Our church building may be closed, but God’s eyes are open and his ears are attentive to our prayers (2 Chronicles 7.15).
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Speak these words out loud:
‘Where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.’
from Matthew 6.21 (Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount)
Read the proverb through three or four times, slowly. Pause in-between, maybe write it out by hand – savour the words, let them speak deeply to you.
A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great. (NIV)
Do you want to meet an important person? Take a gift and it will be easy. (GNB)
A month ago we read about Solomon criticising those who think ‘a bribe can do anything’. But this now seems quite similar: a bribe that gets something done vs a gift that opens the way.
Often when we read the Bible describing or telling us something, our default position is to assume that it is commending that as the right way to behave. Sometimes it is, of course, but other times it is more subtle than that – perhaps most often in the Proverbs – it is describing how things are, rather than making a judgement and whether that is good. For me this proverb falls firmly into that camp.
Perhaps Solomon is gently suggesting that even those who are rich can be greedy? Who doesn’t like to receive a gift… but if you start expecting or even demanding a gift from those who wish to see you, that’s not so good.
We might not be exalted kings like Solomon – but I’d be very surprised if you don’t recognise that attitude: ‘What’s in it for me?’
The hardest battles to win are usually battles with ourselves – partly because we don’t always realise the battle is being fought! Our inward, self-centredness, gets in the way of and damages our relationships.
Instead of assessing people in terms of what you can give me, perhaps it should be the other way round: how can I serve you?
Pray for Five – pray for your five friends / family from Thy Kingdom Come.
Our daily prayer sheet includes the names of everyone for whom we have a signed church family directory form – and local parishes and senior church leaders. Today we are praying for:
Janet Wilson, Catriona Paton, Joyce Moore
Father, please bless them with your peace, and a deep awareness of your presence with them, every day and in every way.
We also pray for: Baptism Candidates & Families
Please pray for our leaders and healthcare workers, and all those working to keep us safe, well, and fed. Please pray that people would unselfishly put others before themselves.
Church Family Prayer
Come Holy Spirit,
and make us one in heart and action,
so that we can serve God faithfully:
abounding in love,
maturing in holiness,
and seeking out the lost.
Help us grow as disciples of Jesus –
in commitment, in depth, and in number –
that we may be a blessing to Amington;
to the glory and praise of God the Father.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labour in vain.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus
the only way to the Father.
Psalm 127.1, Hebrews 12.2 & John 14.6
May Christ our Saviour give us peace.