If you return, then I will restore you
Each of us has gone a little off course at some time in life. Circumstances, pressures & bad decisions may cause us to move away from what we know is best. When we’ve discovered that our direction was not the greatest it’s easy to feel like there’s no way back. We may feel isolated, separated & alone but returning to God’s plan is not as difficult as many may think.
Today’s verse gives us reassurance as to God’s heart and God’s ways. Jeremiah simply reminds us that as soon as we repent, returning to God’s way, God is there ready to bring restoration. It matters little whether we’ve strayed a long or a short way from His Word. When we return to Him, He brings restoration. He helps to keep us moving forward in His purpose & His plan towards a greater future.
Many find themselves in hopeless areas of life. These areas can seem darker than night and so lonely & distant that the goal of a better life seems almost impossible. When we apply God’s Word to these areas, we quickly discover the restoration power that God pours out. We start moving away from these areas of devastation into the realms of possibility that are only found in our God.
This week let’s not allow circumstances, pressures & bad decisions to lead us away from God any longer. Instead let’s locate these areas of hopelessness that we may be carrying, bring them to God, apply His Word and allow Him to restore, renew and revitalize us. Before long we’ll be looking forward into a greater. A future that is infinitely more than we might ask or think. [Ephesians 3:20]
A thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy
A thief is someone who takes things without us even being aware. There’s no threat with weapons & violence and we’re hardly conscious to the thief’s actions until he’s gone. On the other hand, a robber usually comes face to face with us. They take things by threat and violence. It’s easy to be aware when a robber takes things whereas a thief can be long gone with his spoils before we’ve realized.
Today’s verse tells us more about a thief. It says that they come to steal, kill and destroy from every believer. The thief wants to do this without us even being aware. He wants to be long gone before we’ve realized what he’s been up to. He doesn’t want us to keep anything of value. He would rather destroy it than let us keep it. God on the other hand wants us to experience abundant life without the actions of the thief.
God often gives us dreams that help build our faith for the future. Our dreams are one of the rich places that the thief wants to do his work. He’s eager to steal, kill & destroy them before our faith has time to become abundant upon them. The thief can often grab our dreams before we’re even aware of their value. We should always keep our dreams close and never allow entry by the thief to them.
This week, let’s secure the dreams that God has given us. Let’s ensure that they’re not taken from us. Let’s use them to start building our faith for our future. If thieves arrive let’s use God’s Word to dispense with them quickly and then continue building our faith. This will help us on the road to an abundant life. The life God planned for us. The life He has desired us to live.
For we walk by faith, not by sight
2 Corinthians 5:7
On a clear day we can rarely see further than 20 kilometres with our naked eyes. To accomplish this, we may even need the aid of glasses. With unaided eyes we’re unable to see very small things like bacteria or atoms. Occasionally we think we see something that we don’t; it’s an optical illusion. At any moment what we’re able to see is insignificant & miniscule to what we’re unable to perceive.
In today’s verse the Apostle Paul speaks to us about living our lives with a daring passion. He shares with us his powerful understanding on how everything should be viewed and it’s not by what we physically see. He says we’re to walk by faith and forget about what we see. Now that may sound easy but to every believer it’s a challenge, including Paul himself.
The key to achieving this life of daring passion is contained in 2 Corinthians 4:18. It says we’re not to fix our eyes on what is seen, but on what is unseen. It lets us know that what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. The path we walk is to be outlined by faith and it’s our high call to continue walking by faith until we see it. Every single promise of God’s Word is apprehended by faith before its fruit is ever seen by our eyes.
This week why not join us on this life full of daring passion. Whatever circumstance, problem or difficulty grabs your attention put it aside and accepts the promised solution from the Bible instead. Walk by faith and not by sight and soon you’ll be seeing the promise you read staring back at you.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord
Have you discovered that life seldom works out the way you thought? When we’re young our minds are filled with possibilities, plans & progress. We think we can do anything… and often do. As the journey of life progresses, we discover that we didn’t know as much as we thought we did. Life never stops, instead it just keeps offering us golden opportunities to get into God’s Word and gain His wisdom. When we have Wisdom, we can keep progressing forward with surety.
Today’s verse contains a potent truth that we must always remember. God’s thoughts are nothing like ours. It doesn’t matter how good or how God we think our thoughts are, they’re nothing compared to His. God’s thoughts are always perfect & every single one of His promises proves true [Psalm 18:30].
