Tuesday, 8/31/21 Acts
7:54, When they heard these things, they
were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. Possible
reactions to conviction:
anger at the messenger (deflection); justification of self (denial); agreement with God (devotion). What’s more common in your life? Psalm 75:1, Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. Romans 1 says that the decline of human character starts with a lack of giving thanks. How, when, and to whom could you give more? Basic stuff, but this is vitally important. A few suggestions of folks we could do something for, or at least thank God for: our mail carrier, garbage men, police/fire/EMS, hospital personnel, shut ins, our neighbors. Bake/buy some cookies or a pizza or get a gift card. Maybe one per month to a different group? (Tomorrow is the first of the month...do something and set a calendar reminder on your phone for next month and the next and...)
- Wednesday, 9/1/21 Psalm 38:9, Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. Would we be comfortable laying out ALL of our desires before Him, or are there some “not God related” and therefore, off-limits? THOSE need to be closely examined. Proverbs 26:17, He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. Again, if God put this admonition in the Bible, it’s applicable to all of us. Maybe all of us have the tendency to stick our noses where they don’t belong? Some of us, no doubt, are worse than others. Evaluate you. (The word, “meddleth” simply means crossing over a boundary.) If we keep doing it, we’re gonna get bitten...
- Thursday, 9/2/21 Proverbs 26:18-19, As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, so is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport? If the one we’re teasing doesn’t know we’re joking, it’s not teasing, it’s terrorism. Submit your funny bone to Spirit inspection. “I sometimes wonder if serving God is worthwhile...” Well, ask Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Ezekiel 29:20, I have given him the land of Egypt for his labour wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord GOD. God paid Nebuchadnezzar for being used to punish Tyre, and, for his paycheck, the Lord gave him all the spoils of Egypt. Yeah, I think serving God and doing what He wants is a good investment.
- Friday, 9/3/21 Psalm 116:2, Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. Each of us is primarily responsible for ourselves. What is it that motivates you into serving God? We need to know ourselves well enough to keep ourselves going; and, we need to reenlist in the Lord’s army...oh...daily. Proverbs 31:11, The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. Notice what is contrasted: trust vs. money. If a husband feels respected and trusted, possibly he’ll be less inclined to seek validation through other endeavors, especially inappropriate ones. (“Spoil” generally refers to what comes from a battle or a raid [theft.])
- Saturday 9/4/21 Proverbs 31:12, She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Here’s a thought for all spouses: DO good to your sweetheart each day. DO something nice, (in addition to saying nice things.) Do a chore, pick a flower, write a note, buy a treat...DO some good today. Psalm 118:1, O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. Notice that these 2 characteristics of God are active and not passive. They show a constant state of being and a perpetual status, and we’re to give thanks for both of those. Idea: get into the habit of complimenting people for what they ARE all of the time instead of only complimenting them for what they DO from time to time.
- Sunday, 9/5/21 Psalm 84:4, Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Are you in need of a remedy for anxiety? God gives the recipe right here. Verbally praising God stills, calms the spirit. John 13:5, After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. We know that humanly our Lord was terrified (“heaviness” in Mt 23 & 26, in agony & sweating drops of blood in Luke 22, “fear” in Heb 5.) So, in emotional turmoil, what did Jesus do? A humble service. I wonder if when we’re scared or anxious if doing that would help us...nah it’s just a story...no application to real life...
- Monday, 9/6/21 Psalm 86:5, For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. A cold heart? A little apathetic? Read and dwell on this verse until the ice melts and the tears flow. Proverbs 9:6, Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. Proper Christianity, walking rightly involves actively, purposefully walking away from wrong. “Loving righteousness” isn’t enough...stop contaminating yourself with bad and diluting the positives you’re putting into your life.
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