Caring for People in Need
Today Devotional
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5h ago
“I needed clothes and you clothed me. . . .” — Matthew 25:36 News reports have noted that the world has an overabundance of used clothing. In many ways, that is a good thing. Even the poorest of the poor can have access to clothing! But does that make Jesus’ statement irrelevant in the 21st century? No. The clothing that people may have is not always suitable. A warm jacket in subzero weather is a necessity! There is also another sense in which people who sleep in a cardboard box in the dead of winter are in need of “clothing.” Extreme poverty still exists. There are countless people in the wo ..read more
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Don’t Work, Don’t Eat
Today Devotional
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1d ago
When we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” — 2 Thessalonians 3:10 God makes clear in this passage and in other Scriptures that there are limits to caring for the needs of others. Paul taught the Thessalonians, “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” Our responsibility to people who are capable of working but who refuse may be to admonish them rather than to support their laziness. As Proverbs 10:4 teaches, “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.” People are not necessarily entitled to live off the generosity ..read more
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I was Hungry
Today Devotional
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2d ago
“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. . . .” — Matthew 25:35 I meet a lot of hungry people at the college where I serve as a campus pastor. Some are hungry because they are too busy to cook and eat. I know a student who works the night shift, catches a couple of hours of sleep, and rushes off to her 9:00 a.m. class. She later arrives at our interfaith center and is hungry. Other students are hungry because they are unable to find a job. They face the choice of paying tuition and rent or buying food. They cannot afford to do all three ..read more
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The Edge of the Field
Today Devotional
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3d ago
“Do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you.” — Leviticus 23:22 The small prairie city where I live is home to a large population of Canada geese. There are two reasons for this. Our power plant is located along the river, and the warm water that flows from the plant means there is open water all year long. In addition, there is a large food supply in the grain fields surrounding the city. Every day thousands of geese fly from the open waters and glean food from the fields before returnin ..read more
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Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Today Devotional
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4d ago
What good is it . . . if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? — James 2:14 Many of us have heard the old saying “Actions speak louder than words.” But this statement is not always true. Sometimes a few careless words spoken in anger or frustration can cause irreparable damage. Like a spark that can set a whole forest on fire, words can be incredibly destructive (James 3:1-12). However, in many cases actions do speak louder than words. This is James’s point when he says that faith without deeds is dead. Faith that does not lead to doing good deeds is useless ..read more
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Love Your Enemies
Today Devotional
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5d ago
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. . . .” — Matthew 5:43-44 These words of Jesus can surprise and even shock us. And who, exactly, are our enemies? In the book of Psalms, King David spoke often of his enemies. David’s enemies wanted him physically dead. They wanted to destroy his kingdom—which was intended to represent the kingdom of God. Those enemies were people who opposed the rule of God in the world. If we follow Christ today, we might not encounter people who want us physicall ..read more
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Serving God, No Matter What Happens
Today Devotional
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6d ago
“‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. . . .” — John 15:20 Are we living in “the last days”? Some people in nearly every generation think so. Yet there is one thing we can be sure of: the problems described in 2 Timothy 3 are happening today, just as in many other periods of history. People have noted that Christianity has long had a privileged position in the “Western world,” at least since the time of the Roman emperor Constantine, who converted to Christianity. After the Edict of Milan in A.D. 313 and other developments, many of the ..read more
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A Great Multitude
Today Devotional
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1w ago
There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. — Revelation 7:9 In our campus ministry we gather at 5:30 on Thursday afternoons for a time of worship, Bible study, and prayer. We also break bread and enjoy fellowship together. On one occasion, we had 16 people gathered from nine different countries. They were from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and North and South America. Sometimes people say that Christianity is a “Western” religion, but God’s kingdom is made up of people from ..read more
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God’s Growing Kingdom
Today Devotional
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1w ago
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. — Acts 2:5 On the day of Pentecost, God-fearing Jews from many nations were staying in Jerusalem. They were gathering to celebrate the Feast of Weeks that God had established for his people Israel some 1,500 years earlier (Deuteronomy 16:9-12). They all converged on the temple on Pentecost (fifty days after the Feast of Passover) to bring offerings of the firstfruits of their harvests. That day people from many nations heard the good news of Jesus for the first time. And about 3,000 believed and were baptized ..read more
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Who is My Neighbor?
Today Devotional
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1w ago
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” — Luke 10:27 Soon after we moved into our house, new neighbors moved into the house next door. Their children were the same ages as ours. We found that we shared many of the same values. They were good neighbors, and our kids played together and even slept over at each other's houses. My neighbor also knows that he can borrow my pickup truck whenever he needs it. Sometimes I smugly think, “I love my neighbor as myself.” A teacher of the ..read more
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