Some years ago a Brazilian news commentator often ended his reports of government corruption with the phrase, “This is a shame!” I thought of him this weekend as a wonderful brother taught and preached for us and repeated, after affirming some aspect of God’s love, grace, or power, “This is a truth!” Those are literal translations, to preserve the similar grammatical structure between the two statements. It makes the contrast in their sentiments all the stronger.
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• In Brazil, most churches have meditations for both the Lord’s supper and offering, and the two congregations I work with regularly are no exceptions. It was a rare day for me yesterday to do both meditations at both congregations. The first I was scheduled for; the second I filled in for a traveling brother. Here are my brief notes for the morning meeting, which I expanded on:
Lord’s supper: Our solutions to problems only worsen things. Cain’s solution to his bad sacrifice was to kill his brother. David’s solution to his infidelity was to kill Uriah. But God’s solution really takes care of our problem. “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25 ESV).
Offering: The greatest good of all is to save people from their sins. “I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:33 NLT). The offering makes it possible to do many good works for others, the greatest of which is to contribute to the salvation of many.
• Last week in our home Bible reading group, most people missed because of travel or vacation. Only one elderly brother arrived. When it became clear, a few minutes before time to start, that he would be the only one there, he made to leave, thinking we’d not have our reading. But we did, with my family and him. Where two or three are gathered, …
• Today’s last thought gives me reason for hope. Our best efforts may seem to fall far short of what they should be. But God takes even the small gesture and turns it into a powerful wave for his kingdom. He is the Great Amplifier. Now this is a truth!
J. Randal Matheny
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