- Tuesday, 3/23/21 Luke 23:1, And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. It was unjust; it was in error; it was shameful since
He was their Countryman. The crowd was being manipulated; the judge was hardly unbiased and fair...and it was all in the will of God. So too our “wrong” situations. Luke 23:14-16, [Pilate] said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: no, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. I will therefore chastise him, and release him. Note the progression: he found no fault, double checked it, said what they wanted (death penalty) was not warranted, decided to chastise Him despite total innocence. Appeasing the crowd and compromising what he believed allowed a flood of wrong-doing to occur, and an innocent “(mere) man” to be executed. DON’T COMPROMISE AN INCH when you know you’re right.
- Wednesday, 3/24/21 Luke 23:37, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. A true leader will not do what the followers want nor what is best for himself. He will do what is best for the followers. Are you a leader in your relationships? at home? at work? at church? Luke 23:43, And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. Though he was now a child of God, his suffering was not alleviated in the slightest. He was simply directed to focus on his eternal future. Likewise, God may (very likely) not fix our temporary problems, but just point us to the long-term, permanent solution. We don’t have to understand it, but we do have to take it. We only get to decide if we’ll take it by faith sweetly or selfishly and by sight bitterly.
- Thursday, 3/25/21 Proverbs 21:2a, Every way of a man is right in his own eyes. If this is a true statement, then we have to have a higher authority to settle the inevitable differences. Will you submit to clear instruction from the Bible or hide behind phrases like “That’s your interpretation.” Proverbs 21:26, [The slothful] coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not. The slothful one wants unceasingly; the righteous one gives unceasingly. The slothful feels entitled to get; the righteous feels undeserving of having gotten; the slothful thinks of his own pleasure; the righteous thinks of others’. At which end of the spectrum do you spend more time? (Especially in the area of feeling you deserve something vs. they deserve a blessing?)
- Friday, 3/26/21 Proverbs 21:4, An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin. Feeling superior, feeling entitled, and independence from God: I’m guessing we all do almost all of these every day. You and I are more sinful than we think: focus on our own shortcomings and not another’s. Proverbs 21:29, A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way. The wicked won’t admit error but the righteous one carefully chooses his steps. He deliberately evaluates each one: examines each next step for rightness...as if he were in a minefield. He knows he is in a war and is in danger. While self-analysis can be paralyzing, not being cognizant of the potential for our own error (due to pride) can be deadly. Do as you feel is right, but continually lean on God and be open to redirection and correction, even if He uses a mere human to point out the danger of proceeding as you are.
- Saturday, 3/27/21 Proverbs 22:7, The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. The borrower is a SLAVE to his creditors. Try to avoid debt, and whatever you have to do, get out of debt as soon as possible. Money is a great servant, but a horrible master. God is to be our Master. Proverbs 21:29, A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way. The wicked won’t admit error but the righteous one carefully chooses his steps. He deliberately evaluates each one: examines each next step for rightness...as if he were in a minefield. He knows he is in a war and is in danger. While self-analysis can be paralyzing, not being cognizant of the potential for our own error (due to pride) can be deadly. Do as you feel is right, but continually lean on God and be open to redirection and correction, even if He uses a mere human to point out the danger of proceeding as you are.
- Sunday, 3/28/21 Psalm 138:1, I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. A prayer to pray: “Lord help me to become more vocal about You and Your goodness in front of the unsaved around me.” (It’ll also help you to live more righteously in their sight.) Why are you going to go to work this week? “Because of my bills.” “To have money to live.” Of course those are legitimate reasons, but let’s see what God says: Luke 23:4, Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. We’re not to work so as to acquire more than we need, but rather to do with the extra money as God would have you. Have you asked Him if He’d have you have a bigger car or a smaller one? To NOT get the next upgraded phone? To DROP the movie package at home? To forego a grand vacation for a more modest one? And then to give that money to another, either directly or through the church or through a mission board? Materialistic hedonism is all around us...and all of us have some of it in us. Work diligently and pay off the debts and don’t make any more; live more and more frugally; and give more and more generously.
- Monday, 3/29/21 Proverbs 23:12, Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge. Notice, it doesn’t say to pay attention to WHAT is being taught, but to the teaching. How could you become a better listener at church? Consider sitting closer: fewer people in front of you means fewer distractions. One over-reaching truth about Christianity is that God doesn’t want us to stagnate: we’re to grow continually; to improve; to get closer to being “perfect as the Father is perfect.” John 15:17, These things I command you, that ye love one another. How could you extend your blanket of love? Who is outside of your comfort zone? It would probably start with greeting more than the usual crowd at church; getting to know them, and then trying to meet their needs. Go ahead: be a little uncomfortable...love bigger.
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