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Monday, January 11, 2016

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1 Samuel 1:1-8
Psalm 116:12-19
Mark 1:14-20

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fruit stand

"Hannah was childless." —1 Samuel 1:2

"Hannah would weep and refuse to eat" (1 Sm 1:7). Bearing a child meant more to her than anything else in the world. We too should weep and fast for any lack of spiritual fruitfulness in our lives. If last year we only led fifty people to new life in Jesus when we had the opportunity to be more fruitful, we should weep and fast. "Those that sow in tears will reap in joy" (Ps 126:5, our transl).

Paul was in "great grief and constant pain" (Rm 9:2) because his kinsmen, the Israelites, had not accepted new life in Christ (Rm 9:2-3). Paul made himself "the slave of all so as to win over as many as possible" (1 Cor 9:19). He made himself "all things to all men in order to save at least some of them" (1 Cor 9:22).

Jesus said: "I solemnly assure you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit" (Jn 12:24). Jesus so zealously desired to bear the fruit of salvation in the lives of all people that He died on a cross for each of us.

At this moment, Jesus is calling each of us to follow Him and bring as many people as possible into His kingdom. Let us leave anything, do anything, and suffer anything so that we will bear much fruit in this new year.

Prayer:  Father, do in me what You must in order to do through me what You will.

Promise:  "This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand!" —Mk 1:15

Praise:  Sarah prayed every day for many years for her son to return to God. The Lord allowed her to see her prayers answered and now she prays in thanksgiving.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Who Am I In Christ? or our three part series of audio tapes starting with AV 7A-1 or our two-part video series starting with V-7A or view or download our leaflet or listen to or download our three part series starting with CD 7A-1 or two part series starting with DVD 7A at presentationministries.com.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2015

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