May 16 - 21
Monday, May 16 – “’Abba, Father’, he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’” (Mark 14:36) This is a prayer of Jesus on the night that he was betrayed and handed over to be tried and crucified. This is the brilliance of God saving us through Jesus. For through his life and experience we see actual examples of what it means to live as a follower. Here Jesus is facing something unimaginable, yet he surrenders his will to the will of God. This is exactly who you are called to be.
Tuesday, May 17 – “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” (Romans 8:15) A slave is someone who is the legal property of someone else and is forced to obey them. God isn’t looking for slaves that have to obey. God is looking for sons and daughters who want to obey. A slave must live in fear. A son or daughter gets to live in the possibility of being a part of the family. God wants to transform your want to. God’s not interested in forcing you to have to.
Wednesday, May 18 – “’The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news.’” (Mark 1:15) These are the words of Jesus. Notice the kingdom of God “has come near”. Jesus is telling all of us that we are that close. God has done everything that God is going to do. The rest is up to you. God has built the store and designed a fancy display in the widow. As you walk past, seeing the fancy display in the window, will you decide to change your direction and go into the store and buy something? Or will you simply keep on walking?
Thursday, May 19 – “Give us each day our daily bread.” (Luke 11:3) God is famous for always providing exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. This part of the prayer, that Jesus taught, harkens back to the Exodus when the Hebrew people were provided one day’s worth of manna, while living in the desert. Seek today for that which you need today. Knowing that tomorrow will have enough needs of its own. It’s the ultimate living in the moment, being present in the here and now, living by faith prayer.
Friday, May 20 – “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) This is the brilliance of God saving us through Jesus. Jesus lived on this earth for thirty-three years. Jesus was tempted just like you are tempted. Jesus was even tempted directly by the devil! Yet, he did not sin. Temptation isn’t sin. Temptation is life. It’s what you do with the temptation that is important. Because of Jesus, you can’t say that God doesn’t know what you’re going through.
Saturday, May 21 – “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) My guess is that you don’t have to be taught that “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” For you have wanted to do things or not to do things and you have failed. That is why Jesus gives you two very sound pieces of advice: (1) Watch. Pay attention. Be observant. Don’t just go through your life on automatic pilot. And (2) Pray. Without an open line of communication between you and God, every temptation will be a snare for you. Your life will simply be you wanting to be different. Followed by you trying and failing at being different. Rinse and repeat.