The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour[b] to pray. 10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance. Acts 10


     Peter was a man who was serious about prayer. In this passage, we see that he deliberately had taken time out of his day to go somewhere where he could be alone, and spend time praying to the Lord. No doubt he learned how to do this by spending three years with Jesus, who often would disappear into the wilderness or on a mountain side to spend hours in prayer and commune with his Father. Throughout Scripture, from Moses, David, Elijah, to Peter, Paul, John and many more, we see many examples of great men of God who deliberately spent time in prayer alone. Clearly this is something of great importance.
      In these modern days it seems tough to grab even 5 minutes of down time; we are constantly on the go, and our minds are racing a million thoughts a second. It is hard to sit still and pray, for we are left alone with just ourselves, our thoughts, and our Creator. And yet, this is where God meets us: in prayer, and in the reading of His word. We CAN find the time, but sometimes it seems hard to INTENTIONALLY find the time.
     We are intentional about so many things throughout our week, such our favorite sports team playing on Sunday, not missing the latest episode of our favorite TV show, hitting the gym. While none of these things are inherently bad, if we neglect the things we should be intentional about, we have done ourselves a disservice. Peter was intentional about his prayer, as also should we. You would be amazed how much better equipped you are to handle the day ahead of you if your morning features a short time of prayer and reading. Perhaps just start with 5 minutes – but be intentional about it.  May we as a church be spurred by the Holy Spirit to focus on what really matters, and intentionally seek alone time with our Father in Heaven. Amen. TF

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32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. Acts 4




     “That’s mine.” We have all uttered those words at some point, and we learned how to do it at a very young age. As toddlers we have all clutched at toys and trinkets that were of no real value, desperately trying to make sure we maintained some sort of ownership over what was “ours”. Although it was too hard for us to grasp, at the time we owned nothing. We depended upon our parents for our very next meal, clothing, and shelter. Everything was given to us, yet we needed to assert our ownership.

      As adults, we have the same tendency: to declare ownership over our assets, our property, our “stuff”. Truthfully we still own nothing: all things can be taken from us at a moments notice even if we make every right decision there is to make. We still clutch at things that technically have no eternal value, forgetting that it is God who lets us be stewards of HIS resources, and it is to His credit that we even possess the ability to generate wealth and income. All things have been made by Him and for Him, and He gives us a measure of his resources to manage with express purpose of generating a spiritual ROI (return on investment).

     The first century church as described in Acts 4 seems to have had a firm grasp on this concept, for it appears that no one was laying claim to even their own possessions. They were focused on an eternal possession: relationship with God through Jesus, and boldly preaching the Gospel. There is a beautiful freedom to be experienced when one lives life with the right priorities. May we be blessed with a renewed perspective on what has been given to us to manage, and a heart of gratitude to the One who continually provides for us. Amen. TF