August 8 - 13
Monday, August 8 – “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36) Freedom is what Jesus offers. Freedom from the power and the grip of sin and death. I always found it interesting that this verse ends with the word “indeed”. For faith in Jesus frees you up to act. You can live your life in deed. For there is no more fear of sin and death. The price has been paid. The debt is forgiven. So, all there is left to do is live – indeed!
Tuesday, August 9 – “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin.” (Colossians 1:13-14) Star Wars has built a dynasty on the battle between the Dark Side and the Light Side of the Force. This success is based on the fact that this age-old battle between good and bad is real. There’s a battle between light and dark happening all around you and inside you every single day. It’s a universally understood reality. The good news, just like Star Wars, is that the Light Side wins, in the end. Redemption and the forgiveness of sin overpowers the darkness.
Wednesday, August 10 – “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3) You share your faith for one reason – you want others to share in the fellowship you have with God, through faith in Jesus. You want others to experience what you experience. You want others to know what you know. This is why you tell your story. This is why you share what you have “seen and heard”. You want everyone to see and hear the exact same things. This is good news and it’s meant to be shared.
Thursday, August 11 – “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) How can you carry each other’s burdens if you aren’t in relationship with each other? Nobody can carry something that they don’t even know exists. Today’s verse assumes relationship. Today’s verse assumes vulnerability. How are you doing today? Do you have burdens that you need carried? Does anyone know about your burdens? Do you believe that you’re on an island and nobody seems to care? Do a relationship inventory. Do you have true relationships with other followers of Jesus? Or do you simply know some Christians?
Friday, August 12 – “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25) Who is in your life today that spurs you on? Who is in your life today that encourages you? Sadly, too many people don’t have anyone like that in their life. Yes, you may have casual friends, neighbors that you know and a church that you attend. But, as far as depth of spurring and encouraging goes, too many people feel all alone. This doesn’t have to be. But it’s going to require you to get out there and develop those relationships.
Saturday, August 13 – “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14) Who has time for all that? This relationship thing is hard work – warning, encouraging, helping and being patient. Is it any wonder that this type of relationship is the exception, not the rule? Let me ask you this: Have you ever been idle and disruptive? Have you ever been disheartened? Has anyone ever helped you? If you answered “Yes”, then you know that all the hard work of relationships is worth it. If you answered “No”, then you know how sad and lonely life is, without all the hard work of relationships. Final question: Which life is better?