In the African country where my friend Roxanne lives, water is a precious commodity. People often have to travel long distances to collect water from small, contaminated creeks—leading to sickness and death. It’s difficult for organizations like orphanages and churches to serve the people because of a lack of water. But that’s beginning to change.
Through Roxanne’s leadership and the unselfish gifts of some loving people in established churches, clean water wells are being dug. At least six new wells are now operational, allowing churches to be centers of hope and encouragement. A health center and a home for 700 orphans will also be able to be opened because of access to water.
That’s the kind of love that can flow from believers in Christ when we have experienced the love and generosity of God. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13 that if we don’t have love, our voices clang on people’s ears and our faith means nothing. And the apostle John says that if we have material possessions and see others in need and take action, that’s evidence that God’s love is abiding in us (1 John 3:16).
God desires that we deal “graciously” (Ps. 112:5) with those in need, for His heart is gracious toward us.
Be not weary in your serving; Do your best for those in need; Kindnesses will be rewarded By the Lord who prompts the deed. —Anon.
Kindness is Christianity with its working clothes on.
While there is no designation of the author of Psalm 112, the common speculation is for Davidic authorship. It may well have been written as a companion to Psalm 111. In both songs, the verses are written in alphabetical order, and both share the theme of the characteristics and life of the person blessed by God. Psalm 111 focuses on the God who blesses, while Psalm 112 focuses on the person who is blessed.
There is an old adage that says, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” It’s wise not to take on more responsibilities than we can handle. At some time, however, we will likely feel overwhelmed by the size and difficulty of a task we have agreed to do.
This can happen even in our walk of faith in Christ when our commitment to God seems too much to bear. But the Lord has an encouraging word for us when our confidence wavers.
The writer of Hebrews urged his readers to recall the courage they demonstrated during the early days of their faith (10:32-33). Despite public insults and persecution, they aided believers in prison, and they joyfully accepted the confiscation of their own property (vv.33-34). With that in mind, he says, “Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (vv.35-36).
Our confidence is not in ourselves but in Jesus and His promise to return at just the right time (v.37).
It is God’s power that enables us to continue in our journey of faith. Recalling the Lord’s faithfulness in days past stirs our confidence in Him today.
When life becomes a heavy load, An upward climb, a winding road, In daily tasks, Lord, let me see That with me You will always be. —D. DeHaan
Trusting God’s faithfulness stirs up our confidence.
Severely opposed and persecuted, Jewish Christians were pressured to abandon Christianity and to revert to Judaism. The unnamed writer of Hebrews encouraged them to continue in the faith by affirming the preeminence, superiority, and sufficiency of Christ through His person and position (Heb. 1–4) and His work of propitiation (chs. 5–10). He also warned them against rejecting Christ (2:1-3; 3:7-15; 6:4-6). Here, in his final exhortation, he reminded them of their exemplary faithfulness in enduring the mistreatments thus far (10:32-34) and of the great reward that would be theirs if they persevered (vv.35-36). He was confident that they would succeed (v.39).
The Bavarian city of Nördlingen is unique. It sits in the middle of the Ries Crater, a large circular depression caused by the impact of a huge meteorite a long time ago. The immense pressure of the impact resulted in unusual crystallized rock and millions of microscopic diamonds. In the 13th century, these speckled stones were used to build St. George’s Church. Visitors can see the beautiful crystal deposits in its foundation and walls. Some might say it has a heavenly foundation.
The Bible talks of a different kind of heavenly foundation. The Lord Jesus came to our world from heaven (John 3:13). When He went back into heaven after His death and resurrection, He left His followers who became the “living temple” of God, of which He is the foundation. The apostle Paul says, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11).
The church building in Bavaria is built on a foundation from pieces of rock from the physical heavens. But the spiritual church—all believers in Christ—is founded on the ultimate heavenly foundation, Christ Jesus (Isa. 28:16; 1 Cor. 10:3-4). Praise God that because of what Jesus has done our salvation is secure.
On Christ salvation rests secure; The Rock of Ages will endure; Nor can that faith be overthrown Which rests upon the “Living Stone.” —Anon.
Christ, the Rock, is our sure hope.
In today’s passage, Paul uses both agricultural and architectural metaphors to warn of an overreliance and dependence on church leaders. Using an agricultural metaphor, he reminds us that while human leaders do the planting and watering, God alone can make the church grow (1 Cor. 3:1-9). And with the architectural metaphor of a building, Paul warns that no human leader is the founder of the church (vv.10-11). God alone is the founder and foundation.