Terms Of Service

Forgive, and you will be forgiven. —Luke 6:37

If you’re like me, you seldom read the full text of contracts for online services before you agree to them. They go on for pages, and most of the legal jargon makes no sense to ordinary people like me.

I was quite surprised, therefore, when a friend from Africa made me aware of this one-of-a-kind service agreement for online software. Instead of a wordy license telling people how not to use it, the developer offers a simple blessing urging people to use it for good:

May you do good and not evil. May you find forgiveness for yourself and forgive others. May you share freely, never taking more than you give.

At first I thought, Wow. Imagine if more terms of service agreements were written as blessings instead of legal documents. Then I thought, The agreement Jesus makes with us is like that. He offers us forgiveness of sin, peace with God, and the presence of the Holy Spirit. In return, all He asks is that we do good (Gal. 6:10), forgive as we’ve been forgiven (Luke 6:37), and love others as He loves us (John 13:34).

The beauty of Jesus’ agreement with us is that even though we fail to live up to the terms, we still receive the blessing. By Julie Ackerman Link

Bestowed with benefits daily,
Sent from the Father above;
Mercies and blessings abounding,
Gifts of His marvelous love. —Anon.

As we have opportunity, let us do good to all. —Galatians 6:10

Waiting for God to Meet Our Needs

Philippians 4:18-20

Every need we will experience in life is already met in Christ Jesus. By His power, God has prepared blessings to fill each of our needs in His perfect timing. Sometimes, when life is not exactly as we hoped it would be, we begin to despair. We think that we must have certain things in a particular time frame, but the Lord knows better.

Sometimes a need in our life—whether it is physical, spiritual, relational, emotional, or financial—persists because the Lord is trying to get our attention. He wants us to focus on Him so that He can correct our thinking. He desires that we experience abundance, but He knows we cannot enjoy blessing until He has been allowed to work in our life. Like a fruit tree, we must be pruned; sometimes the cutting back hurts, but it is always followed by a more bountiful harvest.

At other times, the way we approach God may be what hinders His promised blessings. Perhaps our prayers reflect feelings of inferiority and insecurity, though as members of God’s family, we have absolutely no reason to come crawling like a beggar to our Father. He wants His children to come with confidence, anticipating the blessings He longs to give!

Do not misunderstand. We can expect blessings, but we cannot dictate when or how or what they should be. God knows what’s best and is intently interested in our well-being. And while He does not promise ease, God is certainly steadfast in providing us spiritual comfort and meeting our every need. Look in anticipation; He will do something far beyond what you could have imagined.

Life’s Uncertainties

“Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5)

Many times along life’s way we face uncertainties, opposition, and even doubt. When we do, it is helpful to recognize that those who lived with Christ when He was here on Earth faced the same perplexities. His answers and assurances to them in John 14 are meant for us as well.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” He said (John 14:1)—an emphatic command which could be rendered: “Don’t continue to be troubled.” The solution: “Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” We believe God can supply all the answers to our troubles. But Christ is God! He is the solution. He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (14:6), and is the only solution, for “no man cometh unto the Father, but by [him].”

He is the Way: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. . . . I go to prepare a place for you. And . . . I will come again, and receive you unto myself” (14:2-3). Whatever else may befall us, our destiny is sure. His reputation is at stake, for He has promised a place in the Father’s house.

He is the Truth: Peter had just been informed of his coming denial (13:38), that he would openly assert a lie. Jesus said He is “the truth.” “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but of the Father that dwelleth in me” (14:10). Words and thoughts not in accordance with His are not “truth,” we can be sure of that.

He is the Life: Speaking of His imminent death, Christ said, “Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards” (13:36), indicating their own eventual persecution and martyrdom. Yet their ultimate victory, as well as comfort (14:16-18), were assured.

How can those things be? “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name,” Christ said, “that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (14:13). JDM

The troubles of my heart are enlarged: Ob, bring Thou me out of my distresses

The troubles of my heart are enlarged: Ob, bring Thou me out of my distresses.—Psalm 25:17.

Low at His feet lay thy burden of carefulness,
High on His heart He will bear it for thee,
Comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,
Guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.
J. S. B. MONSELL.

THE greatest burden we have to carry in life is self. The most difficult thing we have to manage is self. Our own daily living, our frames and feelings, our especial weaknesses and temptations, and our peculiar temperaments,—our inward affairs of every kind—these are the things that perplex and worry us more than anything else, and that bring us oftenest into bondage and darkness. In laying off your burdens, therefore, the first one you must get rid of is yourself. You must hand yourself and all your inward experiences, your temptations, your temperament, your frames and feelings, all over into the care and keeping of your God, and leave them there. He made you and therefore He understands you, and knows how to manage you, and you must trust Him to do it. HANNAH WHITALL SMITH.

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust. — Even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings. — He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.

I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. — The darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? — Ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. — I will trust, and not be afraid.

Psalm 91:5,4. Matthew 23:37. Psalm 121:3-5. Psalm 61:4. Psalm 139:12. Romans 8:32. 1 Corinthians 3:23. Isaiah 12:2.

Who trusts in the Lord, happy is he

Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he. Proverbs 16:20

[Abrahaml staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. — The children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the LORD God of their fathers.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. — It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. — The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

Romans 4:20,21. 2 Chronicles 13:18. Psalm 46:1,2. Psalm 118:8,9. Psalm 37:23,24. Psalm 34:8,9.