3D Devotional 8.30.2019

Scripture
  Hebrews 13:1-8,15-16 NRSV
Let mutual love continue. 2Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. 3Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. 4Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. 5Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you." 6So we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?" 7Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 15Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Words of praise plus acts of kindness and generosity equals worship that is pleasing to God. Conduct and relationships are themselves informative and encouraging, but to unite words and deeds in this way is especially instructive. For whatever reason it seems difficult for the people of God to embrace both as a single offering to God. There are those of us whose voices are full of references to God, to Christ, and to the Spirit, and even their own experiences of divine visitation, but whose hands  and wallets are less than fully employed in the lives of those in need. And there are donors and volunteers who put at the disposal of the world's helpless both wallet and energy, but who remain reticent about the faith. These thing ought to be done without leaving the other undone.  To quote Fred Craddock, "Words are not 'only words,' and deeds are not 'only deeds'; together they are 'sacrifices pleasing to God.' "

Holy God, by your Spirit of love lead us to commit ourselves to a faithful and dynamic relationship to you and, just as importantly, to service where we give our hands and financial resources to help others; that all we do may be a sacrifice pleasing to you.  Amen.

Ken Casey
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