Scripture: But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NIV
Observation: Paul explains how God uses the weak to humble the strong.
Application: This is how Jesus conducted his ministry. He always went to the wretched. He said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor…” Mark 2:17a NIV Jesus made the point that the weak in spirit need the Lord just like the elites. By ministering to them as the “high and mighty” leadership looked on he illustrated God’s plan to be all inclusive and to bring all men to himself through Christ.
Prayer: Father, thank you for wanting me so much that you sent Jesus. I pray that I am worthy of you and of Jesus’ sacrifice for me. Amen
Scripture: Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:28,29 NIV
Observation: Jesus answers questions from a crowd of followers.
Application: Have you ever wondered what sort of “works” God requires? “Give to charity or volunteer your time and effort,” “do good to others.” Yes, but those are results of our changed lives through faith in Christ. The one “work” that God demands is simply “to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29b
Prayer: Father, thank you for sending Jesus. I believe in his sacrifice for me. Amen
Scripture: Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth. Numbers 12:3 NIV
Observation: Miriam and Aaron began complaining about Moses as the only one that God would communicate through.
Application: Moses was once a son of Pharoah; a ruler of Egypt. He was called by God to lead the Israelite nation out of slavery. This was a man destined for greatness in Egypt and yet when called by God he said, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10 NIV Moses was such a great man God told Miriam and Aaron after they were caught grumbling against him, “…When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face,clearly and not in riddles…” Numbers 12:6-8a NIV We should make an effort to humble ourselves and be like Moses. That humility just may make a difference to someone to whom we are sharing Christ.
Prayer: Father, help me to be humble in all that I do so that people see you when they look at me. Amen
Scripture: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV
Observation: Jesus was the “once and for all” sacrifice to the Father for our sins. Not only that but then we became God’s righteousness. I didn’t really understand what that meant so I went to the “notes” section for guidance. I found a blog entry written by djbrey it is titled “Righteousness.” I think it does a fairly good job of putting “…righteousness of God” into perspective. It follows,
“The Bible tells us that after Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross, God imputes righteousness not to those who strive to obey the law (Galatians 2:16), but to anyone who believes in His Son. Because Christ took our sins and gave us His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), the moment we believe in Him, God treats us as righteous apart from our works or obedience. (Romans 4:5-8) This is new covenant righteousness – a righteousness that comes by faith and not works.
You are not righteous because of how morally upright you are. You are not righteous because you exercise self-control. You are not righteous because you read 10 chapters of the Bible daily. You are not righteous because you feel righteous. But you are the very righteousness of God in Christ solely because the sacrifice of Jesus made you so. When you believe this, your faith is accounted for righteousness.
And this is what God wants you to use your faith for. If you are righteous by your deeds, you don’t need faith. You also don’t need faith to know that you are sinful. But you need faith to believe and declare that you are the righteousness of God in Christ, in the midst of your struggles with temptation and sin.”
Application: I’m going through terrible times in my job right now. Satan is attacking me and, quite frankly, “he’s beating the snot out of me!” I have to remember that no matter the struggles I go through in my professional life, Jesus died for me and that makes me righteous. I’m going to still have difficulties dealing with men but God’s love for me trumps those difficulties. I need to meditate on this truth and smile at Satan’s attacks. God’s righteousness–that’s powerful!
Prayer: Father, I thank you for Jesus. Help me to remember that his sacrifice makes me valuable to you and a target for Satan. Strengthen me as you and I fight against Satan’s schemes for my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Scripture: “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided…” Exodus 14:21 NIV
Observation: The exodus of Israel from Egypt is recounted.
Application: As I read today I had to laugh. This passage gave me a very simple truth. Let me explain. When I was a young man I used to watch a program entitled “In Search Of.” Modern cable TV being what it is today there are numerous programs similar to “In Search Of.” All of these science programs try to explain life to the viewer. “In Search Of” was always trying to explain away biblical facts and these modern versions of that program do it with a vengeance. I remember seeing a program one time recently where the host went to meteorologists, geographers, historians, and “biblical scholars,” to try to explain how in the wide world of science the exodus through the sea could have possibly occurred. They had stars aligning, earthquakes occurring, and global warming (before it was cool) evaporating oceans, all as theories as to how it could have possibly happened but they over-looked the obvious. I just saw it today and it is a scientific answer to their question. “…the lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.” Exodus 14:21b NIV There you have it, plain and simple but they couldn’t see the truth. They were so busy looking for their version of truth that they didn’t trust what was right in front of them. God by his word created science to push the water back with air pressure. The ground dried out and Israel was able to pass through!
