John 10: 37: “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me.” Wow, Jesus puts a lot of pressure on Himself here, doesn’t He? He risks, even invites, rejection if He fails to walk in the image of God the Father. Of course, we know He wasn’t going to fail. But that same challenge extends to us, His Body: If we fail to live God’s restorative love, mercy, and compassion, people won’t—and don’t—believe the Father, the Son, or us.
Wednesday, September 9: “In Your Face!”
Acts 14: 19, 21: “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. But he arose and went to Derby. And after they had preached the Gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.” Pretty bold, huh? After being stoned and left for dead in Lystra by men from Antioch and Iconium, he went back to those cities as if to say, “You should have used bigger rocks, guys!” Actually, his purpose was to show the citizens of those places, “Hey, look at me! See how great our God is! Do you want another chance to believe in Jesus?”
Thursday, September 10: “Deal with It!”
Acts 15: 6: “And the apostles and elders came together to look into this matter.” Traditionally, this is how the Church handles disagreements. There may be debates (v. 7), but in the end all come to one mind (v. 25). This is way better than ignoring the disunity, which always leads to Church splits and factions. But Christ is not divided! (1 Corinthians 1: 13)
Friday, September 11: “Wealth Alone Won’t Do It”
Job 31: 24-25, 28: “If I have put my confidence in gold, and called fine gold my trust, if I have gloated because my wealth was great, and because my hand had secured so much; that too would have been an iniquity calling for judgment, for I would have denied God above.” Job’s wealth was described in detail at the beginning of his story. But Job never relied on it, instead depending at all times upon God. As Jesus, said, it is quite difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom, but not impossible (Mark 10: 24); as long as he does not make the wealth his god and expect it to deliver him.
Saturday, September 12: “Let’s Hang on to What We’ve Got” (with apologies to the Four Seasons)
John 11: 48: “If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” In their selfish ambition, the chief priests and Pharisees were more concerned with their place than with the truth. The funny thing is, the Romans did come and take away their place and their nation, not because of Jesus, but because of the wickedness of the Pharisees themselves. When you fight God, I don’t care who you are, you will not win.