Some things are just hard to know, and when dealing with mystery, it's easy to get lost in the questions.

God is mystery; we will never completely understand.

But there are times, sometimes only moments, when we see God better than we have before.

Such a moment may occur for us at any time - even in the moments just ahead of you.

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Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

Isaiah 58:6-9a

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There’s a homeless guy in our city who shuffles along the same path every day, sits on a park bench outside a shopping center, and talks to himself. I must’ve driven past that bench a hundred times.

Then, a few years ago, on my birthday, a church member gave me some cash. He said giving it away made him happy. Instantly I knew I wanted to give it away too! And he was as right as Isaiah is! When I handed Mark the money, even though he couldn’t acknowledge me because he was still talking to himself, my “light broke forth like the dawn” and I felt the exhilaration that comes from understanding that our giving God also created us to give!

What can you give today that might also give someone else — and you — new life?

Steve Cothran

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Generous God, you have put so many good things into my hands. Help me to follow your example by putting at least one of those things into someone else’s hands today. Amen.

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God sent Christ into the world,
Giving life abundant and free.
God sends us like Christ before us
Sharing love with all those in need.

Shine your light into the darkness
So the lost can finally say:
Never ceasing, life increasing,
Christ, our life, our truth, our way!

Steve Cothran

Steve Cothran has been working with youth since his youth, and the last 20 years he has served church staffs in Florida, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Steve enjoys relating life to Seinfeld and a weekly discussion of The Walking Dead, and his office smells of leather-bound books and rich mahogany. His wife Nancy is also a minister, and they have three semi-adult children: Marina, Raleigh, and Robyn.

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Mark Hayes

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