So how can we access this rich fountain of great wisdom? We do this by continually building our lives on God’s Word rather than on our own way of thinking. This can be a struggle when we start [Romans 7:14-25] but as we continue to press in, we’ll discover success is surrounding us. God wants to supply wisdom & speak knowledge and understanding to us [Proverbs 2:6]. God is the best adviser we can have in life & living so don’t ignore Him listen to Him.
This week let’s remember that our thoughts on any particular situation will most likely be nothing like God’s. If we want to grow & move forward in life, surrounding ourselves with favour & success, we need to look into God’s Word – the Bible. It well let us know exactly what God thinks plus it’ll let us know what we need to do about it.
Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is blessed
Have you ever sat a test that you hadn’t prepared for? The result was normally devastating with results far below average. Those who learnt their work & studied prior to the test seemed to breeze through it with confidence, high scores and apparent ease. These people had prepared prior to the test. Those who didn’t failed to produce the same A+ results.
Today’s verse lets us know that whenever we’re prepared for a challenge and we stick it out, we’ll be bountifully rewarded. Everybody yearns for a life with ease & blessing but it’s impossible to accomplish without preparing for the opposition that comes. We must be pre-prepared with God’s Word & and His ways to stick out the challenges no matter what is happening around us.
James 1:12 continues to tell us that “When we pass the test loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.” In other words we can receive life in fullness simply by arming ourselves with God’s Word, walking steadfastly in His ways, loving Him with our whole heart and by never giving up. The Bible says that’s what produces a blessed life that doesn’t disappoint.
This week let’s start to set ourselves up for an A+ God result in this year. Let’s get into God’s Word & prepare for any challenges that may arise Let’s ensure we’re doing things God’s way and not our own. Let’s love God wholly, letting nothing & no one come between us. Let’s stick solidly to the journey we’re on with God no matter what it looks like. Always remember we’re praying & believing for you each & every day knowing that God’s plan is continually being produced through you. We’re believing this year that you will be rewarded with life and more life just like James 1 says.
Forget what happened in the past, and do not ponder on old events
For some this year has been amongst their best ever. For others this year ranks as one of their worst. This year contained many incidents & events that have forged many memories. When we think about this year these memories flood our thoughts and ignite our emotions. Some people would love another year exactly the same whilst others would prefer a year filled with the complete opposite. The good news is that a new year is upon us and how we enter it will determine the direction we’ll take.
Today’s verse lets us know God’s way for believers to head into His future plan and purpose. He lets us know we need to do 2 very important things. We need to forget what’s happened in our past [Both good & bad]and we need to Stop thinking about old events [Both good & bad]. In other words, we’re to put everything from our past into the past. We’re to stop continually resurrecting them and attempting to breathe life into them.
The next verse in Isaiah instructs us to look to God because He is about to do something new! The truth is if all we ever do is remember our past & think about old events then it’s impossible for us to look forward to our future. Our future contains all the new things God has for us. He wants to fulfill every single one of His promises [2 Corinthians 1:20] and overflow our lives with His plan, future & Hope [Jeremiah 29:11].
This week let’s release ourselves from our past before the New Year arrives. Let’s forget about what’s happened to us & let’s stop thinking about old unchangeable events. Instead let’s put our focus on God and His Word. Let’s enter this New Year equipped to conquer every mountain & obstacle before us. Not only will we become conquerors, we’ll also have God’s joy, hope and purpose throughout the coming year.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you
One of the childhood joys of Christmas is the opening of the gifts. The brightly coloured wrapping makes each present highly desirable. Their unknown contents make them intriguing & captivating. As each layer of packaging is quickly stripped away, we’re left with a new possession. Something that now belongs to us. Something that is ours to keep, use & cherish. Something that we need even when we don’t realize it.
Today’s verse lets us know about a gift that Jesus has left for us. It is the gift if peace. This peace is not worldly peace that is surrounded by trouble, fear and the possibility of loss. It is His gift of peace that comes with no strings attached. It is the perfect peace that flows only from Jesus. It is the peace that delivers every time we need it. It is the peace we need to make it through each day.
This time of year can become hectic & stressful no matter how organized we are. Don’t wait to become overwhelmed, troubled & fearful. Instead open a Christmas gift early. Let’s open the gift of peace that Jesus has left for us. Let’s allow the waves of peace from heaven to wash over us. Let each one dispel trouble, fear & concern. It may only take a few minutes but we’ll be feeling much calmer & settled after we’ve receive this gift again from Jesus.