Prayer: Father, you are amazingly simple sometimes. You are so simple that we brilliant humans can’t believe it. Thank you Lord! Amen
Scripture: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Observation: The attacks brought on by Satan are subtle and constant. Only through our Lord Jesus Christ and the power of his shed blood at Calvary and his ability to conquer death do we as Christians have the power to push back and tear down Satan’s strongholds. Our salvation, self-control and freedom from sin is obtained and maintained through our conversations with God through prayer.
Application: Prayer is power. In his name we claim the promise made at the cross and found in his shed blood. We must pray without fear. Sometimes when I pray only a moan comes out; words are difficult and that’s okay. The Lord sees the inside, he knows our thoughts. We don’t have to be eloquent. I praise him that we are not graded on our grammar or expression. The Lord is a God of specifics…details. He wants our prayers to be full of confidence, believing that freedom, healing and salvation are already on their way. So lift your voice without fear and claim the destruction of Satan’s work. Pray with confidence! Pray to break down the thoughts and habits that keep you away from your Savior and the relationship he wants with you. “Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.” Psalms 19:13
Prayer: Lord, I claim your authority over all things natural and supernatural. Through your power and word I take captive the thoughts and actions that keep me away from you. Satan I resist your temptations. Lord break down any strongholds the enemy has in my life. Lord I know you are working in my life and I pray that you bring my every thought and action into obedience to you. Amen
The following blog entry is compliments of Pastor Leon Hiebert, Community Care Pastor of Generations Church, Andover, KS
Scripture: Numbers 28:23 Prepare these in addition to the regular morning burnt offering.
Observation: Nothing could replace the regular morning burnt offering. Those offerings offered on the special days were always in addition to the daily burnt offering. This verse is speaking of the Passover offerings. And as is repeated over and over in this chapter, the offerings for each special day were not to take the place of the daily offering.
How we need to understand that success lies in our daily habits. It is the daily routine that sets the priorities and pattern for our live. The special event should support the daily pattern, not take its place. Too often the opposite is true. We fashion our daily lives to support the special event rather than vice versa.
Application: I do not believe I can survive by eating only one meal each week; neither should I think I can get by on what I get on Sunday in church. It is being faithful in my daily prayer and Bible reading that brings growth and strength in my spiritual walk. I make time to feed my physical body each day, how much more should I make time to feed my spirit.
Prayer: Lord, Thank You for allowing me to live in a time and country in which the Bible is so readily available. Forgive me for the days I ignored You and Your Word. Amen.
Scripture: Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her? Luke 13:14-16 NIV
Observation: The Church leaders, Pharisees, and people in the temple that day were quick to accuse Jesus of “breaking rules” or not doing things acoording to what they thought was right.
Application: This really saddens me. This truth is still one of the biggest stumbling blocks for the church and believers today. We spend way too much time being critical of what other Christians are doing. The way is narrow and scripture tells us that many will be left behind, read Luke 13. Only the Father has the authority to judge and correct us. Therefore set your sights on knowing and sharing all about our Savior; let the Father do the judging.
Prayer: Heavenly father look within me and show me the areas of my life where I am judgmental instead of encouraging. Lord teach me how I can affect your kingdom by loving and encouraging others to seek and know you. Amen
Scripture: And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Luke 12:10 NIV
Observation: I’ve often wondered how a person can blaspheme the Holy Spirit and not be forgiven. I went searching in the “Notes” of my YouVersion bible and I found the following. I hope that it helps you understand too.
Application: “Unforgivable Sin” by karensigman
“I have never totally understood the unforgivable sin. When I read verse 10 I got out my life application bible and looked to see what it said. “Jesus said that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. This has worried many sincere Christians, but it does not need to. The unforgivable sin means attributing to Satan the work that the Holy Spirit accomplishes. Thus it is deliberate and ongoing rejection of the Holy Spirit’s work and even of God himself. A person who has committed this sin has shut himself or herself off from God so thoroughly that he or she is unaware of any sin at all. A person who fears having committed it shows, by his or her very concern, that he or she has not sinned in this way.” This helped me a lot. I hope it helps someone who is reading this.”
Prayer: Father, I pray that I never sin against any part of your character. Amen
The following blog entry is compliments of Pastor Leon Hiebert, Community Care Pastor of Generations Church, Andover, KS
Scripture: Mark: 4:1 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. …
2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said:…
38 …The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
Observation: In this chapter of Mark we see the teaching ministry of Jesus emphasized. Jesus was a teacher. He helped people understand. He answered questions. He asked questions. He gave examples. He gave object lessons. He had his students/disciples participate in ministry while he watched. He sent them out and had them report back. Teaching was His way of laying a foundation for their ministry after he was gone.
Application: Having been taught, and still being taught by Jesus and His ministers, prepares me to teach also. He wants to use me to help others understand.
Prayer: Lord, you bless us to be a blessing. And You teach us to enable us to teach others. Show us the opportunities around us to pass along what you have planted in our hearts. Amen.