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01/02/2021 03:00 - 02/02/2021 02:00

“And when I was with you and didn’t have enough to live on, I did not become a financial burden to anyone. For the brothers who came from Macedonia brought me all that I needed. I have never been a burden to you, and never will” - 2Cor 11:9 (NLT)

Once it dawned on him that he had been called into a global ministry the Apostle Paul embarked on many of his missionary journeys (Acts 13-14). In these travels which were wrought with many dangers, like being imprisoned and flogged, occasionally finding himself in strange lands without abode, he relied on the good will and generosity of believers he happened to meet.

There were those who would eagerly welcome him into their household, like Aquila and Priscilla, whom he lived with for almost a year (Acts 18: 1-3). Others would commit to support his work even as they too were hard of means, but giving from the little they had like the churches in Macedonia (2 Cor 8: 1-5). Sometimes also Paul would face desertion as with Demas who abandoned him, making his precarious circumstances of being on the road even more difficult (2 Tim 4:10).

One of the principles of Paul’s ministry work was not to burden any believer as he absolutely depended on God. Where he was accommodated he would take up jobs, like tent making, to contribute to the expense of his hosts. He made sure he did not live anyone indebted to him.

Paul’s missionary journeys leave us two lessons. There are cases where God calls on some of us to use our limited resources to generously support the people he has called into ministry. And then the duty for everyone not to impose a burden or take advantage of those with means. Let us serve God with a contented heart.

Prayer for today Lord Father in heaven, today I pray in the gracious name of Jesus that I use the resources you have endowed me with to enhance your work while not being a burden to anyone, just like Paul!

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    "And your life will be brighter than the noonday; it’s darkness will be like the morning. And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security”  (Job 11:17-19.)

    Philosophers and writers have long pointed out that without hope mankind would long be gone. The philosopher Victor Frankly who survived the Holocaust where he lost his entire family found hope was the most important weapon that enabled him come out alive. He wrote, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how!”
Hope can sustain any of us through the darkest of times. This is what happened to Job when he lost everything he possessed. “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face” (Job 13:15).

    King David when he was being pursued by his enemies never lost hope. “For you have been my hope, sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth” (Psalm 71:5). The Apostle Paul who faced countless perilous times during his missionary journeys including jail and shipwrecks never lost hope. Writing to the Corinthians he reminded them, “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers” (2 Cor 1:10-11).

    As believers God has given us hope that our lives are not empty and meaningless, like so many others. He has given us the hope to carry us through the lowest of moments. “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:5).
    Today, may that hope that you have in Christ sustain you through whatever circumstances you may be facing.

    Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray in the wonderful name of Jesus that the hope I have in you lifts me up and sustains me in all situations as a conquer, in whose name I pray.