How will reading God’s Word make your life better?
Food for spiritual strength and growth. Just as your body needs food to survive and grow strong, your spirit needs spiritual nourishment from God’s Word. This little analogy crops up repeatedly in both the Old and New Testaments:
“If you abide in My word,” Jesus said, “you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”1 We all know that consistent time reading and meditating on God’s Word, along with prayer and hearing God’s still small voice, is critical to our spiritual health and fruitfulness. But sometimes we aren’t as consistent as we would like in doing those things. We skip our Bible reading, we hurry through prayer time, and we put off seeking God’s counsel on important matters.
In the second half of Matthew chapter 6, Jesus focuses on our relationship to material things. He begins by teaching the right priorities and attitudes about material possessions:
When the apostle Paul was writing about living a godly life, he listed what he called the “works of the flesh,” which included things like enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, and envy.1 He then followed up with “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”2 The fruit of the Spirit is the working of the Holy Spirit within us, which causes us to grow in godliness and Christlikeness.
I’ve heard and read many encouraging stories about the positive aspects of people’s experiences embracing the changes that come with aging. Well, now it’s my turn! I’m discovering the benefits of embracing change in new ways.
In Luke chapter 15, Jesus told the following story:
Sandra felt as low as the heels of her Birkenstocks as she pushed against a cold winter gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like a spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, an automobile accident had stolen her ease. During this week she would have delivered a son. She grieved over her loss. As if that weren’t enough, her husband’s company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose visit she coveted, called saying she couldn’t come. What’s worse, Sandra’s friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would teach her to be thankful for the good things in her life and allow her to empathize with others who suffer.
Pets act as companions, helpers, and sources of comfort in difficult times. When pets die, the resulting sense of loss can be very painful. People who experience this often search for answers and the hope that they haven’t lost forever what had become very dear to their hearts. Our compassion and understanding can help them look to God for their comfort. Our words can help them feel an assurance that they’ll be reunited with their beloved pets in heaven.