NEW TESTAMENT: PHIL. 3:1-14
OLD TESTAMENT: JER. 12:1-16
GOSPEL: JOHN 12:9-19
PSALMS: 51:1-18(19-20), 69:1-23
Thirty years ago I spent the summer selling Bibles door-to-door. There were about 50 college students in our group when we started that adventure together. We would work six days a week and then meet together on Sunday. Part of that Sunday gathering was a church service heavily laced with singing. Direct sales is never easy, and being completely on my own in southern Mississippi was a very difficult experience. It was the songs that we sang that uplifted me and gave me comfort through those difficult weeks as I accomplished a task to which I truly felt called.
Several years later, when I was grieving the loss of our first child through a miscarriage, I found that one of the songs that brought me so much comfort that summer was based on Philippians 3:10-11 (one of today's readings). As I read the words in Philippians, I was reminded of God's faithfulness and solace during that summer of selling books. The song came once again to my lips and once again God brought me comfort and peace.
When I look back to those two experiences, I'm convinced that it was the truth of God's word that was touching and ministering to me. Even now when I sing that song and I'm reminded of God's faithfulness and have a renewed hope for the future. I have learned that when I invest in learning God's word, the investment returns a tremendous dividend.
That's my goal for this Lenten season — to invest in God's word.