LOOK­ING OUT­WARDS

Activated - - NEWS - By Peter Am­s­ter­dam, adapted

Life can be so in­cred­i­bly busy, and that can hin­der our spir­i­tual lives. It can be a strug­gle to find the time to com­mune with God, to spend time in His pres­ence and in His Word. It’s as if there is a strong grav­i­ta­tional force that keeps us teth­ered to the bur­dens of daily life, mak­ing it in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to stop and en­ter His pres­ence, where we could find the spir­i­tual strength and stamina to grace­fully han­dle the bur­dens of life.

This in turn can af­fect our con­vic­tion to share our faith with oth­ers. When we’re too busy, when the anx­i­eties of life and con­cern about our own needs weigh heav­ily upon us and we’re not al­low­ing God to carry those, it be­comes too easy to for­get that there are oth­ers around who have many of the same and of­ten much heav­ier bur­dens than we do. And yet, un­like us as be­liev­ers, they don’t know God.

No mat­ter what our sit­u­a­tion, we have God help­ing us through it. But so many don’t know about Him, and con­se­quently don’t have the re­as­sur­ance of His pres­ence, the in­ner peace that He loves them, and the faith that they will live with Him for­ever. And there are some who may never know, un­less we tell them.

Let’s pray that we don’t be­come se­cluded in our bless­ings, look­ing in­ward, be­ing overly con­cerned about our­selves and our own needs. Rather, let’s ask God to help us be sen­si­tive to the fact that the peo­ple He brings us in touch with are made in His im­age and like­ness, and that He loves and died for each one of them.

Peter Am­s­ter­dam and his wife, Maria Fontaine, are di­rec­tors of the Fam­ily In­ter­na­tional, a Chris­tian com­mu­nity of faith.

Dear God, fill me with Your Spirit, com­pas­sion, and love, so I can speak as You would. Bet­ter yet, I ask that You will speak to peo­ple through me. May Your gen­tle words of love, Your un­der­stand­ing, care, con­cern, and truth flow through me as Your channel, from Your heart to theirs.

En­lighten the dark­est cor­ners of their hearts with Your light and love. Bring them rest in place of strug­gle, peace in place of worry, hap­pi­ness in place of grief. Re­place their anx­i­ety with com­fort, their fears with faith. And when it’s Your will, use me to help make this hap­pen.

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