Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Present Necessity

CALL TO PRAYER
Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord's Name!
Praise him, servants of the Lord.
You that in the Lord's house serve him,
in God's courtyard standing guard,
praise the Lord! How good the Lord is!
Sing his Name—how sweet its tone!
For the Lord has chosen Jacob,
Isra-el to be his own.
 —Psalm 135:1-4
Suggested tune: Beecher (87.87 D)


SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY
Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
—Acts 2:43-47
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
We must in this point beware of two extremes. For many, under color of policy, do keep close and conceal whatsoever they have; they defraud the poor, and they think themselves righteous, because they take away no one else's goods. Others are carried into the contrary error, because they would have all things confused. But what did Luke say in Acts? Surely he notes another order, when he says that there was choice made in the distribution. If anyone objects that no one had anything which was their own, seeing all things were common, we may easily answer: For this community or participation together must be restrained unto the circumstances which ensue immediately; to wit, that the poor might be relieved as any had need. We know the old proverb, “All things are common among friends.” When as the scholars of Pythagoras said thus, they did not deny but that everyone might govern their own home privately, neither did they intend to make their own spouses common; so this having of things common, whereof Luke speaks, and which he commends, doesn't take away household government. Whence we gather that which I said even now, that they brought forth and made common their goods in no other respect, save only that they might relieve the present necessity.
 —John Calvin (alt.)
TODAY'S PRAYER
Dear God, I name you Lord of my heart, but resist your lordship over my bank account. Team me your merciful and gracious ways in all that I do, including the ways I spend my money and use my possessions...
 —after Eugene Peterson
YOUR OWN PRAYERS
Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
 —Matthew 6:9-13

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