To Hear Your Voice
“Pray continually; give thanks... Read more
To Hear Your Voice
“Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.“ 1 Thessalonians 5:17–18
Were you ever separated for an extended time from someone you loved deeply? If so, those days apart probably seemed almost unbearable. They may have also led to special moments to be savored—such as that catch-your-breath instant when you recognized the handwriting on the letter in your mailbox, realized who sent that last e-mail message, or heard that familiar voice over the telephone.
Jesus’ love for us is something like that. He longs for fellowship with us. And when we kneel before Him and spend even a few minutes in prayer, we bring joy to Him. The apostle Paul said Jesus wants to hear your voice “continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). But, when we let our-selves get caught up in the busyness of life and put off time for prayer, we become less sensitive to His voice and His leading in our lives.
Relationships, whether human or divine, must be cultivated and maintained if they are to be vibrant and meaningful. Let’s make sure we spend time every day with our loving Master.
Just between us . . .
• How do you feel when we’re apart for several days?
• How can we make sure that no matter how busy we are, we keep talking to each other?
• Do you think we spend enough time with Jesus in prayer?
• How is it possible to pray “continually” amidst the busyness of our lives? Can we learn to be mindful of Him throughout the day?
Dear Lord, we seek a thriving prayer conversation with You. We need it—to know You better, to hear You more clearly, and to love each other more deeply. Teach us to pray. Amen. Read less
Daily Disciples Devotional
Daily Disciples - Oct.... Read more
Daily Disciples Devotional
Daily Disciples - Oct. 8, 2012
Today’s Verses: Isaiah 30-31; Philippians 4
Today’s Thoughts: Giving to God First
Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:17-19
We quote Philippians 4:19 frequently to ease our concerns about insufficient finances as we say, "I know that God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." However, did you know that the context of this verse is about giving, not receiving? According to the context of this Scripture, Paul was saying that we will receive from God if we are willing to give to God first. Paul was thanking the Philippi believers for giving to him. Paul also said that he had learned to be content in all circumstances and he was thankful that they gave, so that fruit may abound on their behalf.
Why is it so difficult to give first? How can we live with an eternal perspective when it comes to money? Because we need to pay real life monthly bills, make actual house payments and physically handle money, it is difficult to believe that our money will go the extra distance by giving tithes and offerings. We can give away older things to replace them with newer things, although that kind of giving tends to be to our personal advantage. We can give to our families and even to our own social life, but to tithe regularly seems impossible. The word "tithe" means a tenth or 10% and God specifies that the amount is subtracted from our first fruits (our gross salary). God also talks about "offerings." An offering is in addition to the tithe. This seems like it would require too much faith to even begin giving.
But God asks us to give so He can bless us, to give cheerfully, not with clenched fists. If we open our hands freely to the work of God, we are in a position that we can freely receive from His open hand toward us. Corrie ten Boom said, "I have learned to hold on to things loosely because it hurts when God pries them away." The interesting thing about clenched fists towards God is that we can never protect what we have from God any way. Remember: God will supply all of our needs when we supply to His first.
Oh Lord, help me to give to You without my left hand knowing what my right hand is doing. Let me be a blessing to You first and I will trust You to take care of me. Read less
"How long , O naive ones, will you love being simp... Read more
"How long , O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded ? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge ? "How long , O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded ? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge ? 23 "Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 "Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention ; 25 And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof ; 26 I will also laugh at your calamity ; I will mock when your dread comes, 27 When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer ; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. 30 "They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. 31 "So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices. Read less