"If you knew the gift of God, you would ask of Him, and He would give you living waters." John 4:1

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JESUS HELD UNCOMPLAINING GUARD OVER THE WORLD

“Jesus held uncomplaining guard over the world,” wrote Mary Baker Eddy.

In an era of intense clannishness, Jesus steadfastly promoted universal and impartial love and respect. He ministered to Jew and Samaritan, to Romans and other gentiles, to male and female, to child and aged and in between, to rich and poor, to honest and dishonest, to soldier and civilian, to in-groups and out-groups, to rulers and slaves.

GOOD BUSINESS IS NOT JUST ABOUT MONEY

success isn’t always measured in money

Money. Few people seem to have enough, whether they have $20 or $20 billion dollars. Money has been credited with meanings like power, security, oppression, opportunity, selfishness, freedom, manipulation, generosity. Yet money is essentially a neutral means of exchange. It makes a good servant but a poor master. Money can even rise to the role of god, and then society suffers. Many love money, but money can’t love them back.

THE RIGHT OF SELF GOVERNMENT

p1000232One of the best concepts we espouse in the United States is the idea of self government. At election time, it’s good to take this idea as far as possibleand remember that we all do govern ourselves—our individual thoughts and actions. No one can actually force you to do or think anything. Yes, you can choose to abdicate self-government. Yes, they can make something look so attractive that you think you can’t resist. Yes, someone can hold a gun to your head and give you strong incentive to do as they please. But, in fact, you are still in the driver’s seat in your own thoughts and responses.

Just remembering this puts other people’s actions and words in a new light. It keeps us from feeling victimized by circumstances or election outcomes because we know we can always govern our response to them.

PRAYING IN A DISTRACTIBLE WORLD

Modern life is full of distractions that pull us away from the concentrated prayer that heals. Such distractions have always been around, though. Jesus recognized and warned that “the cares and riches and pleasures of this world” might keep us from bringing prayerful fruit to perfection in our lives. The Bible gives lots of advice about how to keep to our tasks, “looking neither to the left nor to the right” when we are on the road toward something good and worthy.

How can we apply these principles to our prayers in the twenty first century?

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