This verse is a part of a larger collection of verses called the Beatitudes. Jesus used the Beatitudes to flip our perspective and to encourage the downtrodden. Here Jesus is saying that those who mourn are actually blessed because in their mourning they will find comfort. Those who aren’t in mourning or don’t mourn won’t find that same kind of comfort.
Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
So what should you do? Go out and find a reason to mourn? No! While there’s plenty to mourn in our world today, it’s still better to have joy in most situations than it is to mourn. You can rest assured, though, that you will be comforted when the time comes for you to mourn.
In this short verse, Jesus offers you peace. As Jesus says elsewhere, “You will have trouble.” But just because there’s trouble in the world doesn’t mean you can’t have peace. You must come to Jesus in order for you to receive that peace, and coming to Jesus means seeking him in prayer. So whether or not you’re mourning something today, I encourage you to seek Jesus and receive the peace he has waiting for you.
Jesus, I thank you that you give me peace. Help me to recognize the moments when I need your peace and comfort the most. I ask that you would remind me to pray and ask for your help when I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious. It’s in your name I pray, amen.
The psalmist is encouraging us today by explaining that our God is a personal God. He is near to us when we call on him. The author then goes on to reiterate his point, adding a caveat: we must call on him “in truth.” This means that we should always strive to call on the Lord with pure intentions and without selfish desire. I know that’s difficult, but it’s a task worthy of the challenge.
Call On the Lord
To call on God “in truth,” you must first know how to “call on God.” All this really means is to pray. In both good and bad seasons, you should pray and ask God to meet your needs. It shouldn’t stop there, though. Calling on God to meet your needs is not a bad thing, but it shouldn’t be the only thing. Pray for your community, your family, your church, and pastors; pray for your country and its leaders. There is so much going on in the world around you that it would be a shame if the only thing you prayed for is yourself. Keep a running list of things and people to pray for, and expand how you call out to God in truth.
Jesus, thank you that I’m able to pray to you about all my needs. Help me to think outside myself to pray for those around me that are in need, too. Give me the wisdom and discernment I need to know what and how to pray in any given situation. It’s in your name I pray, amen.
Jesus is teaching his disciples here using his typical method of parables. The “harvest,” according to Jesus, is the people waiting to receive the kingdom of God. And the “workers” are the people who follow Jesus that are expected to go out into the fields to bring that message to them. There’s a problem, though. Jesus tells his disciples that there aren’t enough workers to take care of the field.
What to Do When the Workers Are Few
Thankfully, Jesus provides us with a solution in the next verse. He says that we need to “ask the God of the harvest” to provide the workers. This means that the work is on us to accomplish, but we have the help of the Lord to do it. It also means that we don’t have to do it alone. When we feel “short-staffed” we can always count on God to provide the help we need to accomplish the work he called us to.
So, then, what’s the application of the verse for you? Do the work God has called you to do. Go out to the fields, which is your everyday life, and bring the Gospel Message to the people around you. While you do the work, pray to God and ask him to bring you the help you need.
Father, thank you for the clear mission you’ve put on my life and on the lives of those around me. Help me to hear you clearly as I move into the fields of my life to reach the people you’ve called me to reach. It’s in Jesus’s name I pray, amen.
The Apostle Paul is encouraging his church in Corinth to give generously. However, he’s not commanding them to give a certain amount. Some of his church was wealthy, so they would naturally give more than others in his church who wasn’t as wealthy.
The same is true today. The point is to give the amount that you have decided. Don’t do less, and don’t do it reluctantly. Giving is such a powerful tool in our spiritual walk, and God loves to see when we do it cheerfully, willingly, and with full confidence.
God Loves a Cheerful Giver
One thing to note from this verse is that Paul doesn’t make giving optional. There is no option to not give generously. The amount may change from season to season, but the point remains: give generously and give cheerfully.
I encourage you to start by giving 10% of your income to your local church. Your local church should be the best place to pool the resources of your community to make the greatest impact on your community. This will also help ensure that you’re fully engaged at your church because you’re now invested.
The tithe (10% of income) is an Old Covenant practice that carried over into Christianity. However, the key difference here is that we can now treat 10% as the minimum for what we should give. Christ gave it all for us, and he expects us to do the same. I’m not saying you should sell all your possessions and give to the poor, but I am saying you should consider some other organizations to give your money and time to.
Jesus, thank you for showing me the way to be generous. Give me the strength and courage I need to separate myself from my money. Help me to serve others with the money you’ve given me. It’s in your name I pray, amen.
Christ died and rose again so that we may be free. It is for the sake of freedom that we’ve been set free. However, slavery continues to knock on our door, waiting to be let in. Paul encourages us through his letter to the church of Galatia to continue to stand firm in Christ’s freedom. Otherwise, we run the risk of becoming burdened by slavery once again.
What is Freedom
We must define what Paul is talking about as “slavery” here. While slavery in the sense that we know today existed back then, Paul is talking about spiritual slavery. Before Christ, you and I were a slave to our sin and selfish desires. After Christ, we’ve been set free from that sin ad those selfish desires, but they still exist. This is why Paul is telling you to stand firm. Sin won’t give up until it’s made you think that it won. Rest assured, though, freedom has already been won through Christ’s sacrifice.
Here’s the kicker. Freedom doesn’t mean that you can go do whatever you want. Paul goes on later to write in Galatians 5:13 that we’re not to use our freedom to “indulge in the flesh” but to serve one another. This goes against what we think freedom is today. “Freedom” to many, maybe even to you, means never doing anything that you don’t want to do and always doing what you want to do. Not according to Paul. Paul is telling you through his ancient letter to put your freedom aside for a minute and serve your brothers, sisters, and the strangers around you who need what you have to offer.
Jesus, thank you for setting me free. Help me to serve others and love the people that you put around me. Give me the strength to put myself aside so that I won’t succumb to the yoke of slavery that my sin and selfish desires continually try to put on me. It’s in your name I pray, amen.