Devotions

Look Up

To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Psalm 123:1 
 
The Golden Egg was the big prize at my sister Susan’s birthday party on April 11 back in the 70s. I’ve lost track of the year, but I clearly remember it was near Easter and we had an egg hunt as part of the celebration. Our yard was big and full of excellent hiding places. Everyone hunted around in the azalea bushes or looked down all around the roots of trees. I don’t recall how many eggs I found, if any, and I couldn’t tell you what was in them, either. Here’s what I do remember: my sister was the only one who thought to look up, so she found the golden egg. It had been tucked up on a ledge at the corner of our home. While everyone was busy staring at the ground, Susan was the only one who looked up. 
 
Psalm 123:1 says, “To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!” This is a good word for our daily lives. It’s a simple action to open your eyes and look up. That can be hard if you’re used to staring at your circumstances or your phone or the things you want for yourself. Looking to Jesus puts us on a new path altogether. As we experience the fullness of his mercy, we begin to behave differently. We fall in love with sacrifice and with serving. We set ourselves aside joyfully when we follow Jesus. One of my favorite hymns is “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.” In that song, we are encouraged to “look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.” This is where we find real treasure, by looking to Jesus. Every golden opportunity we long for is found in him.

Meet the Needs

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Acts 4:32-35 

I love it when scripture lays out a sound example that we are to follow today. Here, we learn how the early church came together to meet the needs of one another and those in the community surrounding them. There are some key notes we can glean from their witness and example in Christ. 

Everything people owned was held in common. Meaning, people were willing to share. Grace was upon them all. Meaning, people were willing to love and forgive with humility. There was not a needy person among them. Meaning, they listened to others, learned their needs, and met those needs. Can you picture it? Is this just some utopian ideal or can it also be achieved in us through the power of Christ? What are the needs around you? 

To meet needs today still necessitates listening, learning, sharing, and a growing fervor for our common humanity in Christ. For as this scripture proves, the call of the Gospel and the call of Christ is always looking to meet the needs. In Jesus name, Amen. 

Posted by Josh Miles
Tags: devotion

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