Read: 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give,
willing to share. - 1 Timothy 6:18
Cindy Kienow, who works at a popular restaurant in
Hutchinson, Kansas, had been waiting on one of her steady
customers for 3 years. He always tipped her well, sometimes
leaving as much as half the tab. Then he outdid himself - he gave
her a $10,000 tip for a $26 meal. He told her, "I want you to
know this is not a joke." What an amazing display of radical
Paul advised Timothy to encourage the wealthy in his
congregation to display radical generosity (1 Tim.6:18). Timothy
ministered in the prosperous city of Ephesus, where certain
members of the church were wealthy. Some of these people didn't
understand their responsibility to the kingdom of God. So Paul
challenged Timothy to remind them that having great wealth
carried great responsibility. That included being humble, finding
their security in God, not in riches, and using their money to do
good. How they handled their money revealed the condition of
Even if we're not wealthy, God has called us to radical
generosity. We can share what we do have and be rich in good
deeds. If we have a generous attitude about money, we are much
more likely to be generous in other matters concerning the Lord's
people and His work. - Marvin Williams
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Do you want to be wise and generous with what God has given you?
Read "Cultivating A Heart Of Contentment" at
WHEN WE GIVE TO THE LORD, ALL OTHER GIVING BECOMES EASIER.
Read: Psalm 65
You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with
abundance. - Psalm 65:11
Some years ago I placed a squirrel feeder on a fir tree a
few yards from our home. It's a simple device - two boards and a
nail on which to impale a corncob. Each morning a squirrel comes
to enjoy that day's meal. She's a pretty thing - black with a
round, grey tummy.
I sit on our back porch in the morning and watch heir eat.
She plucks each kernel from the cob, holds it in her paws, turns
it around and eats the heart out of the kernel. At the end of the
day no kernels remain, only a neat little pile of leftovers
under the tree.
Despite my care for her, the creature is afraid of me. When
I approach, she runs away, taking refuge in her tree and
chattering at me when I get too close. She doesn't know that I
provide for her.
Some people are like that with God. They run from Him in
fear. They don't know that He loves them and richly provides them
with everything for their enjoyment (Ps.65:11).
Henry Scougal, a 17th-century Scottish minister, wrote,
"Nothing is more powerful to engage our affection than to find
that we are [loved by] One who is altogether lovely .... How must
this astonish and delight us; how must it overcome our [fear] and
melt our hearts." God's love is the perfect love that "casts out
fear" (1 John 4:18). - David Roper
O love that wilt not let me go, rest my weary soul in Thee; I
give Thee back the life I owe, That in Thine ocean depths its
flow May richer, fuller be. - Matheson
OUR LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER NEVER TAKES HIS EYES OFF YOU.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?
Read: Isaiah 50:4-10
The Lord has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should
know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. - Isaiah
Francis Collins earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at Yale
University and then entered medical school. During his training
at a North Carolina hospital, a dying woman often talked to him
about her faith in Christ. He rejected the existence of God, but
he couldn't ignore the woman's serenity. One day she asked, "What
do you believe?" Caught off guard, Collins' face turned red as he
stammered, "I'm not really sure." A few days later the woman
Curious and uneasy, the young doctor realized that he had
rejected Gad without adequately examining the evidence. He began
to read the Bible and the writings of C.S.Lewis. A. year later he
fell to his knees and gave his life to Jesus Christ. The
catalyst? A sincere question from an elderly woman whose physical
heart was failing but whose concern for others was strong.
In a prophetic picture of the Messiah, Isaiah 50:4 says,
"The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I
should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary."
May we be ready with a timely word or a caring question to
point others toward our Savior who offers life and peace to all.
- David McCasland
Lord let me be a shining light, In all I say and do, That Your
great love displayed in me, May lead someone to You. - Sper
THE NEXT PERSON YOU MEET MAY NEED TO MEET CHRIST.
Read: Colossians 1:3-12
We give thanks to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
praying always for you. - Colossians 1:3
In 1947, Nadia from Bulgaria and Millicent from the United
States became pen pals. For years they swapped photos, school
experiences, and dreams. Then their letters stopped when
government policy banned personal contact with the West.
After many years of political upheaval and change,
Millicent, on a whim, sent a letter to the last address she had
for Nadia. To their delight, the letter got through. Before long,
they discovered that both had married doctors and both collected
seashells. Forty-eight years after their first letter, the two
friends finally met at Miami International Airport, where
Millicent exclaimed, "Nadia! I would know you anywhere!"
