12 Baskets Full

A Devotional Basket January 2021

Well known author, Philip Yancey shares an interesting anecdote about Nikola Tesla, electrical engineer, scientist and futurist.  During storms Tesla would sit on a couch by a window.  When lightning struck, he would applaud – one genius recognizing the work of another.  Tesla appreciated more than anyone else the wonder of lightning, for he spent years researching electricity.

In a similar way, the more we know God and his Word, the more deeply we will applaud his mighty deeds.[1] Knowing God lies at the heart of this first basket of 2021 and each element we are adding is to help us grow in our understanding of God.

  • But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me –Jeremiah 9:24
  • And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent – John 17:3

Let’s get practical!

A Scented Candle:  for in Him there is no darkness at all!

Intentionally light this candle as you sit down with your cup of liquid wisdom, and remember Jesus who simply stated… I am the light of the World!  Also remember that:

  • He calls us to walk in this light, so that we can have fellowship with one another.1 John 1:7
  • We are the light of the world, and therefore should not put our lamp under a bowl, but on a stand, so that it can give light to everyone in the house. Matthew 5:15

Prayer:  A Prayer Journal or Prayer Cards

Welcome to the adventure of prayer!  The one element in this basket that fills me with great joy is this very discipline – far too often labelled as a struggle or a burden. As the main function of prayer is communion with God, I do get the lies, yet it is far more common to experience lightness, joyfulness and peace than defeat, toil and strife.

My one concern is that we mostly tend to pray for the same 10 topics – marriage, kids, family, work, friends, finances, health etc.  Thus, I launched a collection of 366 prayers last year called, A Challenge to Pray Wider, Deeper & Bolder.  Divided into 12 months and 52 weeks, these scripture verses and prayers are designed to help us pray beyond our own pain, failures and seemingly unanswered prayers.

But you can also create your own prayer topics – relevant and up to date, by keeping a newspaper in your basket; a map of your town, or neighbourhood; missionary newsletters or a family picture.

Regardless of how you choose to go about it, make sure that there are grace structures in place, especially when you are plagued by constant defeat.    Whether that is a structured approach like above, an online prayer group, or a prayer journal where you can draw, write, or paint your prayers – don’t miss the joy!

An Empty Brown Paper Bag:  for we are called to – Live it Out!

One day a man asked me, “What is the best translation?” (He was referring, of course, to the best Bible version.)

I answered, “The best translation is when you translate the Word of God into your daily life.”

He said, “But I’ve got my Living Bible,” (He still didn’t get the picture)

I replied, “You ought to be a living Bible!  The Word made flesh ought to be visible in your life.”[2]

Applying what we read to our own lives, is crucial, for not only are we called to draw closer to the Lord, but to obey his commandments.  James is clear – genuine faith in Christ must result in good works.  Putting what we read into action, to be a living Bible, as Rick Warren puts it, is how we perfect our faith.

Whether it is a warm coat, an extra pair of socks, left over shampoo, or a sandwich – let us heed the promptings of His Holy Spirit and add something to our paper bag for delivery later in the day!

 

 

[1] Knowing God 364 from 750 Engaging Illustrations

[2] Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods (Twelve Ways You Can Unlock God’s Word) pg 16

 

 

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