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15/02/2023 - 16/02/2023 All day

"And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?" ( Mark 8:36).

The Gospel of Jesus is not for sell. Ever since Jesus run into merchants who had turned the house of God into a trading warehouse, the practice of profiting from God's works has never ceased. He said to them, "The Scriptures declare, 'My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” (Mathew 21:13).The love of money has through the ages driven even those close to Jesus to extremes. Judas Iscariot betrayed his master whom he had closely walked with and trusted with the treasury for a trifle pennies   (Luke 22).

In the middle ages selling God's works rose to another level. The Church invented a certain practice where members had to pay for prayers, including the souls of the departed, that they might ascend to heaven! It is these heretical practices that caused the Reformation which emphasized we are all saved by grace. For "Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it" ( Ephesians 2:9).

Yet just as it were today there's no shortage of merchants of the Gospel. One thing which needs to be clear: wherever the scrupulous use the house of God to maximize profit, God knows what is in the heart. Also, because God looks far than man, the profiteers might have their day, but in the end all will be brought to judgment.

The Good News is for free!  Jesus says, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free" ( Luke 4:18), and not to burden them as a route for wealth acquisition. For followers of Christ, the word is, "Freely you have received; freely give"  (Mathew 10:8).

Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, we thank you for this free Gospel of salvation that sets sinners free and may we through your grace enable us proclaim it looking up to you to take care of our needs, this I pray in Jesus' name.

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  • 22/04/2024 - 23/04/2024 All day

    "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.

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