DEVOTIONS

March 21-26

Monday, March 21 – “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 3:10) If your life doesn’t “produce good fruit” you will “be cut down” and “thrown into the fire”.  So, what do you need to do in order to avoid this fate?  (1) Accept that there is nothing that you can do, to warrant safety from the fire.  (2) Accept the gift of Jesus.  For it’s only his death and resurrection that can allow you to avoid being “thrown into the fire”.  And (3) go out and live your life as if you have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus. 

 

Tuesday, March 22 – “The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in.  And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.” (Isaiah 5:7) You are Israel.  For, through faith in Jesus, you have been adopted into the family of God.  You are a descendant of Abraham, because of your faith in Jesus.  So, re-read the passage in light of this reality.  What is God seeing when he looks at your life?  Justice and righteousness or bloodshed and distress?  This verse is a whole lot easier to read if you believe it refers to “them” and “those people” as opposed to referring to you.

 

Wednesday, March 23 – “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2) This verse talks about a good gardner, but it’s really talking about God.  Life is painful, that’s a given.  Will your pain be the pain of being “cut off” because you don’t bear fruit – no good for the tree and no good for the world.  Or will your pain be the pain of pruning because of the good fruit that you produce – being good for the tree and good for the world.  The former pain results in separation from God, forever.  The latter pain results in dwelling in the house of the Lord, forever.            

 

Thursday, March 24 – “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Okay, there is enough bad out there to warrant God chopping down the tree.  So, why doesn’t he do it?  Patience.  God desires for everyone to be saved.  God wants all people to be reunited with him, through faith in Jesus.  The nature of God isn’t judgment and punishment.  God’s nature is patience and grace.  This is the only reason why God hasn’t gotten rid of the lot of us.  For all of us have done enough warrant God saying “Done with you.”  But he doesn’t.  For God wants all of us to repent (turn around) and be saved.   

 

Friday, March 25 – “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.” (Psalm 1:3) What do I have to do to be “That person”?  “Delight in the law of the Lord” and “meditate on his law day and night”.  In other words, be in a right relationship with God.  Again, you are asking, “What must I do in order to be in a right relationship with God”?  Your right relationship with God isn’t about what you do.  Your right relationship with God is about who you are.  If you want to be in a right relationship with God, then be it.  Believe (Be live) in Jesus.   

 

 

Saturday, March 26 – “And if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.” (Jeremiah 18:8) It’s all up to you.  God doesn’t want to “inflict” disaster on you.  Yet, the only thing that will prevent that disaster is your decision to repent.  Your decision to turn around and head in a different direction.  Jeremiah was talking about the entire nation of Israel.  But the same thing applies to your individual life.  God doesn’t want you to go to Hell.  God wants you to be with him for eternity. The ball is in your court.  The decision is all yours.  God has done his part.  He has presented you with salvation through faith in Jesus.  The rest is up to you.