Don’t Feed The Trolls

Make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace. Colossians 4:5–6
Today’s Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 26:4–12
 
Ever heard the expression, “Don’t feed the trolls”? “Trolls” refers to a new problem in today’s digital world—online users who repeatedly post intentionally inflammatory and hurtful comments on news or social media discussion boards. But ignoring such comments—not “feeding” the trolls—makes it harder for them to derail a conversation.
 
Of course, it’s nothing new to encounter people who aren’t genuinely interested in productive conversation. “Don’t feed the trolls” could almost be a modern equivalent of Proverbs 26:4, which warns that arguing with an arrogant, unreceptive person risks stooping to their level.
And yet . . . even the most seemingly stubborn person is also a priceless image-bearer of God. If we’re quick to dismiss others, we may be the ones in danger of being arrogant and becoming unreceptive to God’s grace (see Matthew 5:22).
 
That might, in part, explain why Proverbs 26:5 offers the exact opposite guideline. Because it takes humble, prayerful dependence on God to discern how best to show others love in each situation (see Colossians 4:5–6). Sometimes we speak up; other times, it’s best to be silent.
 
May we find peace in knowing that the same God who drew us near while we were still in hardened opposition to Him (Romans 5:6) is powerfully at work in each person’s heart.
By: Monica Brands
 
Reflect & Pray
How have you witnessed very different approaches being used by God to touch others? How can you better speak the truth in love?
Loving God, help me share Your love with others around me.

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When We Know Who Wins

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Revelation 21:4
Today’s Scripture & Insight: Revelation 21:1–5
 
My supervisor is a huge fan of a certain college basketball team. This year, they won the national championship, so another coworker texted him congratulations. The only problem was my boss hadn’t yet had a chance to watch the final game! He was frustrated, he said, knowing the outcome beforehand. But, he admitted, at least when he watched the game he wasn’t nervous when the score stayed close to the end. He knew who won!
We never really know what tomorrow will hold. Some days can feel mundane and tedious, while other days are filled with joy. Still other times, life can be grueling, agonizing even, for long periods of time.
 
But despite life’s unpredictable ups and downs, we can still be securely grounded in God’s peace. Because, like my supervisor, we know the end of the story. We know who “wins.”
 
Revelation, the Bible’s final book, lifts the curtain on that spectacular finale. After the final defeat of death and evil (20:10, 14), John describes a beautiful victory scene (21:1–3) where God makes His home with His people (v. 3) and wipes “every tear from their eyes” in a world with “no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (v. 4).
 
On difficult days, we can cling to this promise. No more loss or weeping. No more what-ifs or broken hearts. Instead, we’ll spend eternity together with our Savior. What a glorious celebration that will be!
By: Adam Holz
 
Reflect & Pray
How can the hope of heaven give you strength? How might your favorite “happily ever after” story echo Revelation 21?
One day God will soothe every hurt, heal every wound, and wipe away every tear.

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Another Chance

Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! Micah 7:19 nlt
Today’s Scripture & Insight: Micah 7:1–3, 18–20
 
At the Second Chance Bike Shop near our neighborhood, volunteers rebuild cast-off bicycles and donate them to needy kids. Shop founder Ernie Clark also donates bikes to needy adults, including the homeless, the disabled, and military veterans struggling to make it in civilian life. Not only do the bicycles get a second chance but sometimes the recipients get a new start too. One veteran used his new bike to get to a job interview.
 
Second chances can transform a person’s life, especially when the second chance comes from God. The prophet Micah extolled such grace during a time the nation of Israel groveled in bribery, fraud, and other despicable sins. As Micah lamented, “The godly people have all disappeared; not one honest person is left on the earth” (Micah 7:2 nlt).
 
God would rightly punish evil, Micah knew. But being loving, He would give those who repented another chance. Humbled by such love, Micah asked, “Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people?” (v. 18 nlt).
 
We too can rejoice that God doesn’t abandon us because of our sins if we ask for forgiveness. As Micah declared of God, “Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!” (v. 19 nlt). God’s love gives second chances to all who seek Him.
 
By Patricia Raybon
 
Reflect & Pray
What sin will you repent of and gain a second chance from our loving God?
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the grace of second chances.

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