Monday - Leviticus 18:1-5
Tuesday - Zechariah 7:4-10
Wednesday - Acts 9:1-20
Thursday - Luke 20:41-44
Friday - Proverbs 2:1-8
Saturday - Matthew 20:20-38
O almighty God, You reach out to every land and call men to Your Kingdom. As You gather people from near and far, let us also be counted among Your servants; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
5 He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4) It seems a strange thing to say that those who suffer are blessed. Every instinct within our human selves rises in disbelief and confusion. It seems illogical and contradictory. How can anyone who has lost something or someone much loved be blessed? Is that not a misfortune or a curse?
Yet, God declares that people who believe God are privileged in the midst of every sad and painful circumstance. How can that be?
Change Is not something most of us eagerly anticipate, especially if it is not our plan. Grief brings about abrupt change. What was comfortable and familiar yesterday becomes horrifying and different today. Life can be re-categorized—there is BC (before change) and AD (after death or loss).
When we grieve the loss of something dear to us our faith is often tested. We are told in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13) of four areas where seeds fell and subsequently grew. Three areas could not sustain the plants that sprung up—only one could. Going through grief can reveal our spiritual soil type. God made soil to be a natural medium for the growth of plants and we are the God-designed medium through which faith is cultivated.
We might not think that grieving would be an appropriate word to use for the Israelites after they left Egypt. They had been in the land for many years and it had been welcoming and a prosperous time. But under a new Pharaoh life changed drastically. The bible tells us that the Egyptian masters worked the Israelites “ruthlessly” (Exod. 1:13, 14) and made their lives “bitter” (Exod. 1:14) with “hard/cruel” (Exod. 1:14; 6:9) service. As a result, Israel languished in “misery” and “suffering” (Exod. 3:7).