Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Christmas is exactly 25 days away and although it’s nice to be able to give gifts to our loved ones as a token of our love, it’s also a good time to remind ourselves that life is not about possessions. People are consumed with materialism always trying to buy the newest car, the biggest house or the next big thing but they are never satisfied. Covetousness is a sin we need constantly to be warned against; for happiness and comfort do not depend on the wealth of this world. (Matthew Henry) Possessions cannot bring you true happiness, your riches are found in Jesus Christ and only He can truly satisfy your soul. Life is not about the material possessions you have, it’s about having loving relationships with the Lord, your family and friends. It’s about helping others and making a difference in a fallen world.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Just like bread (food) supports life to your body, the Word of God supports life to your soul. Your body can’t go too long without nourishment. Without food for prolonged periods your body becomes weak. It’s the same for your soul, without regular nourishment your soul too becomes weak. God provided manna to the Israelites satisfying their hunger and in doing so, saved them. Just like the manna nourished the Israelites, the Holy Bible is available to you to nourish your soul and save you. Additionally, good nutrition helps you to grow strong, is part of a healthy lifestyle and helps to fight off disease. The Word of God also helps you to grow strong, to live a healthy lifestyle and to fight off sin and temptation. Jesus Himself, was tempted by the devil and in response He quoted scripture. But if you don’t know scripture how can you use it to fight the schemes of the devil? If you want to grow stronger spiritually, nourish your soul by reading the Word of God daily.
Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me on level ground.
God loves us so much that He gave us commands to obey that will lead us towards His goodness and mercy and away from a path that leads to destruction. If left to our own devices, we would stumble and fall into a life of sin. But God had mercy on us and sent the Holy Spirit to guide us onto the straight and narrow path that leads to God. In order to be led by the Holy Spirit, we must have a teachable heart, which goes hand in hand with humility. We must have a willingness to learn and to receive instruction, which sometimes comes in the form of correction. Trust in the guidance of the Holy Spirit and you will never be led astray.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
It’s not always easy being a Christian in the current condition and culture of this world. Sin is running rampant and people are trying to take God out of everything. But we who believe need to stand firm and hold on to the Word of God. Even when it seems hard to be strong in our faith and it feels like we are constantly fighting to survive we need to continue to be faithful because our sufferings are only for a moment but our glory and reward will be eternal. Nothing we go through here in this lifetime can compare in the least to how wonderful heaven will be. We know that in heaven there will no more death, mourning, crying or pain and it will all be worth it when we are in the presence of God all mighty.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
God wants you to run the race He planned and designed specifically for you. Don’t compare your race to anyone else’s race. You are uniquely you and that’s how God planned it to be. We are all running toward the same goal but each one of us needs to run our own race. Ask God for the strength and courage to get rid of anything that comes between you and Him. Keep your eyes on the prize and keep your focus on God. There will be temptations and obstacles but by faith and obedience we need to persevere. Keep seeking the Lord’s will for your life, don’t let anything get in your way and never give up.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.
Because of the actions of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden sin entered the world and separated us from God. But God loved us so much He made a way for us to be saved. He sent His only Son, Jesus, to this world to seek and to save the lost, to offer us the free gift of salvation. He rescued us from a life of sin, from the guilt of sin and from the power of sin when He paid the ultimate price on Calvary. He did this so our relationship with God could be restored. So then, what shall we do to receive this gift? Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:28) As followers of Christ, it’s our duty to share this Good News with the world while there is still time.
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.
When you are born again, you have a new identity in Christ and you are no longer a slave to sin. You no longer have to give in to your sinful nature. You are no longer under the command of Satan for sin, but under the command of God for righteousness. (Matthew Poole) Because you have been set free by the precious blood of Christ, you are now able to surrender your mind, body and soul to God. Devote yourself to righteousness and offer yourself to God in cheerful obedience as an instrument of faith, joy, hope, peace and love to be used for His purpose.
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
For whatever reason, be it sin, mourning, sickness or some other kind trouble, if you are in a season of darkness you need to turn to God. He is the restorer of light and goodness. He will restore you and turn your sorrow into joy, your brokenness into beauty, your wailing into dancing. Seek the Lord by prayer and supplication having faith that God is able to change your circumstances and in His time, He will deliver you from your troubles. Until He does, keep praising Him because when the time does come, He can change things in the blink of an eye restoring your spirit, your mind and your heart.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Let your words and thoughts be pleasing to God when you pray, praise and give thanks. Likewise, let your words be pleasing and acceptable to Him in your everyday conversations and thoughts. Fill your mind and heart with positive thinking so there will be no room for negativity or sinful thoughts. Sometimes it’s difficult to stay positive in a negative world, but if you stay focused on the Lord who is your Rock and Redeemer, you can have peace in all circumstances.
But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
We are the clay pot, marred by sin, often feeling unusable. But in the Potter’s hands He is able to transform us into a new creation. We don’t have to be perfect to be used by God, just willing. If we give ourselves to God, He will mold us into a new vessel fit for His purpose and every good work He has planned for us. We may be broken when we come to God, but He can make us whole.