Devotional Thought of the Day:
28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” John 6:28 (NLT2)
41 If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded. Mark 9:41 (NLT2)
819 Because you have been in pauca fidelis—“faithful in the little things”—enter into the joy of your Lord. The words are Christ’s. In pauca fidelis! … Now will you disdain little things, if Heaven itself is promised to those who keep them?
As I prepare to preach on John 6 this weekend, the first verse above is part of the text. It takes me back to the days of college when we all believed we would do great things for Jesus. We were willing after all, and some of us had the brains, and others the charisma, and a few had both the charisma and the brains. And a few of us had neither.
Jesus’s response is interesting. Most translate it “believe in the Son of Man.” I read it as “depend on the Son of Man”. There can be a huge difference between the two statements. Belief seems like a passive response, just sit there and acknowledge me. Just think about me once in a while, and let me take care of everything. Depend seems far more active as if we are going to do something that we can only do with God’s intercession, with His guidance, requiring both His power and His approval.
Like being able to realize who needs a cup of water, and finding the focus to give it to them.
Like holding someone’s hand while they are crying, and keeping our own mouth shut, and sobbing with them.
Like finding the strength to allow someone to make errors, and being there while they try and pick up the pieces. Like finding the power to humble yourself and apologize for what you have done wrong, and doing what you can to make up for it.
St Josemaria echoes the theme when he asks why we would toss aside the little things God has called us to do, For there we find God’s promises. Not just rewards, but the presence of God that ensures those rewards. The presence of God which is more than a reward.
It is easy to set our dreams high, expect ourselves to serve in the big things, to desire to write the perfect worship song, or pastor the megachurch, or become the next missionary who changes a country. But those dreams are ours, not necessarily God’s.
God’s start small, loving your neighbor enough to give them a cup of water, or a listening ear. For those things make a huge difference in life…..
May your faith allows you to see the needs of those around you, and a relationship with God that brings great joy when you help them know His peace! AMEN!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 1881-1883). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Devotional Thought of the Day:
11 I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. 12 Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you. Jeremiah 29:11-12 (TEV)
545 Live a special Communion of the Saints, and at the moment of interior struggle, as well as during the long hours of your work, each of you will feel the joy and the strength of not being alone. (1)
The above quote from scripture (the red quote) is often used to lift people’s spirits, It appears on cards and meme’s with beautiful sunrises and glorious backgrounds. People share it with those they know need a spiritual boost, a holy “pick me up,” assurance. jeremiah, the prophet of troubling messages assured us of a light at the end of the tunnel. He promises, as God’s spokesman, that there is hope, and it is found in the presence of God. The presence that we are believers dwell in, for we are His people!
He will hear our prayer, He has a plan, He has an answer, and all of that is true.
You might ask where the fine print is, and there is something in the context of this verse that you need to hear. Read this carefully,
7 Work for the good of the cities where I have made you go as prisoners. Pray to me on their behalf, because if they are prosperous, you will be prosperous too. Jeremiah 29:7 (TEV)
Read the verse again? Do you realize that God is tieing the future of the Babylonians to the future of the Jewish people? That God’s people are to pray for their enemies, their persecutors, that the future and hope of both Jews and Gentiles is linked? That the people of God should work hard to benefit those who oppress them,
We are called to love our enemies, to pray for those who persecute. That is what we do, as we trust in Jesus’ promise to us in the sermon on the Mount. And it is nothing really new. That kind of love Israel was supposed to show people back in the Old Testament. It is very radical, it is not logical by man’s standards! Yet in 1 Cor. 5 we are told that we don’t judge men by those standards, but by the value Jesus has placed on them. They will become part fo the Communion of Saints, the very people that will lift you up.
God has radical plans for you, plans that are beyond awesome. Those plans include all He brings into His family, all He wants to bring into His family. That includes those people, the ones you struggle to love. The ones who take every bit of trust you have in God to deal with, and then some.
Pray for them, do everything you can to help them… trusting not in their response, but in God’s role in your life. You will be amazed at His plans, at the reconciliation and restoration he accomplishes!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 1317-1319). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.