VIDEO My Favorite Things: Loving Your Community

[They were] praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:47

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit America, many churches made efforts to support their communities. Many established food banks where community members could find staples. Some churches reached out to support frontline healthcare workers. And some held special services to honor and applaud those who were addressing the health and emergency needs in their community.

There was no precondition to receiving help, such as, “Are you a follower of Christ?” No—the help given was on the basis of human need, not religious affiliation. It was a way for Christians to say to their community, “We are in this struggle with you. We want to help meet the needs of our community during this difficult time.” They were following biblical precedent. In the early months of the new Church in Jerusalem, believers pooled their resources and supported those in need.

When the world sees the love of Christ in action, they see the Christ of love (John 13:35). If God shows you a way to love your community this week, follow through!

The world does not understand theology or dogma, but it understands love and sympathy. D. L. Moody

Acts 2:37-47 – Radical Response

Just Enough

Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Proverbs 30:8

In the movie Fiddler on the Roof, the character Tevye talks honestly with God about His economics: “You made many, many poor people. I realize, of course, that it’s no shame to be poor. But it’s no great honor either! So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune! . . . Would it have spoiled some vast, eternal plan—if I were a wealthy man?”

Many centuries before author Sholem Aleichem placed these honest words on Tevye’s tongue, Agur lifted an equally honest but somewhat different prayer to God in the book of Proverbs. Agur asked God to give him neither poverty nor wealth—just his “daily bread” (Proverbs 30:8). He knew that having “too much” could make him proud and transform him into a practical atheist—denying the character of God. In addition, he asked God to not let him “become poor” because it might cause him to dishonor God’s name by stealing from others (v. 9). Agur recognized God as his sole provider, and he asked Him for “just enough” to satisfy his daily needs. His prayer revealed a pursuit of God and the contentment that’s found in Him alone.  

May we have Agur’s attitude, recognizing God as the provider of all we have. And as we pursue financial stewardship that honors His name, let’s live in contentment before Him—the One who not only provides “just enough,” but more than enough.

By:  Marvin Williams

Reflect & Pray

What can you do to pursue God and find contentment in Him? How can you express your gratitude to Him for His faithfulness?

Dear God, our Provider, help me to be satisfied with everything You supply.

The Ways We Disobey

It’s easy to slip into sin, but we can quickly get back on track Psalm 119:65-72

Salvation frees us from eternal condemnation, yet we still struggle with sin. The devil tries to deceive us, the world seeks to conform us, and our fleshly nature yearns to be satisfied. Thankfully, we’re not helpless in the face of these temptations: God has given us His Spirit and His Word to guide us.  

Though our victory against sin won’t be complete in this life, we’ll make greater strides against it the more we get to know the Lord and become like Him. But we should be aware of four ways that we rebel against God.

1. By neglecting to obey His commands. Our rebellion can be something obvious, like stealing or lying. Or it can be subtle and private, such as harboring a bitter, unforgiving spirit.

2. By actively pursuing what God forbids. He has declared certain things off limits because they dishonor Him and have devastating consequences in our lives. Respecting His decrees is wise.

3. By doing what the Lord says, but in the wrong manner. God evaluates not only our actions, but also our motives and attitudes.  

4. By insisting on our own agenda. Since Jesus Christ is our Lord and Master, we’re to submit to His will and wait patiently for His guidance. 

Instead of justifying, rationalizing, or ignoring your rebellion, quickly confess and repent when you are aware of sin. And let God’s discipline teach you to love and keep His Word

Our Inheritance

“To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:4)

Our heavenly inheritance, among other things, is an “eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15), held jointly with Christ (Romans 8:17) and “all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). We who are born again “by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” and “kept by the power of God” (1 Peter 1:3, 5) find such an inheritance described in today’s verse.

First, we notice that our inheritance is incorruptible, or undecaying, immortal. Note how the same word is used in verse 23: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God.” Therefore, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt” (Matthew 6:20).

