September 18 - 23
Monday, September 18 – “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11) When I pledged my fraternity, it was drilled into my head that since I had made the conscious decision to join this fraternity, I was no longer an individual on my college campus. Everything that I would do, from that point forward, would be a reflection on my fraternity. Thus, I was encouraged to do the absolute best that I could, in every aspect of my life. So as not to besmudge the good name of my fraternity. Not that you do what you do, in order to be a follower of Jesus. But it’s true that what you do will have a direct impact on what others think about followers of Jesus.
Tuesday, September 19 – “But I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.” (Romans 7:23) You know what’s right. You know what’s wrong. Sometimes you just don’t care. Because you know what you want. And your wants often interfere with your ability to do what is good and right and just. That’s our everyday, living in a sin-stained world as a sin-stained individual, challenge. Sorry, there’s no escaping this reality. There’s just you overcoming this reality. Will you be perfect every time? No. Can you be better today than you were yesterday? Yes. And that’s the goal.
Wednesday, September 20 – “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we will see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12) One night I almost stepped on a snail, as I took my dog out for a walk. As I looked at that snail, slowly moving across my front sidewalk, I wondered to myself what his or her perspective on life must be. There’s no way that this snail understands the complexity of reality that I understand. Just like you and I can’t comprehend the complexity of life, beyond our reality. Thus, the gap between understanding what’s real and what’s actually real, must be bridged by faith. For, like the snail, we see only a reflection of reality, through our eyes. But there will come a day when we will see fully.
Thursday, September 21 – “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) These are the words of Jesus, as he prayed, right before he was handed over to the religious leaders. A step that would lead to him dying on a cross the very next day. Did Jesus want to go through the pain and suffering of death by crucifixion? Of course not. Nobody would want to go through that. Yet, was Jesus willing to do it? Yes. For his life wasn’t about what he wanted. His life was about what God wanted to do in him and through him. This is why Jesus is our example, our teacher. Jesus is the one we follow. For Jesus has given us a living, breathing, walking, talking and following example of what it means to put our lives in God’s hands.
Friday, September 22 – “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14) Too many people take this passage to mean that God is our genie in the bottle. Giving us our three wishes. Go back and read the passage again. Does it say that God will give us everything we ask for? Or does it say that God will hear us? All we can ask from God and from anyone for that matter, is the decency and respect of hearing us. First, you have to approach God which means that you believe there’s a God. Second, you have to approach God according to God’s will. This means in the name of Jesus. For nobody can approach God if they are separated from God because of sin. And finally, when you approach God, you must surrender the answer to God.
Saturday, September 23 – “She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.” (Mark 5:26) Isn’t that just like us? We will jump through every hoop. Try every latest fad. Spend all of our time and money searching for a solution or our own form of healing. When the whole time God is walking with you, waiting for you to open yourself up to God’s will, God’s direction and God’s healing power. Is this teaching you to stay away from doctors? No. Is this teaching you to make sure that God is a central part of your treatment plan? Yes.