Monday, 31 January 2011
TITLE: The Love Secret
But God has revealed it (His secret) to us by His Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:10
There are many reasons why people reveal secrets. For some, a secret is simply too hard for them to keep; they have to tell it. Some people may be pressured to reveal a secret. Still others, revenge or causing hurt might be a reason. Some may want to make a buck. The bookstores are full of books which reveal secrets. For example, you can find out the secret to losing or putting on weight, making money, love, growing things, hunting, fixing, or getting rid of the hiccups!
God had a secret. His secret was love. It was hidden for many ages but was finally revealed in His Son Jesus Christ, who is God, who is love. Jesus death and resurrected life brings us life and the promise of life eternal. This secret now is intended for all theworld to know and believe. For unbelievers, who choose to hold their ears, close their eyes, and make senseless noise with their mouths when it comes to Jesus, the secret still remains. However, we who believe the secret have been given the privilege and commission by God himself to reveal this secret so it’s never a secret to anyone anywhere. One day, we shall know the full extent of God’s Love secret when He returns and takes us to our real home; heaven!
Dear Heavenly Father, give me words and courage to share Your revealed Secret with all you give me opportunity, in Jesus Name, Amen
Monday, 24 January 2011
Weekly Devotional for the Week of January 23, 2011
“Then the Lord said to Satan, have you considered my servant Job? There is
no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God
and shuns evil” Job 1:8
C.S. Lewis once wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks to us in
our conscience, and shouts to us in our pain!” Maybe that's why our pain has
a way of getting our attention quicker than the other two! Needless to say,
God had Job's attention. Losing his children, possessions, and having
painful sores all over his body, Job quickly cried to God out of his pain.
Looking at C.S. Lewis's statement from a different angle, God can also
whisper in our pain and we immediately hear Him. Why? Because by faith
(God's gift), we hear His still, small voice. Along with faith, God gives us
the gift of patience. It's interesting, we often hear of the patience of
Job, yet that word 'patience' is not mentioned once in his book. Job's
patience was witnessed in His remaining ever faithful to God all during his
ordeal. Sometimes when it seems we’re at the end of our ropes, our patience
can run a little thin. For example; when we're all out of money and the
bills are due, or, we, or a family member is sick and we’ve done everything
we possibly could to help them, or, we’re standing at the graveside watching
our loved one’s casket be lowered down. Yet God remains ever-faithful to us.
We hear His still, small voice saying-'Lo, I am with you always.' Real
patience and strength can only be found in Him. Though we cling to that end
of the rope with all our strength, it is God who has a hold of us and will
never let us go.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your unfailing love and your gifts of
faith and patience. Help me in my unbelief and impatience, in Jesus Name,
Monday, 17 January 2011
Devotional for the Week of January 16, 2011
“Not Brussels Sprouts!”
“Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the
teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by
constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews
As a kid, I hated Brussels sprouts. Just the smell of them triggered a gag
reflex. In a sense, I’m reminded of these little green stomach-turners as I
consider our text. As Christians, we move from milk (elementary teachings of
Christ, repentance, acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,
instructions about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the
dead, and eternal judgment-(good stuff!) Heb.6:1-2), to solid food; ‘meat
and potatoes,’ or more specifically-the discerning of good from evil; right
from wrong (also good stuff!). Our ability to ’swallow’ solid food comes
from God himself. We daily have an assortment of ’foods’ from which to
choose. In other words, things that are righteous, good and holy. But there
are also things that are evil, unholy, (bad stuff; brussels sprouts!). The
enemy and our fleshly side say, “it‘s good! Try it, you’ll like it!”
There are some things in life worse than Brussels sprouts (which are good
and I’ve since come to enjoy!) that are hard to swallow; things like cancer,
losing one’s job, or a loved one, to mention a few. Tough stuff to not only
get down, but to digest! Yet…just as God has given us the ability to first
drink milk, then solid food, He also gives us the wherewithal to swallow
even those very real detestable things just mentioned. Jesus is the Living
Water that helps us wash it down! His body and blood is real flesh for us.
