Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.
[Matt 10:8 NET]
Pour out thy love like the rush of a river,
Wasting its waters for ever and ever,
Through the burnt sands that reward not the giver;
Silent or songful thou nearest the sea.
Scatter thy life as the summer showers pouring.
What if no bird through the pearl rain is soaring?
What if no blossom looks upward adoring?
Look to the life that was lavished for thee.
~ Unknown ~
Who is the happiest person? He whose nature asks for nothing that the world does not wish and use.
My Father, I pray that I may have the sympathy that responds with consideration and devotion. May it be a joy for me to give comfort and render service where I may help. Grant that I may not linger too long in happiness and miss thy blessings, but remember that to “travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.” Amen.
I offer you godly contentment: a state of serenity that flows out of trusting in My great sufficiency. I am teaching you to depend on Me alone and to be content with whatever I provide. Relying solely on Me is a way of rich blessing, even though it may lead you along paths you would not have chosen. If you are truly content to live with My provisions for you—now and in the future—you will not be plagued by anxiety. Instead of worrying about “what ifs,” your heart will be firmly fixed—confident in Me.
I realize this world is full of fear-inducing messages. Daily news reports can fill your mind with fearful thoughts. Advertisers intentionally stimulate anxiety and insecurity, so they can demonstrate how their products will help you—making you happy and secure. To counteract these harmful messages, it’s essential for you to exert some control over your thinking. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you think My thoughts. The more He controls your mind, the more you will experience Life and Peace.
Remember that you brought nothing into the world: Everything you have is a gift from Me, including each breath you breathe. Though you can carry nothing out of this world, the spiritual transformation I am working in you is eternal. Collaborate with Me as I transform you into My likeness, preparing you for the ultimate in blissful contentment—heaven!
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
[1 Timothy 6:6–7]
He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firmly fixed, trusting (leaning on and being confident) in the Lord.
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.
This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life.”
Our Part Is to Trust
It’s a simple promise. . . . “Everyone who believes in [him] will have eternal life” (John 3:15 NLT).
The simplicity troubles many people. We expect a more complicated cure, a more elaborate treatment. . . . We expect a more proactive assignment, to have to conjure up a remedy for our sin. Some mercy seekers have donned hair shirts, climbed cathedral steps on their knees, or traversed hot rocks on bare feet.
Others of us have written our own Bible verse: “God helps those who help themselves” (Popular Opinion 1:1). We’ll fix ourselves, thank you. We’ll make up for our mistakes with contributions, our guilt with busyness. We’ll overcome failures with hard work. We’ll find salvation the old-fashioned way: we’ll earn it.
Christ, in contrast, says: “Your part is to trust. Trust me to do what you can’t.”
By the way, you take similar steps of trust daily, even hourly. You believe the chair will support you, so you set your weight on it. You believe water will hydrate you, so you swallow it. You trust the work of the light switch, so you flip it. You have faith the doorknob will work, so you turn it.
You regularly trust power you cannot see to do a work you cannot accomplish. Jesus invites you to do the same with him.
Just him. Not . . . any other leader. . . . Not even you. You can’t fix you. Look to Jesus . . . and believe.
Lord, you have invited us to trust you for salvation and for everything we need. You’ve promised rest and restoration if we will simply trust in you. Teach us to trust you more. Forgive us when we struggle to do what you long to do for us, amen.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.
Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.
His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.
[2 PETER 1:3]
Doing Life Together
Scripture Reading — Acts 2:42-47
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
We learn a lot about what community looked like in the early church. It included things like sharing meals, caring for one another, worshiping together, and praying together. The early church took community seriously. It wasn’t just an occasional event or gathering. It was regular and ongoing. They valued spending quality time together, and they did it often.
We see in the early church a focus on what matters—the Word of God, fellowship, worship, and prayer. We see who matters—the body of Christ doing life together. And we see that it isn’t just a once-a-week event. It also isn’t about being a church in one place or even in a building. The Bible says the Lord added to their number every day. There was room for others—more and more.
In our culture of focusing so much on individual desires, biblical community can seem a bit strange to us. But it’s all about relationships, and that is something we can grasp even in this “me first” world. Relationships always involve sharing—time, experiences, material goods, and more—and sharing requires an ongoing personal investment. It endures through joys and struggles over the long haul. Doing life together is one of the strengths of biblical community. The gift we share always has room for others, even when it is messy.
In what ways can you invest more in your relationships with God and others today?
Father, with you, we want to live fully together as your people, wherever you have placed us. Thank you for this gift. Amen.