July 31 - August 6

Most Importantly We Must Do It

Matthew 28:16-20
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”

Colossians 1:21-23
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.  This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

There is lots of talk in this world.  However, the amount of action never matches the talk in volume.  What does that mean?  It means that human beings have the propensity to talk a lot and to be full of good intentions but often times we never get around to doing what we often talk about doing.  To prove my point how many times have you heard someone say that they are going to lose weight or start an exercise regimen?  Now, think about how many people follow through on those good intentions. 

The same thing is true in the church.  We can talk a lot about reaching our world with the message of Jesus Christ but so many times the actual task of taking Christ to a lost and hurting world remains undone.  It is important that we not just talk about sharing the message of Jesus with others.  The most important thing is that we need to act on the imperative of sharing Christ.

Saturday, July 30

Hebrews 4:15-16
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus identifies with everything that we experience.  He experienced the human condition to its fullest.  He knows the joy of life.  He knows the pains of life.  He knows what it is like to suffer.  He knows what it is like to be treated unjustly.  Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, walks with us through all that we have to endure.  Because Jesus knows what we have to deal with on a daily basis we can turn to him for compassion, love and mercy.  Jesus’ love and mercy is always available in our time of need.

Take some time today to think about how Jesus has stood with you during your time of need.  Give thanks for his never ending mercy.

Friday, July 29

Psalm 25:4-6
Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.

Do you seek the ways of the Lord?  As we seek the ways of God and learn his truths then we will
become more and more aware of God’s love and mercy.  God’s mercy in Jesus Christ is our only hope.  We should seek the reality of that hope in our lives.  As we understand more fully how merciful God is,
then we will understand that we must continually
seek for the Lord on a daily basis.  Then we will
know that God’s mercy and love is dependable because he has offered it to every generation.

Spend time today intentionally seeking to know
God so that you will understand his love and
mercy more fully.

Thursday, July 28

2 Chronicles 30:9b
…the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate.  He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.

This verse of scripture promises that God will be gracious and compassionate.  So many times we
focus on the difficulties and hard times in life and we ask why God would allow us to experience dark moments.  It is so easy to skip right over all the wonderful blessings and act like they never happened.  We take blessings for granted.  However, those blessings are signs of the gracious and compassionate nature of God.  Every good thing that we receive in our lives is a gift of God’s mercy.  On top of all of that, even if we cannot find any good thing in our lives, we need to remind ourselves that we have been given new life in Jesus Christ and when all is said and done that is the only blessing we need.

Let us spend time today giving thanks that God
is gracious and compassionate. 
The mercy of God never ends.

Wednesday, July 27

2 Chronicles 7:14
…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

God has promised that if we turn to him, in all things, that he will respond.  God will forgive us and give us the healing that we need.  2 Chronicles 7:14 is a wonderful  example of God’s love and mercy.  We need to remind ourselves that we never have to go it alone.  God will hear us when we cry out and he will give us what we need.  God’s love and mercy will always be given to us if we just ask for it.

The next time that you are feeling inadequate and without strength just pray and ask God for his mercy.

Tuesday, July 26

Deuteronomy 4:31
For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.

God has made a covenant of love and mercy with us through Jesus Christ.  That covenant is everlasting. 
A covenant is like a contract.  It is an agreement.
 It seems like human contracts are being broken all
the time.  Marriage is a contract and we make the commitment to love and be faithful to our spouse for
all of life.  However, statistics tell us that more than 50% of all marriages end in divorce.  We also see examples of people breaking business and legal contracts.  People are not very good at keeping contracts.  Isn’t it wonderful that God will never
forget his covenant with each of us?  We don’t have
to worry about God trying to break or back out of the covenant of salvation that he has promised to all who have faith in his Son, Jesus Christ.

Every time someone breaks a promise to you or does not follow through on a promise think about how we never have to be concerned about God breaking his covenant of love and mercy through Jesus Christ.

Monday, July 25

Deuteronomy 7:9
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations who love him and keep his commands.

The Bible gives us the message, from beginning to end, that God is a faithful and loving God.  God shows us mercy.  When we went away from God’s love and fell into sin, God loved us so much that he gave us a way out of that sin by sending his Son, Jesus Christ to redeem us.  The love and mercy of God knows no bounds and as this verse of scripture reminds us, he keeps his covenant with those who love him for as long as time exists itself.

How can we show gratitude for God’s unending faithfulness, love and mercy?