Psalm 46 celebrates God as the only sure source of peace, joy, and courage in a troubled world. The “city of God” (v. 4) likely refers to Jerusalem, seen as where God dwelled with His people in a unique way (v. 5). The “river whose streams make glad the city of God” (v. 4) seems to symbolize not only literal sustenance but God’s continual presence bringing nourishment, cleansing, and renewal to His people. Joel 3:18 uses similar imagery to describe a fountain flowing out of God’s house. The fountain represents God’s life-giving water, indicating His provision and care for His people after the judgment of the nations. The book of Revelation also describes a river, this one flowing from God’s throne. When Jesus has fully defeated the curse of death and evil (22:3), God’s healing presence will flow to all “for the healing of the nations” (v. 2) as creation’s joy and flourishing is finally restored.

Our daily Bread

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Sharing Is Hard
Our Daily Bread
Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 9:10–15

“Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” —Hebrews 13:16

On the way home from church, my daughter sat in the backseat enjoying Goldfish crackers as my other children implored her to share. Trying to redirect the conversation, I asked the hoarder of snacks, “What did you do in class today?” She said they made a basket of bread and fish because a child gave Jesus five loaves and two fish that Jesus used to feed more than 5,000 people (John 6:1–13).

“That was very kind of the little boy to share. Do you think maybe God is asking you to share your fish?” I asked. “No, Momma,” she replied.

I tried to encourage her to share. She was unconvinced. “There’s not enough for everyone!”

Sharing is hard. And the assumption is that if I give, I will be left wanting.

Paul reminds us that all we have comes from God, who wants to enrich us so He can “produce a great harvest of generosity in [us]” (2 Corinthians 9:10–11 nlt). We can share joyfully because God promises to care for us even as we are generous to others.

We hope you are enjoying the Moments of Peace for Moms reading plan! Pre-order your copy of the 365-day version of Moments of Peace for Moms and keep connecting with God each day.

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November 3

New Humanity
Sheridan Voysey
When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Acts 2:6

Acts 2:1–12

Jeremiah 30–31; Philemon

While I was visiting London’s Tate Modern gallery, one piece of art caught my attention. Created by Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles, it was a giant tower made of hundreds of old radios. Each radio was turned on and tuned to a different station, creating a cacophony of confusing, indecipherable speech. Meireles called the sculpture Babel.

The title is appropriate. At the original tower of Babel, God thwarted humanity’s attempt to seize heaven by confusing mankind’s languages (Genesis 11:1–9). No longer able to communicate with one another, humanity fractured into tribes of various dialects (vv. 10–26). Divided by language, we’ve struggled to understand each other ever since.

There’s a second part to the story. When the Holy Spirit came upon the first Christians at Pentecost, He enabled them to praise God in the various languages of those visiting Jerusalem that day (Acts 2:1–12). Through this miracle, everyone heard the same message, no matter their nationality or language. The confusion of Babel was reversed.

In a world of ethnic and cultural division, this is good news. Through Jesus, God is forming a new humanity from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Revelation 7:9). As I stood at Tate Modern, I imagined all those radios suddenly tuning to a new signal and playing the same song to all in the room: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.”

How does your shared faith with believers of other nationalities bring you together despite your differences? How can you help create harmony?

God is breaking down barriers to form a new humanity.

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Taking Every Thought Captive

 
 
 

November 

 

2 Corinthians 10:5We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

 

 

Satan’s perpetual aim is to infiltrate your thoughts with his thoughts and to promote his lie in the face of God’s truth. If Satan can control your thoughts, he can control your behavior. He can introduce his thoughts, tempting you to act independently of God, as if they were your own thoughts or even God’s thoughts, as he did with David (1 Chronicles 21:1), Judas (John 13:2) and Ananias (Acts 5:3).

 

One of my students exemplified how deceptive Satan’s thoughts can be. Jay came into my office one day and said, “Dr. Anderson, I’m in trouble. When I sit down to study, I get prickly sensations all over my body, my arms involuntarily raise, my vision gets blurry and I can’t concentrate.”

 

“Tell me about your walk with God,” I probed.

 

 

 

“I have a very close walk with God. When I leave school at noon each day, I ask God where He wants me to go for lunch. If I hear a thought that says Burger King, I go to Burger King. Then I ask Him what He wants me to eat. If the thought comes to order a Whopper, I order a Whopper.”

 

“What about your church attendance?” I continued.

 

“I go every Sunday wherever God tells me to go.” For the last three Sundays “God” told him to go to a Mormon church!

 

Jay sincerely wanted to do what God wanted him to do. But he was passively paying attention to a deceiving spirit (1 Timothy 4:1) instead of “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). In so doing he had opened himself up to Satan’s activity in his life, resulting in the sabotage of his theological studies.

 

We must assume our responsibility for choosing the truth. We can’t always tell whether the thought comes from the TV set, our memory bank, our imagination or a deceiving spirit. Regardless of where a thought originates, examine it in the light of God’s Word and choose the truth.

 

Prayer: Lord, help me today as I assume my responsibility to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

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What are Spiritual Disciplines

 

A discipline for the spiritual life is, when the dust of history is blown away, nothing but an activity undertaken to bring us into more effective cooperation with Christ and his Kingdom. When we understand that grace (charis) is gift (charisma), we then see that to grow in grace is to grow in what is given to us of God and by God. The disciplines are then, in the clearest sense, a means to that grace and also to those gifts. Spiritual disciplines, “exercises unto godliness,” are only activities undertaken to make us capable of receiving more of his life and power without harm to ourselves or others.

Though we may not be aware of it, we experience “disciplines” every day. In these daily or “natural” disciplines we perform acts that result in a direct command of further abilities that we would not otherwise have. If I repeat the telephone number aloud after looking it up, I can remember it until I get it dialed. Otherwise, I probably couldn’t. If I train rigorously I can bench press 300 pounds; otherwise not. Such ordinary activities are actually disciplines that aid our physical or “natural” life.

The same thing happens with disciplines for our spiritual life. When through spiritual disciplines I become able heartily to bless those who curse me, pray without ceasing, to be at peace when not given credit for good deeds I’ve done, or to master the evil that comes my way, it is because my disciplinary activities have inwardly poised me for more and more interaction with the powers of the living God and his Kingdom. Such is the potential we tap into when we use the disciplines.

From The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives. Copyright © 1988 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

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Turning to God

Over the course of an average workday, you’ll likely face many moments when your mind could use a refresh button. 

When too many things clamor to take up space in your head, take a moment to tune into God.

Each of the spiritual practices you learned this week serves to renew your mind. Every time you flex that muscle, you are more able to “discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2).

Which practice most helped you tune into God this week? Was it seeking God through your work? Breathing and repeating the Jesus prayer? Scanning your body for tension? Or being mindful of the world around you? 

Whichever practice was most helpful to you this week, make that your practice today.

Use one of these practices to tune into God:

Tune into God through work. Try to imagine a task as something that you and God are doing together. Listen for any new insights, ideas, or emotions that come to your mind while working.
Practice the Jesus Breath Prayer. Breath in and repeat the words, “Lord Christ.” Breath out and repeat the words, “Have mercy on me.”
Still your body. Scan your body for any tension. Ask what it means. Ask God to help you let go and relax.
Mindfulness. Be present to the world around you. Notice your thoughts and surroundings without judgement. Ask God what he’d like you to pay attention to. 
Reflect: How do you feel after completing a spiritual practice? Moving forward, how can you tune into God in your day-to-day life?

Prayer: God, renew my mind through your Holy Spirit. May I follow you in my moment-by-moment.

Further Exploration: Read more about Romans 12 from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary .