Daily Bible Readings:
Monday, September 14. Read Leviticus 19:11-16. 1) What is the tone of this text? 2) What, according to Moses, is our obligation to our neighbor.
Tuesday, September 15. Read Deuteronomy 24:10-15. 1) When you make a loan to a neighbor, what is your obligation to him? 2) How would you compare these instructions to those of a Pay Day Loan Company?
Wednesday, September 16. Read Proverbs 23:6-7. 1) To what does this proverb like a stingy person? 2) What is the reason for this behavior?
Thursday, September 17. Read Luke 6:32-36. 1) Who does Jesus want us to love? Why is this extraordinary advice? 2) How generous does Jesus want us to be? 3) What does this do to a predatory culture?
Friday, September 18. Read James 1:9-11. 1) What is the difference between the lowly person and the rich person? 2) What is the end result for all?
Saturday, September 19. Read Matthew 20:1-16. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Prayer for the Week:
Dear Father, we confess that we are stingy and jealous of the benefits others receive. Take DAKA for example. These good students were granted freedom and time to finish their academic careers. Now they can make great contributions to our land, and they do.
But we want to kick them out. Like the religious leaders who heard Jesus’ parable about the workers in the vineyard. There’s a kind of “how dare you treat them the same as us.” Please help us to learn the grace and generosity of the Land Owner who paid all of his laborers the same amount.
In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.
Hymn of the Week:
Yes, For Me, For Me He Careth
by Horatius Bonar, 1853
Yes, for me, for me He careth
With a brother’s tender care;
Yes with me, with me He shareth
Every burden, every fear.
Yes, o’er me, o’er me He watcheth,
Ceaseless watcheth, night and day;
Yes, e’en me, e’en me He snatcheth
From the perils of the way.
Yes for me He standeth pleading
At the mercy seat above;
Ever for me interceding,
Constant in untiring love.
Yes, in me, in me He dwelleth;
I in Him, and He in me!
And my empty soul He filleth,
Here and through eternity.
Yes, in me, in me He dwelleth
I in Him and He in me;
And my empty soul he filleth,
Here and through eternity;
Thus I wait for His returning
Singing all the way to heav’n
Such the joyful song of morning
Such the tranquil song of ev’n.
Devotional Article of the Week:
Sharing Her Grandpa
Now this is what it means to care like family!
by Rubel Shelly
Avery’s elementary school hosted a Grandparents Day recently, and her Grandpa was able to arrange his day to be there. Avery was pleased. And her proud grandfather was looking forward to sharing a special event.
Things ran about as you would have expected. With all the grandparents seated in the bleachers, boys and girls began parading onto the gym floor. Various classes were introduced. People were thanked for helping. And the children were given permission to go sit with their special guests.
As Avery went to her beaming Grandpa’s side for a hug, a beautiful smile practically covered her face. But she looked back over her shoulder at the only child in her class who had not left the gym floor to scale the bleachers. Joshua was standing there all alone and looking sad.
“Grandpa,” Avery said, “Joshua’s grandparents are all dead. So he doesn’t have anybody to be with today. Can he come and sit with us?”
“Why, of course he can, sweetheart,” came the reply. “It would be great to have him join us.” He did. And three people had a great time together.
I only wish you could have seen his face as Avery’s grandfather told me the story. He was so proud of his granddaughter for her sensitive spirit and kind treatment of her friend. He teared up a bit as he told me what had happened. I knew immediately that I had heard a story that needed to be shared.
Jesus once reminded his disciples that they needed to become like little children in order to enter the Kingdom of God. If you’ve ever wondered what he had in mind with that statement, just picture Avery’s compassionate treatment of Joshua. See her giggling, playing patty-cake with her Grandpa, and sharing his presence with Joshua. No jealousy. No selfishness. There was enough human kindness and laughter to go around for everyone that day.
Maybe she will keep that spirit for the rest of her life. But I can guarantee there will be events, people, and circumstances to tempt her to change. Somebody will try to convince her she has no responsibility to anybody but herself. And there will be times of scarcity when her own heart will tempt her to be selfish with something under her control that another person needs. May she rise to the occasion – as she did on Grandparents Day with Joshua.
There will be somebody in my world today who needs an Avery. Since she will be at school, I will try to remember the lesson she taught me and imitate her. You just might run across a similar person in the course of your day, too.
I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3 NIV).