Daily Topic for July 15, 2007
In Luke 16:1-13, Jesus told the story about a wise steward who was found short in his accounts and was about to be fired. This steward commendably used his position to gain favor with his employer’s customers in order to make provision for his future. God makes clear that we cannot carry material wealth out of this world. But we can invest material goods in things that last forever-the destiny of men. Every dollar we contribute to frontier missions outreach pays eternal dividends. It’s true that we can’t take money with us-but we can send it on ahead.
Pray that God will give us the wisdom to invest our money in things that last forever.
Why did the Tujia bride-to-be cry? In 30 days she would marry a fine man selected by her parents. He had a reputation for kindness. Ten days later, her mother joined the crying process. Then her grandmother came. And the night before the wedding, her sister and aunts added their voices.
The Tujia tradition called “Zuo Tang” (Sitting in the Hall) expresses the bride’s sorrow at leaving her childhood home to join her groom. She leaves everything familiar. She enters a completely new experience. So the practice developed over the centuries that a wise and moral girl mourns the separation.
But the observance also anticipates the joy of the wedding. Grief over the old life gives way to joy in her new life. Sorrow at separation fuels the celebration. Could this custom provide a means of showing the message of Jesus? Even believers cling to this life. But as we hate to leave this world, we anticipate the joy of our completely new experience as the Bride of Christ.
Today, the Tujia people, be they in their traditional rural homeland or the city of Chongqing in Sichuan Province, are beginning to experience the grace and salvation of Christ.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that Chinese evangelists can show the Tujias the joy we have as the Bride of Christ. Pray that the Tujias will recognize the good news of Jesus even in their age-old practice of “bride crying.” Pray for a full harvest among the Tujia people.-EF