April week 5

Friday May 1

Love of God and love of man are indissolubly connected (1John 4:7-note; 1John 4:11-note; 1John 4:20-21). As C. H. Dodd finely puts it: “The energy of love discharges itself along lines which form a triangle, whose points are God, self, and neighbor.” If God loves us, we are bound to love each other, because it is our destiny to reproduce the life of God in humanity and the life of eternity in time. John says, with almost crude bluntness, that a man who claims to love God and hates his brother is nothing other than a liar. The only way to prove that we love God is to love the men whom God loves. The only way to prove that God is within our hearts is constantly to show the love of men within our lives. (1 John 4 Commentary)

Conclusion / what we can keep

You CANNOT hate people and love God at the same time.

Matthew 6:24

Thursday April 30

One of the best known verses in the Bible is only two words long: “Rejoice always…” (1 Thessalonians 5:16) It’s written as a command, not a recommendation. So I know that it must be possible to do it! God doesn’t give us commandments that are impossible to keep! Rejoice always! That means right now, today, in this moment, in this situation, with the body I have, the job I have, the home I have, the circumstances I find myself in. But if this joy isn’t connected with all those circumstantial things, then where does it come from?

One hint can be found in 1 Peter 4:13“… but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings…”

Peter talks about rejoicing because I can partake of Christ’s sufferings. But how can suffering be joyful? Christ’s sufferings were those sufferings He experienced in order not to sin. A life of victory over sin is an exceedingly joyful life, and no other short-lived joys can be compared to it! As a Christian, I also can partake of those sufferings, regardless of my earthly possessions or situations, and the result is a victorious life that fills me with joy!

Conclusion / what we can keep

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Wednesday April 29

The clear instructions to Christians about living out faith in Christ. Since believers have been saved by Christ, they should not participate in the sins which trap unbelievers. Sexual immorality, jealousy, slander, and revenge are not to be part of the Christian’s life. Instead, believers ought to demonstrate compassion, humility, patience, and forgiveness. Above all, followers of Christ should show love. Paul also gives specific instructions for those living in Christian homes, including husbands, wives, children, and servants.

Conclusion / what we can keep

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord

Colossians 3:23

Tuesday April 28

“My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”(Psalm 73:26)

The Psalmist mentions the fact that sometime he can’t handle all the stress of life. In his own strength, he cannot make it. He says, “My flesh and my heart fail”. He is talking about the natural endurance of man, which although considerable at times, CANNOT make unaided it through every kind of crisis the world dishes up.

The good news is that the man who walks with God and depends on God is not limited to his own natural strength, nor is his reward in life something merely temporal – that is pertaining to this life only. The reward of a child of God is GOD HIMSELF. In this way, God is our PORTION.

Conclusion / what we can keep

My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion

Monday April 27 

We serve a God who never ceases to love us. No matter the sin, season, or circumstance. His love is endless and unconditional. David understood what it meant to be in a tough situation. The shepherd boy had been anointed king, but God didn’t grant him the role of king until years later. During those years of waiting, David ran for his life. In one season, he hid in a cave from King Saul where he penned Psalm 57. In this psalm, he cries out to God for refuge from the men who seek to harm him. Then he praises God: “I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens and Your truth to the clouds (Psalm 57:9-10).” Praising God for His love changed David’s perspective, even in his darkest night.

Conclusion / what we can keep

The Lord’s loving kindness indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning;

Great is thy faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion “says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him”Lamentations3:22-24