The Other Six
Scripture Reading for 03/22/20 Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-7,13-17,34-39
Day 1 – Read Jeremiah 17:7-8. Right now, we are dealing with a lot of changes and concerns from the coronavirus. What is bothering you the most? Many people are asking for our trust such as politicians, celebrities, doctors, and media personalities. Can we trust them? Some, perhaps, but they all have two of the same failings. They are flawed people and can’t see the future. Thankfully, we have someone else to look to who doesn’t have those failings, God. He is wise, sinless, and all-knowing. He is also constant. That’s why putting our confidence in Him is like being planted by a stream. Our source of life and peace is always there.
Day 2 – Read Ephesians 6:10-11. With all the craziness around us, it’s easy to focus on all the physical challenges and miss the spiritual attacks that are going on all around us. As churches stop meeting in person, the temptation may be to stop worshiping or stop being a part of the church. This is much worse of a threat than a virus. In times when being physically a part of the church is more difficult, it’s even more important to be the church apart. Spend even more time in the Bible and in prayer. Pray for each other. Call each other and pray with each other. Find ways to serve one another and your neighbors. Remember, the church isn’t the building, it’s the people…it’s you. You are the church just as much today as you were a month ago. What will you do?
Day 3 – Read James 1:12. What trials and tests are you facing right now? With each attack on our faith, we are called to endure, to turn to God rather than away from Him. Between the economy, the virus, and politics, you are likely feeling under attack right now. What better time to turn to God? What better time to lean into His arms and seek His strength and peace? He will strengthen you and raise you up on wings like an eagle. He will not leave you. He will carry you through. Read Psalm 91:1-16.
Day 4 – Read Romans 6:23. What sin(s) tempt you the most? Maybe it’s gossip. Maybe it’s covetousness. Maybe it’s disobeying your parents. A few weeks ago in my sermon, we looked at the lies of temptation. Satan loves to make sin look great. He tries to make sin look like a blessing, but the truth is it’s a curse. The result of sin, ultimately, is death. It’s what we earn by our sinful actions. However, the gift of God is eternal life. Notice, eternal life isn’t a wage. We don’t earn it like we do death. It’s a gift. It comes from God at no cost to us. Jesus paid the cost. Next time satan tempts you with a sin, try to look past the slick veneer to the death that lies underneath.
Day 5 – Read Philippians 1:29. When you think of the blessings of God, what do you think of? This is a tough verse, today, isn’t it? Do you ever really think of suffering as a blessing? If I were to have the choice, I would always select the blessings that feel good. I’d pass by the suffering options. Yet, we are blessed to not only believe but participate in Christ’s suffering. Read James 1:2-3. Like the “suffering” of physical therapy or intense exercise, suffering and testing produce endurance and perseverance. It’s good for us. Often, it also turns out to be good for others who see us willing to suffer for Christ and continue to cling to Him. Does this change your perspective on anything you are going through, now?
Day 6 – Read Psalm 62:7. Are you going to heaven? This is a helpful question because the answer reveals what we are trusting in for our salvation. Many people answer, “I hope so,” or, “I think so, I’m a pretty good person.” These answers are common but unfortunate. I hope your answer is, “Yes, by the grace of God!” You don’t need to “hope” it’s true or think about how good or bad you are. That’s irrelevant because salvation is only by grace through faith apart from our works. So, are you going to heaven? “Yes, by the grace of God!!”