November 28 - December 3
Monday, November 28 – “Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” (Matthew 13:12) Nature of God 101 – Whoever you are, more will be given. If you are compassionate, more compassion will be given. If you are generous, more generosity will be given. If you are loving, more love will be given. If you are forgiving, more forgiveness will be given. Conversely, if you are cruel, more cruelty will be given. If you are wicked, more wickedness will be given. And so on. The only seeds that will grow in your life are the ones you plant.
Tuesday, November 29 – “His father Isaac answered him, ‘Your dwelling will be away from earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above. You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.’” (Genesis 27:39-40) Are you growing restless? Growing restless is the first step to real transformation in your life. Until you grow restless you will never take a step in a new direction. You will never try something new, until you grow restless with what is old. You will never go in a new direction, until you grow restless with the direction you are presently going.
Wednesday, November 30 – “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16) Do you believe it? Do you believe that God will lead you safely along “unfamiliar paths”? Do you believe that God will turn “the darkness into light” and make the “rough places” smooth? Do you believe that God “will not forsake” you? Christmas is all about hope. Do you have enough hope, this Christmas, to believe all of this?
Thursday, December 1 – “But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord.” (Isaiah 26:10) Cold, hard fact of life 101 – There will always be people who will make the choice to be wicked. By wicked we mean evil, nasty and down-right despicable. Not just people who are accidentally wicked, because they have been hurt or they let anger win. But people who have simply made the choice to turn their lives over to evil. Or as Star Wars has taught us, people who turn to “the dark side”. Don’t let their decision to be wicked choke out your hope in good. Notice this verse doesn’t teach, “But if grace is shown to the wicked”. It teaches, “But when grace is shown to the wicked”.
Friday, December 2 – “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) This is why we decorate. This is why we give presents. This is why we worship. This is why we serve. This is why we sing. This is why we gather. This is why we make resolutions. This is why we remember. This is why we hope. For this Jesus, born in Bethlehem, is our Savior. Christ will always be the reason for Christ-mas.
Saturday, December 3 – “Although our sins testify against us, do something, Lord, for the sake of your name. For we have often rebelled; we have sinned against you.” (Jeremiah 14:7) How can you have hope in this seemingly hopeless world, amidst your seemingly hopeless existence? Because your hope isn’t in yourself. Left to your own devices, you will mess this thing up every time. Your hope is in the nature, the love, the grace, the compassion, the forgiveness and the power of God. God is God, in spite of you. And it’s this fact in which all of us poor sinners rest our hope.