Sing to the Lord, and praise him! Proclaim every day the good news that he has saved us (Psalm 96.2, GNB).
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Speak these words out loud:
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
Jeremiah 17.7 (NIV)
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.
Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger; hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider. (NIV)
Anyone stupid enough to promise to be responsible for a stranger’s debts ought to have their own property held to guarantee payment. (GNB)
Something I get told quite frequently, is how Christians should behave – usually by non-Christians. ‘You’re a Christian,’ they say, ‘you should… (insert thing here)’. That ‘thing’ is usually whatever that person wants.
Following the Father’s concern for justice, Jesus commanded us to love and care for one another. Friend or foe, we should be like the Samaritan in Jesus’ parable, who served and looked after his sworn enemy.
Taken to the extreme, however, that attitude can turn us into doormats, and our willingness to help can be exploited. I think that is effectively what this Proverb warns us against. Someone willing to help a stranger in this way is very kind, but ultimately foolish because they don’t know if the stranger is genuine or taking advantage of them – in which case they will end up having to pay the price using their own property.
There is great wisdom in considering carefully how we support people in need. We shouldn’t let the warning put us off entirely, but nor should we expose ourselves to harm in trying to help.
There are two ways to do this: first, supporting organisations (like the Foodbank) is good because they are experts, they bring together resources so they can help more people, and so on. But second, if that’s all we do we are separated from those who need help, so we also need to find ways of building our own relationships with people around us. Then, with our eyes and ears open, we will discern the need and be in a position to help wisely.
And let’s not forget – sometimes it is we who need help from others.
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:
Robins Family (Daniel, Joanna, Rachel, Steve)
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: PCC & Standing Committee
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.