The letters of the apostle Paul overflow with affection and
gratitude for his friends. In his letter to the Colossians, he
wrote: "We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, praying always for you" (1:3). His letters also
encouraged their walk with Christ (v.10).
Any friendship can be a gift from God. But nothing runs
deeper than the relationships of those who share a bond in
Christ. In fact, Jesus commanded His disciples: "Love one another
as I have loved you" (John 15:12). In Him, friendships are
treasures that will last forever. - Mart De Haan
Of all the many blessings, That our gracious Father sends, I
thank Him most of all today,For loyal-hearted fiends. - Halse
A TRUE FRIEND IS A GIFT FROM GOD.
A GOOD STRETCH
Read: Romans 8:26-28
My strength is made perfect in weakness. - 2 Corinthians 12:9
Physical therapy is a painful necessity after
knee-replacement surgery. Part of my routine involved my
therapist pulling my knee back into a bent position and holding
it taut. "Good stretch?" Mason would ask encouragingly. "No," I
winced, "not that good!" I soon learned, however, how important
it is to stretch one's muscles and joints - sometimes causing
discomfort - to gain full range of motion.
That wasn't the first time I've been "stretched" outside my
comfort zone. God has sometimes urged me to share my faith with
someone I didn't know very well, or to give an offering that was
far beyond what I usually give, or to confront someone about a
Abraham's life illustrates the importance of faith when God
asks us to move beyond our comfort zone. "By faith Abraham obeyed
when he was called ... He went out, not knowing where he was
While we stretch our spiritual muscles, we may feel
discomfort. But God assures us, "My grace is sufficient for you,
for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor.12:9). Our
adequacy - our sufficiency - is found in Him (3:5).
When you boldly step out in faith and obedience to God, you
may be surprised at how a "good stretch" can strengthen your
spiritual life! - Cindy Hess Kasper
To stretch our faith, to take the risk, God says we will succeed
if we but ask Him for the strength, And grace that we will need -
OUR FAITH IS STRETCHED BY EXCHANGING OUR WEAKNESS FOR GOD'S
Read: Psalm 1
Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against
You. - Psalm 119:11
Madame Marie Curie holds her place in history as a pioneer
in the study of radioactivity. In 1903, she was the first woman
to win the Nobel Prize, capturing the honor in physics. Then, in
1911, she received a second Nobel Prize, this one in chemistry.
Such a wonderful contribution did not come without tremendous
sacrifice. Madame Curie died of leukemia caused by prolonged
exposure to radioactive materials. Even today, scholars who wish
to read her hand written journals and lab papers must wear
protective clothing because these archives are still radioactive.
No one today would approach radioactive material without
protection. But many seem unconcerned about exposure to the
dangers of sin. Psalm I warns us against sinful attitudes,
speech, and behavior (vv.1,4-6). Obedience to God's law is a
spiritual safeguard from sin and its deadly consequences. The
psalmist also wrote, "Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I
might not sin against You' (119:11).
Madame Curie didn't know about the serious health dangers of
exposure to radioactivity. But God has given us ample warning
about the dangers of sin. Let's apply daily what we read in His
life-giving Book. - Dennis Fisher
Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, A light to my path always, To
guide and to save me from sin, And show me the heavenly way. -
THE BIBLE WILL TELL YOU WHAT IS WRONG BEFORE YOU HAVE DONE IT!
THE SOUND OF SIRENS
Read: Revelation 21:1-5
He who sat on the throne said, "Behold I make all things new." -
I was enjoying my son's high school soccer game when the
relative calm and normalcy of that warm September afternoon was
shattered by a sound both distinctive and alarming - the sound of
sirens. The shrill whine seemed out of place at such a pleasant
moment, and it demanded my attention. According to singer Don
Henley, a siren usually means that "somebody's going to
emergency" or "somebody's going to jail." He's right. In either
case, someone's day, perhaps including the law enforcement or
rescue personnel, just took a turn for the worse.
As I lost my attention on the game and thought about the
siren fading into the distance, it occurred to me that sirens are
a reminder of a powerful reality: Our world is sadly broken.
Whether the siren tells us of criminal activity or personal
tragedy, it reminds us that something is desperately wrong and
needs to be made right.
At such times, it helps to remember that God sees our world
in its brokenness and has pledged that one day He will wipe away
the old and "make all things new" (Rev.21:5). That promise
encourages us in the hardships of life, and it provides the
whisper of His comfort - a whisper that can drown out even the
sound of sirens. - Bill Crowder
He is coming! "Star of Morning," All the faithful caught away,
When the trumpet, in a moment, Ushers in the glad new day. -
GOD'S WHISPER OF COMFORT QUIETS THE NOISE OF OUR TRIALS.