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 11.20.2017

 

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10)
It seems that there are those times when it feels like the wrath of the entire world is being directed solely at us. Someone in the world is angry at us and they are not the least bit shy in letting us know about it.

There are other times, however, when instead of being the recipient of the wrath of others we are the issuers of it. We lose sight of the fact that we are a child of God and unleash the wrath of our anger on someone else; knowing full well that this is not how God wants us to behave.

Life is not always fair and as such, we cannot control how others behave toward us. We are often the receivers of someone else’s anger just because we are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We can control how we behave, however. When we live with Christ at the center of our life our words are those that bring comfort and peace to others, not anguish, more anger, and anything but peace. It’s when we forget (ignore) His presence in our life that we all-too-often find ourselves spewing wrath on another when we should be doing just the opposite.

Until that day when Jesus comes again, how do you want to live? Do you want to be known by Him for your words of wrath or your words of comfort to others? Your choice.

Heavenly Father, help me to live with Jesus at the center of my life. Guard me against the wrath of the world that I be calm in my response and that I not return wrath for wrath. Guide me so that my words are not those of wrath but of comfort that build up rather than tear down. In Jesus’ name, AMEN

Weekly Devotional 11.05.2017

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. (1 John 3:1)

 

We live in a world in which titles are important and they carry weight; perhaps more than they truly deserve. They serve to define us, at least in part. And, they tend to stick with us, even when they may no longer be accurate. They are a “shorthand” of perceived value.

Like-it-or-not, even though most titles are positive there are some that are not. We may be known as a father or mother, sister or brother, or friend; however, we may also carry the title of dummy, or stupid, or ugly. All of these titles, positive or negative, however, are the work of men.

When we look beyond the titles that men can bestow there is one title that soars far above any of them. This title is bestowed by God for He knows us as Children of God. It is simple, direct, and is the measure of how He perceives us.

We know the meaning and intent of the titles of men, but what does it mean to be Children of God? On the surface, it means that we are His beloved creation but is there more to it?

The short answer is yes!

As a Child of God, you are loved when you are at your best but especially, when you are not. He knows that you will have “bad hair” days and as such are often in need of comfort and forgiveness – both of which He is willing and eager to provide because He loves you.

It also means that the world will not be kind to you because as His child it will not know you because it does not know Him. As His child, He will provide the strength to weather the storms that the world will send your way.

Finally, as His child, you will know true peace that comes from knowing that you are loved, cherished, valued, simply because you are His and that you will be with Him for eternity if you so choose.

 

Heavenly Father, I am blessed to be Your child. I am comforted by Your love and I wear the title Child of God with humility because You have bestowed upon me. Guide me as I share this title with others of Your children who may not know that they also wear it. Give me the strength to weather the storms of the world as I share Your blessings with those in it. I pray in the name of my Lord, Your Son, Christ Jesus. AMEN!