Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

DEVOTION – Deborah Jones-Norberto (New York)

My husband has been out of work this past year.  And this was not the first time; over the last 20 years he has been laid off five times.  Each time has become more difficult for us as husband and wife and as a family.  Our three children have endured many hardships and fears related to this.  We’ve experienced days with no oil for heat or propane for hot water.  We’ve had empty food shelves and no electricity.  We even endured a three-week period without a car, making it difficult to get to school, stores, and church in our suburban area.

Even though we’ve experienced hardships, we’ve also received care by unexpected means.  People have given us food, cars, propane, money, and their prayers and support.  These people served as God’s angels to us during these times, and we’ve learned to trust God to help us meet our needs.  God has blessed us far more than the beautiful lilies Jesus described.  When we know and accept God’s love, we can face tomorrow’s challenges with confidence that all will be well.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: How can I help God meet someone’s need today?

PRAYER: Loving God, thank you for your love and care shown through your children around us.  Teach us in return to be willing to help others in their need.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Those In Extended Unemployment