Friday, November 14, 2008

The Hidden Word

The psalmist wrote, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
-Psalm 119:11 (KJV)

I was part of a group of young men being addressed by an older church leader. He encouraged us to memorize scripture so we would have it with us always. There would be times, he said, when we would not have ready access to a Bible. Or we might lie awake at night, unable to sleep. He reminded us that in those situations we could call forth and meditate on scripture we had memorized.

Another reason to memorize scripture is found in our Bible verse for today. We can counter temptation by quoting scripture. Jesus did this when he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness (Matt. 4).

Reading, studying, and memorizing God's word take effort, but the rewards far outweigh the effort we expend. Having scripture hidden in our heart provides continual blessings in our daily walk with God. Jesus said, "The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life" (John 6:63, NRSV).

by David L. Burkholder (Virginia, USA)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Do care.....

Jesus said, "I was sick, and ye visited me."
-Matthew 25:36 (KJV)

MY friend Julie was sick with a chronic, mysterious affliction that had her living on liquid protein and pain medications. As her weight dropped to under 100 pounds, our conversations nearly always centered on her symptoms and my suggestions: "Maybe you should try this - or this - or this. ..."

After a while, I had nothing to say; I couldn't pray anymore. Julie wasn't healed, and she wasn't getting better. I wanted to avoid her because I couldn't find a remedy for her illness. Then one day, while reading about the king who said, "I was sick, and ye visited me," I saw with new eyes what the Lord expected of me. The king didn't say, "I was sick, and you healed me," or "I was sick, and you gave me all the right answers to fix the situation." The king said, "You visited me."

How marvelously simple! I realized that what my friend needed was my care. By caring about those who are sick - giving of our time, not solutions - we touch the heart of God. Ministering to those who are sick is not about our ability to solve problems or offer advice. It's about letting people know that they are not alone. It's about showing that God cares for them, and so do we.

by Leslie J. Wyatt (Missouri, USA)
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