One Minute Devotional 08.05.2018

A One Minute Devotional for the week of August 5th

For The Ladies

Who taught you to be the woman that you are today – perhaps you are a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, or a friend? Chances are that it was another, older woman. Perhaps it was your mother, or an aunt, or a friend, or perhaps a teacher. Whoever it was, it was someone who took an interest in you because she cared about you, loved you. Whoever it was, you owe her a lot for she taught you lessons of life that can only be passed-on in this manner.

Hopefully, that woman, or those women, taught you another lesson amidst the more obvious ones. Hopefully, she was able to be model for you, thus teaching you what it means to be a Christian woman.

 

Scripture: Titus 2:3-5

Your Thoughts?

Weekly Devotional 11.26.2017

Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ the He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:44-45)

It’s easy to get seduced into thinking that God only sees the “big” things that are done in His name. The truth is that while “big” acts are important and do get noticed it is often the little actions that we do in serving one another that carry the most weight.

In this passage from Matthew, Jesus is speaking to each one of us about just this idea. Nowhere in the list of acts that He mentions is there anything that could be called “big.” The things that He mentions are the little acts of ministry that are one-on-one. These are the acts that allow us to touch the soul of another as we meet their need.

These small, individual acts that He lists in this passage are important. However, the true weight of this list is not in the list itself, but in His response when He is asked when one of the actions was done for Him. Jesus puts the lesson clearly in front of us when He says, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.”

Do the little things that we do in serving others get noticed and are they important? Absolutely they do and they are! Your words of comfort, that loving touch, your quiet presence – they are acts that serve Him by serving another.

So, the next time the opportunity to serve the need of another presents itself, don’t pass it up. You may just be touching Jesus and not even know it.

Heavenly Father, help me to see and respond to the little acts of service when they are before me. Guide me so that my hands, my touch, and my words are Yours. Act through me, Father as I serve my brother or sister. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Weekly Devotional 11/12/2017

But I don’t want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have not hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
Over a lifetime, most of us will attend far too many funerals. We will gather with family, or friends, to pay our respects; trying to come up with words of comfort that while politely received are generally not really heard by the survivors that remain behind.

In spite of the slide show of the deceased’s life that plays over and over in the background, we’ll wonder what kind of life the deceased really had. We wonder whether he, or she, was satisfied with life or not, happy or not, surrounded by friends or lonely, or something altogether different.

In our own way each of us will feel the sorrow in our heart that comes from the passing of a beloved family member or friend. Yet, Paul in his letter to the Christians in Thessalonica tells us to be careful of the type of sorrow that we feel. He tells these Christians not to sorrow as one without hope.

He reminds us that for the world, the non-believers, death is the final act; there is nothing beyond but the decay of the body. The person is gone never to be seen again. Death just leaves a loneliness that can never be satisfied.

He is reminding them, and us, that death is not the final act of life. Rather, it is the gateway into an eternal life filled with peace and joy that comes when we collect on the promise that God made to His children. No longer is the departed one beset with the problems that were a part of living on this side of death. Suffering is no more; replaced by the peace and joy of being with the Father and the Son.

For the Christian who has lost a fellow brother or sister we will see the one called home again. Yes, we will know grief but it will one day be replaced by the love that we will experience when we are once again united with our brother or sister.

Father, I do grieve the loss of my family members, my friends, my brothers and sisters. Guide me through my grief to come to know peace that only You can provide. I look forward to the day when we will be reunited in Your presence. Until then, comfort me so that I can comfort others who are also grieving. In the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus, AMEN.

Weekly Devotional 9.24.2017

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
There are situations in life where fear is a natural and appropriate emotion. We face an unknown and our anticipation of what could be there; a sense of danger only serving to heighten the anticipation.

Look back at David as he faced Goliath, nine feet tall and in full battle armor. David is significantly shorter and armed only with a sling and some stones from the river. While others may have been afraid, David trusted that God would protect him and enable him to defeat this seemingly undefeatable foe.

We see this same trust in God in Esther. She was tasked with carrying knowledge of a plan to destroy her people, God’s people, to her husband the King. She knew that if she entered the royal chamber to speak to him without his permission he could have her killed. Yet she, fearful, entered anyway.

What did David and Esther know that we at times forget?

They knew that as long as they were acting according to the will of God, He would give the strength to accomplish the task. They knew that neither one of them possessed the strength to succeed on their own.

Heavenly Father, there are those times when I am overcome with fear. Help me to remain calm when fear overtakes me. Remind me that I have no strength of my own but that You are the source of my strength as I face the unknown. Lead me to react with grace that honors You. In the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus, AMEN.

 

Weekly Devotional 09.17.2017

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” (Matt. 18:21)

 

It would be interesting to know what had taken place to prompt Peter to ask this question. Had something happened that sorely tried Peter’s patience? Was he venting that frustration to his Rabbi? We’ll never know.

What we do know, however, is that Jesus tells him that there is no limit to the number of times that forgiveness should be offered. Probably not what Peter wanted to hear.

Buried just underneath the surface of this conversation is the key question that drives it – what is forgiveness, what does it mean to forgive (or be forgiven)? What is it about this act of forgiveness that dictates that it be limitless?

To forgive is to dismiss an offense as if it never happened. It implies that the offense will never be brought up again. It doesn’t mean that we tolerate the offense. Even though we forgive, the sin behind the offense must still be addressed.

We often wrestle with forgiveness because we want our “pound of flesh” before we are willing to forgive. That is not the model that God has given us. If God demanded His “pound of flesh” before He forgave us, how could we know when He had satisfied Himself and we are forgiven?

And what if God said that each person only has so many times that he, or she, can be forgiven before He just gives up on us and permanently separates Himself from us? Again, we could never know when we are forgiven.

So, the next time that you are in the position to forgive or not, ask yourself this question, “does what I want in this situation match what God wants for me, for the one who has offended me?”

 

Heavenly Father, so often I am in the situation where I’ve been hurt by the actions of another. Help me to see the path of forgiveness and choose it over that of revenge. Guide me by the Holy Spirit to forgive when it seems as if that is the last thing that should be done. Help me to heal from the offense committed against me so that I will remain on the path of righteousness. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.