It often happens, when we open the Word and begin to read, we find ourselves in a place of comfort. It's easy just to settle in, read slowly over the words, reflect, and pray. Sometimes our thoughts are more systematic and laid out along the lines of the text; other times, they are more free flowing. But the Word is like an old friend. It brings us to the mind of God. I guess it ought to be that way.
One of the most difficult things, I believe, for almost all of us, is the challenge we have in regard to other people’s estimations of us. Do others approve me and what I do? Do they not like me? Paul writes: “A person should consider us in this way: as servants of Christ and managers of God's mysteries. In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one of them be found faithful. It is of little importance to me that I should be evaluated by you or by any human court. . . . The one who evaluates me is the Lord” (4:1-4). Wow, if we could only and always have that same attitude! To paraphrase a well know politician, what difference does it make what anybody thinks of me? Only God’s opinion matters. He’s the owner of all I am and have; I only manage. And it’s for him to determine whether or not I am managing well.
We give thee but thine own,
whate'er the gift may be;
all that we have is thine alone,
a trust, O Lord, from thee.
May we thy bounties thus
as stewards true receive
and gladly, as thou blessest us,
to thee our first fruits give. -- William Walsham How (1858)