Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Monday, October 20
“Let us not love with words…but…actions.”
1Jn 3:18 NIV
WORDS OR ACTION?
We must care about people’s spiritual and practical needs. It’s hard for someone to grasp the concept of God’s love when they don’t know where their next meal is coming from, or where they’ll sleep tonight. Food pantries worldwide are seeing a dramatic upsurge in emergency requests. Volunteer Cindy Crosby writes: “Each client is as different as the patterns in a kaleidoscope: retirees, the mentally ill, single mothers, young men fallen on hard times…And not everyone is grateful. Some are angry…some refuse eye contact…some leave without saying more than a few words…If you volunteer just to feel good about yourself, you’ll give up. Lofty ideals shatter like stained glass pelted by rocks…It’s the success stories that stick…The refugee mother whose son went on to Harvard on a scholarship…the woman who thanked me more times than I could count…the mother of six who showed palpable relief because that month she could feed her family…I remember Jesus’ words, ‘I was hungry…you gave me something to eat…I was a stranger…you invited me in’ (Mt 25:35 NIV). Now when I think of hunger, I see faces. And that has made all the difference.” It’s easier to love in theory than reality, especially when it comes to people who are difficult or different. But genuine love isn’t defined by what feels good or bad; God already set the standard. “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?…Let us not love with words…but…actions” (1Jn 3:17-18 NIV).
Tuesday, October 21
“God…will never give up on you.”
1Co 1:9 TM
Think being a Christian isn’t exciting? Check out these headlines. Man in desert discovers burning bush that can’t be extinguished. Sea opens and thousands walk through on dry land. Giant who threatened a nation killed by teen with slingshot. Jewish girl saves her people from destruction. Three young rebels survive blazing furnace. Man brought back from the dead after four days. City walls mysteriously fall. Preacher swallowed by giant fish and lives to tell about it. Prophet caught up to heaven in a fiery chariot. These aren’t from the tabloids; they’re from Scripture. Adventure means “exciting and dangerous undertakings.” When you embark on the spiritual adventure Paul mentions, you can expect God to test your faith in ways you never imagined. The Bible talks about those “who through faith conquered kingdoms…shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength” (Heb 11:33-34 NIV). John Eldredge says: “Adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of man…Moses doesn’t encounter the living God at the mall. He finds him in the deserts of Sinai…Deep in a man’s heart are fundamental questions that cannot be answered at the kitchen table…it’s fear that keeps [him] at home where things are neat and orderly and under his control.” When God wants to do something wonderful through you, He has to get you from where you are to where He is. How about it: Are you ready to embark on a spiritual adventure with God?