been harvested using water pumped deep into the earth and then re-constituted at the surface has widely been acknowledged as harmful to your health. But Jesus knew that salt could be ruined. For me, this verse immediately communicates a truth. If the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? Salt that has gotten wet or been washed loses its taste, and consequently its usefulness. But just a bit of good salt improves the flavor of virtually anything. Believers in Jesus Christ are to change the world around them. 2000 years ago Jesus called his disciples to be “salty”. He calls them to have a quality of life that is pure. And still today, we are called to be good “Salt”, in a world that rarely gets a glimpse of what is truly good. Read Col. 4:6. Everything we say should be seasoned with salt. The focus is always to be sprinkling the salt of the Gospel everywhere we go and on everyone we see. Pray with me. Lord, you said, we are the salt of the earth. Help us to influence the world around us. Help us to be constantly aware of your presence in our lives. Help us to think of every person we meet or see as being a believer in You, potentially. Let us be salt. Let us be light in a dark world. Let us be holy and set apart for your purposes. Be exalted today in our lives. In Jesus Name We pray, Amen.
Thursday –Matthew 5:14–16 A light in a dark place gets brighter. Even though, at first, it might not be bright enough, almost immediately our eyes adjust and the room gets brighter, even though the light itself has not changed. You are the light of the world…let your light shine before men. Who are you praying for? Who can you bring to church? Who can you invite to our next special event? Pray about it and be intentional about being a light in a very dark world.
Friday – Romans 12:13–16 Pursue hospitality. It means to chase after treating people kindly. In particular, we are to share with the saints in their needs. When we tithe and give above and beyond the tithe, we enable the church to enlarge the circle of influence we are participating in. We are to use everything at our disposal to build up the Lord’s Kingdom. We are to rejoice, with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. All of these things are an expression of the Lord in us. The level of care we give others, is a reflection of our gratitude to the Lord, for the care He has given us. That also is the reason we humble ourselves, and purposefully agree with other believers. All of these things are an extension of our pursuing hospitality. We choose to chase after these things because God chased after us, and extended us the ultimately hospitality.
Saturday – Romans 15:1–2 To have an obligation is to owe something to someone else. And yes, we owe everything to Jesus. How do we repay? Now we who are strong…bear the weaknesses of those without strength. This pleases God. That is part of the reason we attend church with others. That is part of the reason we also divide into small groups and study the Word together, praying for one another. It is the reason we make new friends and commit to other believers. We have an obligation, not to people, but to the Lord who loves people. When we …please his neighbor for his good, to build him up, we are actually serving the Lord. And when we bear the weaknesses of others we are actually becoming stronger in our devotion to our Lord Jesus. Read Col. 3:12-13. We are told to put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience… This is a purposeful action much like putting on a coat. It is done with intention and for a specific purpose. In Romans 15 the action-word was pursue. Here it is put on. Let’s pray specifically about that. Lord Jesus, help us pursue hospitality and put on compassion. Even though it might not be in our nature, help us to be supernatural and Spirit-filled. Help us to be a holy people who love you more than anything. We love you Lord. We love for you to be Glorified. May we be a blessing to you and to others. We worship You and humble ourselves in Your mighty hands. Be worshipped and exalted in our midst. In Jesus Name, Amen.