This week's theme

Struggles

Today's reading

Ruth 1:121

Today's prayer

God of mercy envelop, in your love, those who are lonely or grieving. Teach me the art of being welcoming to those in need without imposing my personal expectations upon them.

Fresh From the Word

For further thought

How generous can my charity be? Can I accept lack of enthusiasm from someone who is grieving or sorrowful and still give my love?

Who am I influencing for good? How am I learning wisdom, and how am I sharing it?

Sometimes its easy to see an evil that has to be resisted; sometimes it isnt. How can we learn to be discerning?

What difference does it make to how we live in the world if we are open to spiritual realities as well as material ones?

What lessons can I learn from the world around me today? How can I see God at work in things that happen?

Can we discern the enemies we face in todays world? How can we resist the pressure to conform and be like everyone else?

Ultimately, Christians dont just believe in healing, but in resurrection. Even when everything is gone, God can bring new life.

Darius says, Tremble and fear before the God of Daniel (verse 26). There is not much trembling and fearing before God nowadays do you think that is good or bad?

I was taught that prophecy in the Bible was forth telling not fore telling. What does forth telling mean in your context?

How should the church, locally, nationally and internationally, speak truth to power?

What are some examples of faithful people who have opposed political powers? Do you think faithful people can ever avoid confrontation with powers big or small?

In the Old Testament, salvation is predominantly a this-worldly event. What stories of deliverance and rescue have you heard recently?

Find out more about people persecuted for their beliefs and take some action (an email or a letter) to help them.

Which expression from todays reading brought the most comfort to you?

God is calling us to be agents of reconciliation in our families, communities and world. Can we hear the call?

Wells were often sites of conflict between people in the Bible, as in our time. What can you do to cut down on your use of water at home and in your church community?

In many countries of the world, including among the poorest in Brazil, protest music has galvanised communities and brought strength to people who have very little.

What are some practical ways your community can overcome hate and resentment?

Sitting down quietly, with your eyes closed, can you feel your breath and your pulse, your inner rhythm? Can you offer it as a praise song to God?

Think about what Gods aliveness means to you, and how you might nurture it in your life.

Reflect on the way different styles of music in worship may say something different about God and about who the church is for.

If you like to express praise through singing, ask someone who finds that difficult what media help them to praise (or vice versa).

How do we ensure that the spiritual needs of both those who are musical, and those who dont relate to music, are met in our worship?

Is there a danger in making something that deepens our experience of God into an end in itself and risking idolatry?

What music touches your deepest feelings? How do you relate that to your understanding of your experience of God?

These incredible people in our communities need help. Can you commit to spending time each week helping them? Find out who they are in your community and go and ask how you can help.

When you go to work, school or the supermarket tomorrow, take a look at the people around you. Encourage someone who looks like they might need it.

What do you fear at the moment? What do you wake up worried about or what stops you from doing something? What is the first step you can take to come face to face with it?

As you journey through life today, find a way to demonstrate the kindness of strangers to someone. If you cant think of anything check out the ideas on the website of the Random Acts of Kindness group.

As you go about your day today, consider the places and situations around you in which you would like to see Jesus peace in action.

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International Community

'Not-withstanding the stiff competition with other devotional guides, Fresh from The Word, has a unique feature in that it comes in the local languages as well. This makes it more accessible to people who are not literate in the English Language'.

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This week's writer

Stephen is a Methodist Minister who was involved in mission to the economic world. This included offering industrial chaplaincies and establishing a regional anti-trafficking network. With four churches in Birmingham, England, three in areas of multiple d

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Celebrating 135 years!

Join us in celebrating 135 years of the work of IBRA!
To mark this auspicious occasion we have a special celebration edition available.

Read about our rich history and the origins of our founder Charles Waters, bank manager and Sunday School teacher – not a scholar, preacher, or public speaker – who had a gift for organisation and a vision for making the Bible accessible to all.

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