This week let’s take a few minutes throughout our day to consciously acknowledge the gift of peace in our life. Jesus gave His life so that we could have and experience His peace. It would be utter foolishness to leave His gift behind and pursue the world’s way to peace in its place. Acknowledging Jesus and His gift of peace will activate it in our lives immediately. So don’t stress, worry or breakdown. Receive from Jesus His gift of peace and enjoy this season of celebration.
Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him
Hundreds if not tens of thousands of people saw the Christmas star. To most people it was simply just another light. It was worth a glance and perhaps a comment but that was all. To the 3 wise men it was a divine sign. They saw the star as significant. It was a God ordained symbol that would lead them to Jesus their King.
Today’s verse lets us know that these wise men went into instant action as soon as they saw the star. They’d been actively looking for & seeking what God was doing and now they had a celestial body to guide them on their journey. Others including Herod’s religious leaders didn’t even notice the star and they were oblivious to what God was doing.
It’s vital that no matter what’s happening or how busy our lives seem, we need to keep focusing on God and what He is doing. He promises to lead us and guide us [John 16:13] but if we’re not seeking Him, we’ll be blind to his purpose and plan just like Herod’s religious leaders. But when we seek Him, we will find Him [Jeremiah 29:13] just like our 3 wise men.
This week rather than waiting for God to show up & announce Himself in your circumstances why not actively seek Him out. Get into His Word: The Bible & be on the lookout for what He’s about to do. Be prepared to respond instantly just like our wise men. As we do, we’ll be heading off on a new journey in God together that’ll take us to the answers we need to overcome whatever stands before us. Then we’ll worship Jesus together on a whole new level!
…and they will call him Immanuel
Everybody is known by his or her name. It’s what we’re usually addressed by and when someone calls our out name we respond. Our name is unique and can even give access to places & things that others might not have. Our name has legal weight and is used in letters, notes and documents that are for our examination. Everyone has a unique name and every name is known by God [Isaiah 43:1].
Today’s verse lets us know about a very special name that appears in the Bible just 3 times. It’s the Hebrew name Immanuel which means “God with us”. This name had been prophesied and called out in the bible for over 700 years and then Jesus was born. Jesus fulfilled the prophecies that were called out. Ever since, God hasn’t been far off, He has been with us. This is the truth we live in even if our lives fall short of the promise.
You and I have Immanuel, the one and only true living God, with us right now. Jesus said He’d remain with us even to the very end of the age [Matthew 28:20]. So, it doesn’t matter who hurt us, what happened or where we are. We’re never alone. We’re never helpless. We’re never orphaned. God is with us & He will turn every situation around for His good [Romans 8:28].
This week why not stop being anxious about life, relationships & tomorrow [Matthew 6:24]. Continually remind yourself that GOD IS WITH YOU. All life’s problems can’t conquer you [Romans 8:31] because God ensures that you will overcome and have victory. That’s God’s Plan, Jesus’ purpose and our hope. We’re set up for a fabulous life ahead if we don’t forget the promise or yield to the pressure of life’s storms.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might
Have you ever become bored and lost interest in what you’re meant to be doing? As children this happened easily especially over the long summer school breaks. Boredom would cause us to become weary & restless having little interest in anything besides complaining. But when we applied effort, thought and ingenuity to what we could do, we’d no longer be bored. We’d actually end up having a great time full of fun, energy and memories
Today’s verse from Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is always something for us to do. If we ever find ourselves in a state of boredom it’s because we’re living for ourselves when we ought to be living for God. When we live for Him and exert effort into His Kingdom there’s always a return. Today’s verse says we’re to put ALL our might into doing things not just some might. The reason is that we’ll get out what we put in.
Now, we can’t expect to achieve extraordinary results from average effort. It’s not necessary for us to possess some magnificent ability, talent or skill. We don’t have to be rich, poor or middle-of-the-road. What we must do is simply see a need and be willing to fill it. We’re not meant to fill it with just average effort. We’re to fill it with all our might knowing that extraordinary results will occur.
This week, rather than winging & complaining about life, work, family & Church let’s apply our maximum effort into bringing Godly change that will help build His Kingdom. When we obediently exert this effort, we can expect a great return. It’ll be a return that we can enjoy because it’s filled with fun, energy and memories.