SEP 18 / Sunday – Read Luke 5:2-11 / John 12:1-12a
Overview: Twice Jesus shows unsuccessful fishermen where to catch fish. Listening to Jesus is not a one and done thing. It’s a lifetime of being schooled by the Master.
19 / Mon – Schooled | Read Luke 5:2-11
To ‘school’ someone means to put them in their place by teaching them what they thought they knew but really did not. Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen by trade. They knew what worked and what did not in their business. Who was this rabbi who thought he knew better than they did? But they complied. To their chagrin, and delight, it worked. Instead of chiding them for not believing him, Jesus invited them to follow him. Has the Lord ever ‘schooled’ you?
20 / Tue – Not what you’d expect | Read Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus invited the disciples into the kingdom of God and he made it clear things worked differently than what they were used to. For example, his command that they love their enemies and pray for those who persecuted them. It still holds true for us today. Are there people in your life that you feel don’t deserve to be loved and prayed for? That may be true, but what if God had decided that about you? Are you willing to try, with God’s help, to love and pray for your enemies? It could change a life.
21 / Wed – Qualifications for being the greatest | Read Mark 9:33-35
There was another time when Jesus had to school his disciples. They were arguing about who was the most important disciple and which one would have the highest rank in Jesus’ kingdom. It might sound silly to us now but do you start to feel a little prideful because you might be closer to God than other Christians you know? The kingdom of God is about humility and serving others. Is there an area in your life where you need to be more purposeful in living out that attitude?
22 / Thu – Child-like | Read Mark 10:13-16
Jesus said we need to become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. What are some qualities children have that might apply here? How do those things change as we grow older and ‘wiser’? What can you do to cultivate the positive attitudes and beliefs that you had when you were a little kid to avoid the pitfalls of cynicism or unbelief that come from adult life experiences? Choose one to focus on for the next 3 days and see what happens.
23 / Fri – Who made you judge? | Read Matthew 7:1-5 / Proverbs 3:5b and 7a
Why did Jesus command his followers not to judge others? It is one of the hardest habits to break. Is it because we trust too much in our own perspectives? Is it that we tend to notice in others the things we most dislike about ourselves? Whatever the case, the things that bug you about someone else can serve as a reminder to look inward and ask…is there something in me that I need to take care of? God will show you if you ask.
24 / Sat – A refresher course | Read John 21:1-12
Context is important. After deserting Jesus at Gethsemane and seeing him die, the disciples were lost. Without purpose, they reverted to what they knew best – fishing. After a fruitless night on the lake, Jesus found them and it was de ju vu all over again. He met their need and welcomed them back into relationship. Jesus does the same for all of us when we too have failed. Do you know anyone who needs to hear this encouraging news today?