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The following is a part of our weekly devotional series, which is a companion to the 2013 Foursquare Life Journal. This week’s Bible reading comes from: 2 Sam. 11-23; Psalms 32, 51, 55-56 and 71; Matt. 23-28; and 1 Thess. 1.

Recently, I was blown away by a story out of Kansas City, Mo. A homeless man found an engagement ring in the cup he used to receive donations from people. He took the ring to a jeweler to be appraised and was offered $4,000 by the jeweler.

What a quandary for this man in such desperate straits! He chose to keep the ring in hopes of returning it to the original owner. He thought perhaps the woman who dumped the ring along with the change from her purse would return for it, and he would feel like he had done the right thing.

The ring’s owner did return, days later, after realizing her mistake. She was very surprised to find he still had it. She gave him all of the cash she had in her purse and, with her husband, set up an online blog to receive contributions for the man, Billy Ray Harris. He had been living on the streets for 16 years.

Some $185,000 had come in as of the date of the article I read, and Billy now has a job and a home. The story was broadcast by the TODAY Show, and Billy was reunited with his four siblings on the set. His reason for returning the ring, according to him, was that he was raised by godly parents, and it was the right thing to do.

When the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in his first letter to the Thessalonians, he was applauding the fact that they had become “examples” to all the believers in Macedonia. They were living their lives and making decisions that demonstrated: 

  1. That the benefits of heaven were worth waiting for (patience of hope)
  2. That helping others was worth the effort (labor of love)
  3. That our actions should reflect our convictions (work of faith)

The decisions we make in private moments become present-day offerings to the Lord.  What is done in secret will one day be shouted from the mountaintops. In God’s economy, there is always a miracle story waiting to unfold.

The promise of the Lord remains true for those who seek Him. Isaiah 43:19 states: “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (NKJV). He is the Lord of mercy who calls us to refuse to be bound by our past or to be hopeless about our future. Let us live in the present, doing the right things!

By: Glenn Burris Jr., president of The Foursquare Church 

Download the yearlong reading plan (PDF, 80 KB), or sign up for the full, online version of the Life Journal. To purchase a Life Journal for your own use, or to place a bulk order for church-wide use, visit Learn more about Foursquare’s 2013 Life Journal project.

is a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Orlando, Fla.