Thursday, April 20, 2006
Conventional wisdom says that your life will be better if you keep everything you have for yourself. However, God clearly says that your life will be better if you work to make another person's life better.
In Galatians 6:7-9, Paul writes, Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
In other words, what you give to others will affect how they give to you; the amount of love, patience, and kindness that you show to others will affect the amount that they show to you. This principle of giving and receiving applies to many areas of life. For example, if you invest an hour a day into exercising, then you will reap the benefits of that investment—a strong, healthy body. However, if you invest that same time into flipping channels on T.V., then you will reap the benefits of that investment—a wasted hour.
Paul isn't just talking about money or time; in fact, he is focusing on giving into the lives of others. In the very next verse, Galatians 6:10, Paul instructs believers: Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. If you "do good" to others by giving into their lives, then you will benefit.
So, if you don't feel like you're getting the love you should get, then maybe you should ask yourself if you're giving the love you should give. Why? Because you reap what you sow. If you give love, you'll receive love. If you give friendship, you'll receive friendship. If you give mercy, you'll receive mercy. (It is important to note that you may not always receive from the same place you give.)
Therefore, decide to give freely to others, actively look for ways to be a blessing to other people, and deliberately go out of your way to walk in love. Then, watch as the benefits of that giving affect your life. Remember, your level of living depends on your level of giving.
Pain is God's megaphone.
When life is going well, it can be easy to forget God. So, sometimes God will use painful circumstances -- difficulties, trials, and troubles -- to get our attention and remind us of our need for Him.
In James 1:2-4, we are instructed to rejoice in trials: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Why are trials good for us? Because they make us more mature -- that is, closer to God. So, when you feel the pain of life know that God is with you.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Lord, put courage into my heart, and take away all that may hinder me serving you. Free my tongue to proclaim your goodness, that all may understand me. Give me friends to advise and help me, that by working together our efforts may bear abundant fruit. And, above all, let me constantly remember that all my actions are in vain unless they are guided by your hand.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
I surrender my financial affairs and concerns about money to your Divine care and love. I ask that you remove my worries, anxieties, and fears about money, and replace them with faith. I know and trust that my debts will be paid and money will flow into my life. I have only to look to nature to see proof of the abundance you provide. I release all negative thoughts about money, and know that prosperity is my true state. I commit to being grateful for all that I now have in my life. I learn to manage my finances wisely, seeking help where needed. And finally, I ask you to help me understand my purpose in life and to act on that purpose with courage and strength. I know that prosperity will come, in part, by doing work I love. Please help me use my skills and knowledge to be of service in the world. Thank you God, for the abundance and multitude of blessings in Jesus' name, we pray. Amen!
- Lynn Robinson
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Lord, send me a surprise.
One that catches me off guard
and makes me wonder.
Send me a resurrection
when everything looks dead and buried.
Send me light
when the night seems too long.
Send me spring
when the cold and frozen season
Send me an idea
when my mind is empty.
Send me a thing to do
when I am just waiting around.
Send me a new friend
when I am alone. Send me peace
when I'm afraid. Send me a future
when it looks hopeless.
Send me Your resurrection
when I die, Jesus.
- Rev. Dr. Herbert Brokering
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
All praise to You, Lord Jesus,
Lover of children:
Bless our family,
And help us to lead our children to You.
Give us light and strength,
And courage when our task is difficult.
Let Your Spirit fill us with love and peace,
So that we may help our children to love You.
All glory and praise are Yours, Lord Jesus,
For ever and ever.Amen.