December 5 - 10
Monday, December 5 – “From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’” (Matthew 4:17) First directive is to “Repent”. Simply put, this means to turn around. Stop going in the direction that you are currently going. For that direction is taking you away from God. Away from salvation. Away from grace. Away from peace. Why repent? “For the kingdom of heaven has come near.” It isn’t hear yet. So, there is still time to turn around. If it was here, it would be too late to turn around. This is good news. This isn’t condemnation. This is commendation.
Tuesday, December 6 – “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” (Proverbs 10:12) But what if someone has done something horrible enough to warrant hatred? Love them enough to hold them accountable. Not loving someone means letting them do whatever they want. Even if you know it’s wrong or bad or harmful. Loving someone doesn’t mean that you ignore their decisions, their attitudes and their behavior. Loving someone means that you love them just the way that they are. But you also love them enough to not leave them just the way that they are. By the way, this is the exact same way God loves you.
Wednesday, December 7 – “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:13) Membership does have its privileges. Or, at least, it’s supposed to have its privileges. The “Lord’s people” are called to look out for each other. To help each other. To practice hospitality with each other. Yet, how many of “the Lord’s people” find themselves in need, with no help? How can you be better at practicing hospitality? Get good at practicing it with the very people you already know, who call Jesus their Lord and Savior? A bad attempt at hospitality is way better than no attempt at all!
Thursday, December 8 – “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as you did not?” (1 Corinthians 4:7) All of us are in the same boat. Lost, without hope and without peace. Adrift in life. Yet, through Jesus, God has provided hope, peace and direction. God has provided a way and has offered this way to all of us. Why then is it that you think you are special, because you have accepted this gift? Do you think you are more deserving? Do you think you are better? Why would you deny someone else, who is just like you, the same gift that you have received?
Friday, December 9 – “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 9:10) Oh, you think that there is only so much grace, so much love and so much forgiveness. You think that if you give all of this away, you will have less. Like some kind of spiritual bank account. Well, here’s the good news. God doesn’t play a zero-sum game. The more grace you give, the more grace you receive. The more love you give, the more love you receive. The more forgiveness you give, the more forgiveness you receive. So, if you are truly worried about not having enough, simply give away what you already have!
Saturday, December 10 – “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) If you are showing hospitality, extending grace, love and forgiveness, for your own glory, the desire will fade out very quickly. For you will fade out very quickly. For you can only do so much. Conversely, if you are showing hospitality, extending grace, love and forgiveness, for the glory of God, the desire will never fade. Yes, you will get tired. But you will never stop. For who can stop being themselves? You can’t stop glorifying God, for that is who you are. Not simply something that you do.