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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Enabled to Serve

November 25

(Luke 1:74-75 NIV) “… and to enable us to serve him without fear {75} in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”

(Acts 4:29-33 NIV) ““Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. {30} Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." {31} After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. {32} All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. {33} With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.””

Jesus did not come just to save us. That was a major goal of His mission, but He also came to equip and enable us to serve him. He came to enable us to speak His word with boldness here on Earth. Many serve to glorify themselves or their church. They want their name attached to deeds of kindness. Others serve out of fear. They figure God is up there somewhere keeping score, and if they do enough good stuff, they just might earn enough points to get into heaven. These are the wrong motivations. Disciples serve Jesus out of love. He has shown His love for us, and we love Him back. Jesus enables us to serve Him boldly and without fear, in holiness and righteousness. This is the right kind of enabling -- not enabling us to get what we want, but to do what God wants. When we serve Him with the right motivation, our lives will bear fruit that lasts. Let Jesus be your righteous enabler. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day  

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Rescued

November 24

(Luke 1:69-74 NIV) "He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David {70} (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), {71} salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us-- {72} to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, {73} the oath he swore to our father Abraham: {74} to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear"

(Galatians 1:3-5 NIV) "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, {4} who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, {5} to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen."

(Psalms 25:20 NIV) "Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you."

We all have enemies in this world. We may have human enemies who hate us. We certainly have a great spiritual enemy who seeks our demise. There is no salvation other than Jesus, who was sent by God to rescue us. But often, we are our own worst enemy. Our external enemies don’t need much help when we do most of the work ourselves. It is often said: “He backslid and fell into sin.” But most of us don’t slide or fall into sin. We run toward it. We wade into it. We soak in it like it was a hot tub. Most of our sins are not accidental. We may be blinded as to the consequences, but we are hardly ever ignorant about our direction. Zechariah sings that Jesus came to save us from our enemies. He came to rescue us from ourselves. The question for today is this: Will you reach up and take his rescuing hand, or will you continue to use your hands to swim in sin? It’s your choice. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Monday, November 23, 2020

Redeemer and Savior

November 23

(Luke 1:67-70 NIV) ““His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: {68} "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. {69} He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, {70} (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago)””

(Titus 2:11-14 NIV) “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. {12} It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, {13} while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, {14} who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

Zechariah’s loosed tongue lifts a song of acknowledgement and praise toward heaven. He sings of the Christ who is coming to save his people -- not from the political oppression of Rome, but from the spiritual oppression of their sin. Salvation brings freedom. This Christ will also redeem the lives of His people. Like a paper coupon, redeemed in a store for something of value, He will take what was once worthless, and transform it into something usable in God’s Kingdom. When we are saved by God’s grace, our life is redeemed so that it brings glory to God. Even a shameful past can be redeemed and used for God’s glory. Have you allowed God to do this in your life? Have you given your past, present, and future to the Lord? He can take the rubble of your past and build something beautiful for today. Christ is our Redeemer and Savior. Be thankful! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day      

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Filled With Awe

November 22

(Luke 1:64-66 NIV) ““Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. {65} The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. {66} Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, "What then is this child going to be?" For the Lord's hand was with him.””

(Matthew 9:5-8 NIV) ““Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? {6} But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . ." Then he said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." {7} And the man got up and went home. {8} When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.””

(Acts 2:41-43 NIV) “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. {42} They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. {43} Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.”

John’s birth was unusual because his parents were aged, and had been unable to have children. John’s name drew attention because it did not come from any relative of Zechariah or Elizabeth. This, and the fact that Zechariah praised God after nine months of silence, caused the people of the region to be filled with awe and wonder: awe at the miracle of John’s birth, and wonder about who this child might be. John was already special. God’s hand was upon him. We see the phrase, “filled with awe” used to describe Christ’s ministry of deliverance and healing. It is also used as people witnessed the miraculous work of the early church. Although many have become cynical of miracles in this scientific age, people are still filled with awe by genuine conversion. When God visibly changes a life, there is an awe that rises up in the hearts of people. Be an “awe producing” disciple today. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day