And we are not only sustained by Him, but we thrive and have joy and peace.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for feeding me with Your Word, Sacraments,
and Spirit, in Jesus Name, Amen.
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Week of January 9th, 2011
“God is faithful, He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear" 1Cor.10:13-14
There’s an old Negro spiritual that has the lyric, “Nobody knows the trouble
I’ve seen, nobody knows but Jesus.” That lyric reminds me of the true story
of one Joseph Merrick, a.k.a. ‘The Elephant Man.’ Joseph’s mother died at
age eleven and his father abandoned him. He was taken in by carnival workers
where he worked as a side (freak) show. Eventually, Joseph was even
abandoned by the carnival. He was later befriended by a doctor Frederick
Treves. Of Joseph, Dr. Treves was quoted to say, “Because he was so unique,
grotesque, and so alone, I wondered what was going on in his mind.” Joseph
once intimated- to Dr. Treves-“Nobody cares! Nobody can understand what it’s
like for me, not even you!” However, in time 'the Elephant Man’ found a
friend in Dr. Treves and someone he trusted; particularly because he cared
and tried 'to know' him.
Sometimes we can feel we’re all alone and think, “Nobody loves me or nobody
knows (including my spouse, and/or family or closest friends) my trouble!”
But Jesus knows! The Bible says, “But we've One who’s been tempted in every
way, just as we and without sin.” Remember the cross? He’s been there! He
knows suffering and He comes to us in ours. He brings His comfort and peace;
a peace beyond our understanding; and in His still small voice He speaks to
our hearts the words written above. He'll never give us more than we can
handle." It's no cliché; it's true. That truth reminds us of another
song...“What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”
Dear Jesus, you call all that are heavy burdened to come to You and You will
give us rest. Thank you for that perfect rest which no one else can give, in
Your Name, Amen.
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Week of January 1, 2011
Zenas-The Lawyer/Missionary- The Rest of the Story
“Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer* and Apollus on their way and see that they have everything they need.” Titus 3:13
“But Zenas,” asked Apollus, “isn’t your practice going to suffer if you take this missionary assignment?” “The Lord will provide. I’m not worried. I’m certain my practice will still be here when or, if we return.” “You sound like you think we might not!” stated Apollus. “Not really,“ he replied. “The more I’ve come to believe in the Lord the more I look at the fact that each day could be my last; not in a negative way mind you, but in a thankful ’to live is Christ to die is gain’ sort of way!“ he added. “Hmmm, that’s good!” thought Apollus.
“Titus and the church sure fixed us up well for our assignment; money, clothes, food, we have nothing to worry about except bringing people to Jesus!” exclaimed Zenas. “We don’t even have to worry about that…God will give us the words and He will draw unto Himself all that He wills!” added Apollus. "If they reject Him, that be their choice!" “Well said, brother!” replied Zenas with a knowing smile.
We are all missionaries. Some of us are farmer/missionaries, some secretary/missionaries, some housewife/missionaries, some garbage collector/missionaries, some student/missionaries. We are all recipients of God’s Great commission to ’go ye therefore and disciple all nations baptizing them in the name of The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt.28:19-20) And…as members of the Royal Priesthood (1Peter 2:9-10) we are to declare the praises of God who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. By His grace, as 21st century missionaries, like Titus and the church, we see to the mission of God’s ’special called’ missionaries while still having a special call (to be a missionary) of our own.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your Light and giving us the purpose of reaching out to those yet in darkness. Grant us courage and wisdom to fulfill your calling, in Jesus Name, Amen.
This is the first mention of Zenas and it’s not known if he was a Jew or Gentile. If Jew, he would have been a ‘lawyer/expert’ of the Mosaic Law; if Gentile, he would have been a Roman jurist.