A God Times for November 21-25
(start with five minutes of appreciation memories)
Monday November 21
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need.
I only trust Jesus with the ultimate focus of my life. When I put anything else ahead of Jesus and his ways, life is not going to work in the long run.
If you are a Christian, you ought to already know this. How can you live according to any other worldview, if you are actually designed by Jesus and you have access to his help in your life?
It is not difficult for someone with a strong faith and who has at least reached an adult maturity level to understand that life is not always going to go our way. We will be disappointed. We know that when things haven’t gone well, when we have struggled, that was almost always a good thing eventually.
To face tough times makes it possible for us to gain more confidence in the God who stood with us, and gain more confidence in our own resiliency. These words ring true. With the glorious power of God at our disposal, ‘we will have all the endurance and patience we need.’
What are example of being overprotective of the younger generations today?
Tuesday November 22
May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
I want everyone to follow Jesus. Why? Because people who are filled with joy, people who are glad to be with others and glad to be with God, are the kind of people I want in my life. It is not difficult to think the Christian worldview is a superior view of reality. When Christians live like Jesus and act like their best true selves, the people around them prosper.
This is why people who are predatory and follow predatory worldviews actively work against the Christian influence of joy.
Predators try to gain power over others by attacking them and using manipulation and aggressive tactics to maintain their power. This is why they are so opposed to a fair hearing for the Christian message of joy, love, beauty, peace, kindness, and freedom.
From some former communist countries to some present Islamic-influenced countries, when you try to stop Christian teaching at best or when you imprison and kill Christians at worst, you are living in darkness and you will not have a life of joy, love, beauty, peace, kindness and freedom. There is so much joy and peace with Jesus and anyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear realizes this.
Look up “persecuted Christians” and pray for some of the people mentioned.
Wednesday November 23
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.
Here is why I can’t separate my faith and somehow try to keep it hidden in some private closet in my life. That would be such a foolish way to live. If everything is designed and created through Christ, why would I ever want to somehow keep my faith from influencing my decisions and behavior in my public life? If I am not using Jesus as the filter for everything, then I am, on purpose, trying to be less wise and more wrong.
No, my faith will be the filter to make all my life decisions- personal, vocational, financial, physical, political, and relational. The greatest danger for me would be to ignore the model and teachings of Jesus and the Bible which he gives us. There are plenty of seen and unseen forces active in my world trying to get me to stay in the dark and not actively follow my Lord.
We live in an age where we worship human desire. We can’t say, “No,” to anything. I will always default to the model and teachings of Jesus and his Word. I realize that, while Jesus and his Word are infallible, my interpretation is not without error.
But Jesus is never wrong. Even with my limited understanding and when I stray from what he would want, if I stick close to him and am open to him, Jesus will bring the correction I need.
I look at it this way. There is just enough depravity in me that I must cooperate with God. Without Jesus I am lost. This is the one time I can say always back the winner.
“All people are good,” is not the same as “Look for the good in all people.”
Thursday November 24
Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body.
He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So he is first in everything.
Jesus is in charge of his church. He’s the leader. Not the pastor, not the church council, not the biggest givers, not the orneriest or most aggressive church members…Nope, it’s Jesus. This is his church.
We are his body. He wants a healthy body. Joy is at the center of our faith and joy is to be at the center of our body.
God designed us physically to be emotionally healthy and gives us principles to support this in the Bible.
When Christians make up a high-joy church, they are the best hope for the communities they live in. It isn’t some kind of Christian marketing campaign. It is a way of life.
The thing that holds us back is when we have adults captive to infant and child maturity. The idea is to get more of God into us and get our infant and child maturity out of us.
Infant maturity? My job is to let you know I am upset. Your job is to figure out why and fix it.
Child maturity? My job is to tell you what I want. Your job is to do it. I will use threat, anger and shame to get my way.
Jesus is first in everything, including maturity. We need him so that we can grow up.
High-joy environments are absolutely essential for us to grow in maturity. Jesus is the emotionally healthiest human being who ever lived. That is who we are to be like. So we follow him.
We are to be held captive to one thing. The wisdom of Jesus.
Friday November 25
For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
Here is what I know. Christianity is not hard to figure out. It’s just hard to live out. This is why we grow in fits and starts. But it doesn’t take much. Real spiritual growth doesn’t look like much. This is why we miss it so often.
If you have been a Christian for awhile, you have a good chance of losing your enthusiasm, or you start worshipping the traditions and rituals, or you start judging God and how he works in your life by how excited or inspired you get.
But, the faith Jesus really grows in us is way more like a mustard seed. Growing spiritually is far more often tiny non-exciting, non-stupendous everyday growth that becomes daily faith and that’s enough. Actually that’s more than enough, because it has God providing the power.
This is why Jesus designed for us to live our faith out with other people we share life with. We practice being a more joyful and caring person with the people who know us the best and care for us the most. I have learned to live Christianity out in my life, in a large part, because I am journeying with these kind of people. This is why I have dedicated my life to raise a family and growing as a Christian with many of the same people.
It is only when we are glad to be with someone in spite of disagreement that we are beginning to understand living in community.