The world can be a scary place, and in our anxiety we sometimes turn towards things that hold no real safety.

We serve a God in whom we find our true solace. Take some time now to turn to God, and put your fears aside.

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Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.

1 Corinthians 8:1-3

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The small group gathered in Chloe’s dining room was on edge. Fortunatus finally asked the question: “Sister Chloe, did the meat you served tonight come from the priests of Apollo?” “I’m not sure, brother — I didn’t ask. It’s just food, and with our prayers, we dedicated it to the only true God.” The answer didn’t satisfy him: “But that animal may have been offered to a god. If we eat it, aren’t we breaking God’s command never to worship another god?”

“Superstitious dolt!” sneered Demas, as he popped another morsel of the tasty meat in his mouth. “Apollo is a myth, and his statues are only pieces of stone. Didn’t you hear a word that Paul taught while he was here?”

“I did,” said Chloe, “and Paul said that nothing makes one person any closer to God than another. Only love for God and for each other make us truly the children of God. Demas, I think you’re right about Apollo and the gods, but I think you’re wrong to make fun of Brother Fortunatus.”

Richard Vinson

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O God, help me to be thankful without being proud. Amen.

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You are going out now into a dangerous world.
But walk on with confidence,
Knowing that your God is with you,
More powerful than any evil influence,
More trustworthy than any pretender.

Richard Vinson

Richard Vinson teaches religion at Salem College and New Testament for Union Presbyterian Seminary (Charlotte campus). He is a native of Alabama. He and his wife, Diane Lipsett, between them have five sons, one daughter-in-law, a 5-year-old grandson, a dog, and two cats.

Hold Me in Your Hand, Lord, Teach Me How to Live

Ken Medema

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