"Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." - 2 Corinthians 9:7 People give for lots of different reasons, but not all giving accomplishes what God wants to accomplish in our lives. We don't give for God's sake; we give because we need to...we give because God wants to do something in our lives through our giving.
Monday - Wash Day: Lord, help me to wash away all my selfishness and vanity, so I may serve you with perfect humility through the week ahead. Tuesday - Ironing Day: Dear Lord, help me to iron out all the wrinkles of prejudice I have collected through the years so that I may see the beauty in others. Wednesday - Mending Day
Jesus prayed for his present and future disciples on the day before his crucifixion "that they may all be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us that the world may believe that you have sent me." - John 17:21 I believe in the 10 to 1 rule in the body of Christ. For every critical thing we need to lovingly say to one another, we need to say 10 affirming things. That's a good rule for home, work and church. Who can you encourage this week? Who can you thank? Who can you praise? Who can you write a note to that says, "I think you're the best."
"Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others". - Romans 12:4-5 The real key to our unity is that it is grounded in Jesus. There's unity in the body of Christ because we all belong to Jesus through our baptism. We are one in Christ. And because we're one in Christ, we share a common mission, a common purpose, a common sense of direction.
"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called-- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." - Ephesians 4:3-6 The Church is very much like a symphony orchestra. It is incredibly diverse, but has an essential unity because we have a Great Conductor, a common score to follow, and a clear destination. And when the Church plays the symphony of God's music with passion and grace it is a delight to the heart of a broken world.
There once was a Shakespearean actor who was known everywhere for his one-man shows of readings and recitations from the classics. He would always end his performance with a reading of Psalm 23. Each night, without exception, as the actor began his recitation "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want"... the crowd would listen attentively. And then, at the conclusion of the psalm, they would rise in thunderous applause in appreciation of the actor's incredible ability to bring the verse to life.