Second, it is undefiled, pure, uncontaminated by sin. Remember, Christ is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26), and so, evidently, is our inheritance.

Third, it fadeth not away. “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Peter 5:4).

Lastly, our inheritance is reserved in heaven. Christ prayed, “Holy Father, keep [same word] through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11). Surely our inheritance is as secure as we are, guarded by none other than the all-powerful guard.

So, we see that our inheritance cannot die, cannot be tainted by sin, will never fade, and cannot be lost. “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). JDM

How to Cultivate the spirit’s Companionship

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?Amos 3:3

Now this is what is known as a rhetorical question; it is equivalent to a positive declaration that two cannot walk together except they be agreed, and for two to walk together they must be in some sense one.

They also have to agree that they want to walk together, and they have to agree that it is to their advantage to travel together. I think you will see that it all adds up to this: For two to walk together voluntarily they must be, in some sense, one.

I am talking now about how we can cultivate the Spirit’s fellowship, how we can walk with Him day by day and hour by hour….I am going to give you [a] few little pointers to help you into a better life.

Point one is that the Holy Spirit is a living Person. He is the third Person of the Trinity. He is Himself God, and as a Person, He can be cultivated; He can be wooed and cultivated the same as any person can be. HTB049, 053

No true Christian can be habitually more engaged in the service of the world and of sin, than in the service of God. His obedience, though not perfect, is habitual. DTC204

Fresh Water

The Lamb … will guide them to springs of living waters, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.—Revelation 7:17

The idea for the theme of “staying spiritually fresh” arose out of a letter I received some time ago which said: “Over the past year or so, my Christian life has become stale—insufferably so. I have lost the freshness and spontaneity I once knew. Can you say something that will help bring back the sparkle into my Christian experience? What is the remedy?”

But can we expect always to live in a state of spiritual alertness and freshness? Isn’t that being unrealistically optimistic? Well, what does Scripture say? It shows us that the people of God are meant to be beautiful gardens in the midst of a dry desert. The prophet Isaiah puts it like this: “You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose waters never run dry” (Isa 58:11).

In Ezekiel 47:8, Ezekiel says that the river flows into the sea and “the sea becomes fresh.” How thrilling! The river of God flowing into our dead seas turns them fresh. Whatever reasons there are for our lives becoming spiritually stale, it is quite clear from Scripture that they need not be so. God offers to exchange His strength daily for our weakness, His freshness for our staleness.


My Father and my God, I come at the beginning of these meditations to ask that You will make my life like a watered garden. Let Your fresh rivers run into my dead seas so that my whole being is revived—day after day after day. Amen.

Further Study

Jn 4:1-29; 7:37-38; Rv 7:17

What is the quality of the water that Christ gives?

How did Jesus describe it to the woman?

Imparting Gifts

For I want very much to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you. . . —Romans 1:11

Your life affects those you have contact with, whether you intend it or not. It may be a positive experience for them or a negative one, but your life will affect others.

Paul wanted to leave a spiritual blessing with other believers. He had heard of the Christians in Rome, and he longed to go to them to build them up in their faith. Paul always mentioned the Roman believers in his prayers, even though he had never met them (Rom. 1:10). While he waited for an opportunity to visit Rome, Paul wrote a letter to the church. His letter to the Romans is one of the most cherished and challenging books in the New Testament.

We should share Paul’s goal of leaving a spiritual blessing with everyone around us. We have opportunities to strengthen our parents, our children, our friends, our coworkers, and our fellow Christians. Spiritual blessings are not given haphazardly, but by choice. Our self-centeredness may cause us only to seek blessings from others rather than to impart them. Only when we are determined to focus on giving a blessing rather than receiving a blessing will we have the quality of ministry to others that God gave to Paul.

You may not realize it, but your life has the potential to bless everyone you encounter. Are others strengthened and encouraged in their faith because of their relationship with you? Do you usually look at others in terms of what they can do for you or in terms of how you can encourage them? As you go about your day, strive to be a positive influence on everyone you encounter!