Q356: Christmas Focus

What would Jesus ask you today?

"But who can endure the day of his coming?" - Malachi 3:2.

If not for God's mercy, no one could endure His coming. But God did not send Jesus on a white horse, or wrapped in royal robes, but sent a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and born to humble parents in an obscure town south of Jerusalem. And He did not send Him to judge, but to save. Do you have the proper focus for this Christmas season? Are you rejoicing that One came a humble servant to save you from your sins? Take some time today to read part of the Christmas story in Matthew 1:18-25 and then meditate on God's mercy that has allowed you access to His throne of grace through Christ.

Q355: Take Stock

What would Jesus ask you today?

"What have you done?" - Genesis 4:10.

It is always good to take stock of what you are doing and not doing, repenting where necessary and making changes where appropriate. For instance, ask yourself these questions today: What have I done for the poor? What have I done to offend others? What have I done that has pleased the Lord? What can I do to please Him more? Are there any sins which I have not confessed and asked forgiveness? Read and pray Psalm 139:23-24 and count on God helping you answer today's question.

Q354: A Promise is a Promise

What would Jesus ask you today?

"Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say both 'Yes, yes' and 'No, no'?" - 2 Corinthians 1:17.

Paul said it is a worldly, ungodly habit to say you are going to do something and then not follow through with your commitment. That includes saying, "I will pray for you" and not doing so, or "I'll call you" and then failing to call. Do you say yes and no in the same breath? Is your word your bond or do you consider it permissible not to follow through as long as you were sincere when you made the promise? Do you believe "I forgot" is a legitimate excuse when you gave your word to do something and didn't do it? Read Joshua 9:18-20 and see that Israel could not punish its neighbors who had deceived them because Joshua had made a promise, and Israel had to keep that promise because Joshua had given his word on their behalf. That's how seriously God takes what you say and the promises and vows you make.

Q353: Now and Then

What would Jesus ask you today?

"And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?" - 1 Corinthians 6:2.

The next age is not one endless song service. There is purpose for you 'then' just like there is 'now.' That is why you learn and grow in the Lord 'now,' for you will retain what you know and learn 'now' to be used again 'then.' And part of your preparation for 'then' is to sharpen your discernment and gain wisdom to exercise in your family, work, and ministry right 'now.' Are you growing in wisdom? Are you allowing the Lord to put you in tough situations so you can judge the problem and recommend a solution? Take a look at Luke 12:56-58 and see that Jesus rebuked His followers when they did not have the wisdom to handle their own 'now' matters. He later promised they would 'then' sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes in Matthew 19:28.

Q352: Prayer Habits

What would Jesus ask you today?

“Couldn’t you men keep watch
with me for one hour?” - Matthew 26:40.

By keeping watch, Jesus was referring to a time of prayer. The men could not do it because they were tired and sorrowful, and their humanity got the best of them (their spirits were willing, but their flesh was weak). How is your prayer life these days? Are you watching and praying for any period of time, or has your human weakness overwhelmed your ability to focus? Are you disciplined in your prayer habits, or are they random? As you approach the busy holidays and a new year, read what Jesus had to say about prayer in Matthew 6:5-15 and then ask His help to establish better prayer habits.

Q351: Separated

What would Jesus ask you today?

"Shall trouble or hardship or persecution
or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?" - Romans 8:35.

Paul was asking if any of the above-mentioned things could separate us from the love of God. The answer of course is "No!", except if you allow them to separate you. Paul did not think it strange that those negative things would find their way into your life; he found it strange that they would drive a wedge between you and the Lord. Have unexpected, difficult times separated you from God's love? Are you depressed, discouraged or disillusioned? If so, read Job 1:18-21 and then ask God's help to replicate Job's response to the hardship that had come into his life.

Q350: More Stuff

What would Jesus ask you today?

“Man, who appointed me a judge
or an arbiter between you?” - Luke 12:14.

A man had asked Jesus to tell his brother to split an inheritance, and Jesus posed today's question.  He went on to warn the asker and crowd to guard against all kinds of greed, for life does not consist of an abundance of possessions. Are you keeping that truth in mind? Do you hold a grudge or bitterness against someone else because you lost some 'stuff' to them?  Are you trying to use Jesus to help you keep or get your 'stuff'? Read Eccelesiastes 4:6-8 and see if the vain pursuit of more 'stuff' has clouded your perspective and walk with Him.

Q349: Work and Rest

What would Jesus ask you today?

"Are there not twelve hours of daylight?" - John 11:9.

On the equator, the days and nights are equal, which means that you should divide your time equally between work and non-work, non-rest and rest. Do you have your daily rhythm established?  Are either your work or rest patterns out of whack, with either one dominating the other's time?  Do you enjoy your work?  Do you gain benefit from your rest? Read Exodus 20:8-10 and reflect on the importance of practicing good work and rest ethics in your walk with the Lord.

Q348: Edify

What would Jesus ask you today?

"What are you discussing together
as you walk along?” - Luke 24:17.

When people are together, there are any number of things they can discuss.  Some of those things are uplifting, some are useless and others are downright sinful. Are you using your connection time with other people to build them up? Are you using that time to discuss meaningful things, or perhaps even to gossip, complain or be sarcastic? Read Ephesians 5:1-4 and then determine that today you will use your mouth during your encounters with others to talk about upliging things that will edity you and others.

Q347: Give Thanks

What would Jesus ask you today?

"Has none but this foreigner returned
to give thanks to God?" - Luke 17:18.

Jesus healed a group of lepers but only one returned to give thanks.  This impacted Jesus so deeply that He mentioned it to His disciples.  Thanksgiving therefore must be important to Him. How thankful have you been lately?  Do you hold what God has done for you uppermost in your mind and heart or dwell on what you wish He would do? Does your lack affect your gratitude for what you do have? Read Luke 17:11-19 and you can almost hear the disappointment in Jesus' voice as He asks today's question.