November 21 - 26
Monday, November 21 – “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 10:12) This whole faith in Jesus thing is very simple. It just isn’t easy. What God is looking for from you, is all of you. All of your love, all your obedience and all of your service. It’s always been this way and it will always be this way. God isn’t interested in dating you. Hanging out on the weekends is not what God desires. God wants the ring. God wants the commitment. God wants all of you.
Tuesday, November 22 – “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” (John 7:24) You are probably thinking that judging is something that you are to avoid at all cost. Judging isn’t the problem. Judging, based on things that don’t matter, like “mere appearances”, is the problem. Thus, it’s just easier to tell everyone not to judge at all. But, let’s face it, every single day we have to judge people, situations and opportunities. Trying to avoid judging is impossible. So, instead, make sure you are judging “correctly”. And for that to occur, you must lean into God.
Wednesday, November 23 – “But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.” (1 Corinthians 11:31) Why do you do what you do? Why do you like what you like? Why don’t you like the things that you don’t like? A successful outward journey in this life requires you to also have a successful inward journey of self-discovery. After all, you are called to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Maybe this is the reason why there are so many angry, vengeful and just down-right mean people in our world. There are too many running around not loving themselves enough to truly discern themselves?
Happy Thanksgiving – “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) The old saying: “It’s not the gift but the thought that counts” contains some truth. It’s true that the value of a gift is found in the gift itself. Yet, at a deeper level a gift represents the value and importance of a relationship. It’s a sign of the love and the honor the giver holds for the recipient. A gift given from your heart says “I see you”, “I know you” and “I love you”. So, a saying that contains the whole truth and nothing but the truth would be: “People who have good thoughts, give good gifts.”
Friday, November 25 – “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36) Maybe you don’t have a father that is too merciful. The good news is this, Luke isn’t talking about him. Luke is talking about God. God is full of mercy. How do we know? Look around. If God wasn’t merciful, don’t you think this whole thing would have been demolished long ago? The only way that God can put up with us is to be full of mercy. Having this as your example, why don’t you try to be more merciful today? Pay it forward!
Saturday, November 26 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) A little taste of self-discovery today: You have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. Now before you beat yourself up, so has everyone else in the world. The intention of this confession isn’t to prove how bad you are, but to prove how good God is. For, even though “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, God still came as Jesus in order to save all of us hopeless sinners. That’s good news for this weekend!