The devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8
One morning, I watched a rabbit nibble grass in my backyard. He was on the small side, with brown flecked fur and a cotton-puff tail. Suddenly, a hawk sliced through the air as fast and precise as lightning. With talons outstretched, he snatched for his prey. But the rabbit recognized the approaching danger and sped to safety, just inches ahead of the hawk.
Like the rabbit that spotted its predator and scurried away, we as Christians need to be watchful so that we can evade our enemy. “The devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan wants to devour us by winning us over to his ways; he does this by toying with the truth (John 8:44) and trying to deceive us (Gen. 3:1).
The devil’s schemes reflect his dishonest nature, and his tricks are meant to catch us off guard. In response, Christians should be alert and clear-headed (1 Peter 5:8). Living in this state of active readiness helps us discern false teaching (1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 1:7-11) and overcome temptation (Matt. 26:41).
Today, watch out for your spiritual predator. What kind of lies is he whispering? How is he tempting you? Resist him, and he will flee (James 4:7).
You shall open your hand wide to [the poor]. Deuteronomy 15:8
A homeless man spends time in our local library. One afternoon, while I was writing there, I took a lunch break. After I finished the first half of my sandwich, an image of the man’s face came to mind. A few minutes later, I offered him the untouched part of my lunch. He accepted.
This brief encounter made me realize that with all that God has given me, I needed to do more to help those who are less fortunate. Later, as I thought about this, I read Moses’ instructions on providing for the poor. He told the Israelites: Do not “shut your hand from your poor brother, but . . . open your hand wide to him” (Deut. 15:7-8). An open hand symbolizes the way God wanted His nation to provide for impoverished people—willingly and freely. No excuses, no holding back (v.9). God had given to them, and He wanted them to give generously enough to supply whatever was “sufficient” for the need (v.8).
When we offer open-handed help to the poor, God blesses us for our kindness (Ps. 41:1-3; Prov. 19:17). With His leading, consider how you might “extend your soul to the hungry” (Isa. 58:10) and freely give to help others in Jesus’ name.
You may give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.