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Make Up the Difference


4 July 2024

By Gary Piper of Fort Gratiot, Michigan, USA

God, the Eternal Creator, weeps for the poor, displaced, mistreated, and diseased of the world because of their unnecessary suffering.

Doctrine and Covenants 163:4a

Instead of Jesus asking us, “Who do you say that I am?” it will be life itself asking us who we are. As life knows us from experience, it will also tell us, “Because you walk in my path I know you intimately. Your words mean nothing to me. Only what you do as you walk through your life matters to me.”

I know that life cannot ask us questions; however, we live our lives in the eyes of others, and, whether it is right or not, people do judge one another. How we live says volumes about who we are and what we believe. Not only do we live under the ever-watchful eyes of those around us, but we also live under the ever-watchful eye of our Creator.

For me, one of the most thought-provoking ideas is “I’d better let what I say I believe and how I live my life match.” In Psalm 139:1, 4 we read, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.”

I know many times I fall far short of where I need to be as a disciple of Jesus, but I also find this adage true: “There but for the grace of God, go I.” I know when I live life as genuinely as I can, imagining Jesus living his life through me in a way I cannot understand, God’s grace makes up the difference.

Whenever I ponder how I want to live my life, I often think of three of the characters in the parable of the Good Samaritan: the injured man who was true to his life’s journey, the Samaritan who had compassion for someone else’s journey, and the generous innkeeper who took over where the Samaritan left off. At some point in our lives, we could be any one of these. My prayer is that we will be genuine in our commitment to the Mission Initiative Abolish Poverty, End Suffering.

Prayer Phrase

“For by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:8).

Spiritual Practice

The Jesus Prayer of Mercy

The Jesus Prayer is an ancient spiritual practice from Orthodox Christianity. It is a way of connecting with the gracious Spirit of Christ as we ask to receive his mercy. The prayer comes from the scripture of the blind man calling Jesus to heal him. Silently enter prayer and let your breath become slow and even. Greet God and then take up the prayer phrase: Lord, Jesus Christ (as you breathe in) … have mercy on me (as you breathe out). Prayerfully repeat these words for several minutes (or forty times). Breathe the presence of Christ into your mind, heart, and body. Be transformed as you receive the compassionate, peaceful heart of Jesus.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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