Today’s Test and Thought of Encouragement:
“Where is God, my Maker? Who gives songs of rejoicing in the night.”
Job 35: 10
Songs In The Night
“Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.”
“My songs have been the songs of the daylight,
Of the sunshine of His face,
Of the hours of blest communion,
And the wonders of His grace.
In my song has been unremembered
The touch of His hand in my plight,
Oh! how easy to sing in the sunshine
He alone can give songs in the night.
The weight of an awful darkness,
Hung over my soul like a pall;
And everything round me seemed blackness
No help but to struggle and fall.
But treasures are found in the darkness,
And riches are hidden in store;
And sorrow oft gives us a song to sing,
Unknown to us heretofore.
Our God gives us songs in the midnight,
When our feet are held fast in the stocks;
And sends with the praises He giveth,
The unloosing of bars and locks.”
Today’s Study Text:
“Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.”
Matthew 6:26, 28
“Living A Fulfilled Life” – Part 5
“God brings His fulfillment into my life by supplying all my needs.”
“Fulfillment” – To contain everything that is essential. To bring to wholeness. To bring to completion.
“It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House in the Ozarks
What are the simple gifts God has freely bestowed on me?
“Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s notice … you are of more value than many sparrows.”
The Amplified Bible
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
The Amplified Bible
Several years ago, my husband and I were on a business trip that took us on the road through many miles of barren land and very straight highways. Fortunately, I am able to read as we drive so I got a book that I thought looked interesting and began to read aloud in the car. The topic was on simple living and organizing one’s life.
Some chapters gave suggestions on getting rid of clutter. Other helpful tips encouraged readers not to purchase so much “stuff” in the first place. But one statement by the author really stood out when she wrote, “wise men and women in every major culture throughout history have found that the secret to happiness is not in getting more but in wanting less” (Elaine St. James, Simplify Your Life).
In a nutshell, wanting less rather than acquiring more is a golden thread that runs through all of Jesus’ teaching. We are told our Heavenly Father knows what we need even before we ask. And Paul, when writing to the people at Philippi, told them God will “supply all your needs” (Philippians 4:19, New International Version).
You’ll note that Paul tells his friends that God supplies our “needs,” not our “wants.” Maybe this is where we get confused sometimes. While God’s generosity overwhelms me, sometimes my “wants” are not what I “need.” And then when I don’t get what I “want,” like a spoiled child I stamp my feet and cry out to God, “Why didn’t I get that ‘ ________’,” whatever it might be. Then God says, “I will supply your “needs” but this “want” isn’t what’s best for you right now. Has this happened to you, too?
As I listened to the finches and sparrows singing outside my kitchen window today, I found it uplifting to hear these small birds warbling so beautifully, unfettered by the cares of how they would be taken care of. I hope the lesson I learn is that my life can be as fulfilled as theirs by a Creator who not only takes care of the sparrows but then tells me to remember how much more I mean to Him.
Today take time to look at the birds and flowers and then remind yourself that if God promises to meet their needs He will do the same for you. Our lives each day can be fulfilled by the simplicity of God’s care for us.
“A long and useful night alone to relax, sit back, and write a poem. Puttering around in my bare feet, with peace and quiet a special treat. I know that others may have more than me but I feel blessed with simplicity.”
“A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God.”
1 Timothy 6:6
“Tis the gift to be simple,
Tis the gift to be free,
Tis the gift to come down
Where we ought to be.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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