Our small group stood there in Bethlehem on that hot summer day at the birthplace of Jesus, singing Christmas carols. We joined hands and hearts as our voices announced our exuberant joy at seeing this holy place. The elderly lady next to me seemed to enjoy the moment more than most of us. When we had finished singing, she didn’t release my hand but asked if I would help her up the narrow stairs. As we climbed she chatted in excited voice about being at the site of the birth of Jesus, saying that this was the culmination of a lifelong dream to see the Holy Land.
When we reached the top, she thanked me, and it was then that I realized my new friend was blind.
GospeLines Prayer:Heavenly Father, give me a vision that sees through the darkness... let me find you even when my eyes fail me.Show me how to sing your praise in the face of trials and hardships.Thank you for the unforgettable lesson you taught me in Bethlehem.Amen and amen.
"I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw…" (Proverbs 24:32 - NIV)
Did you know I am one of God’s children?I learn a lot during Children’s Time at church.Today, I learned something I hadn’t considered before…
Ms. Welch sometimes uses props to convey the message to all of us “children.”She used a puzzle - handing out various pieces to each child sitting on the Chancel steps with her.
After pieces had been distributed, she posed a couple of questions:
1)Are any pieces more important than others?The little voices shouted a resounding “No!”
2)What do you see when you look at your particular piece?Someone said a lion, another said a fish; someone else gave a different answer.
3)What do we need to do to get the total picture?All pieces need to be put together.
What a response!All of God’s children are important and are needed to complete His work, His purpose.Just like the picture on the box, His kingdom is perfect when we are all together!
GospeLines Prayer:Father, I thank You for the various methods and mediums You use to teach us the lesson.I am very thankful to be one of Your children and to be part of Your kingdom.
Help me fulfill Your purpose for my life, to bring You glory.If only I could turn back the hands of time, I would do things differently.Hindsight is 20:20.
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord and help me to be receptive to the lesson.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, November 14, 2007
"Two Thumbs Up"
I drive a Geo Tracker 4x4 Convertible, blue with a white top. Don’t you dare laugh at me, because when it grows up it’s going to be a Jeep Wrangler!
On the way home from work, there was another Tracker in the lane next to me, just like mine, except it was solid white. The driver was a young Hispanic man in his early twenties. I pulled up beside him, looked over and smiled and gave him a thumb’s up sign for his cool ride (that means nice choice of vehicle). He returned the smile and gesture, and for a brief moment, in busy traffic, our lives leaped the barriers of thirty years age difference, race and language. It was a two-thumbs-up experience!
Connecting with people at any level is crucial in our impersonal, selfish world.It might only be a sincere “How-do-you-do”, or a word of encouragement, or genuine interest in something he/she is wearing, or a question about their family. It really doesn’t matter what topic you choose. What is important, is that Christians have the privilege, no, the obligation to give back some of the joy which Jesus has given to us.
“You are the light of the world... let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”(Matthew 5:14, 16)
GospeLines Prayer:The world has taught me so well the value of minding my own business, that I sometimes forget that YOUR business is my main business.Well, that stops right now! Today, allow me to connect with one person so that they may experience a little bit of the joy of which I have a lot! Amen and amen.
"...if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2nd Chronicles 7:14)
Jesus said to His disciples, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)
What does He mean?How do we become "like little children"?Jesus told us.He went on to say, "Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:4)
The word Jesus used (that we translate as humble) means to make or bring low, to be ranked below others, to have a modest opinion of one's self and have an unassuming manner.
Children know that they are dependant of their parents.When they are frightened they run to their parents.When they hurt, they seek their parents for help and consolation.A child cannot conceive of placing himself or herself above (or even equal to) their parent.
We are told to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility to consider others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3).Jesus made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, and humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross (Philippians 2:7-8).Therefore, who are we to speak in pride or to consider ourselves in any way able to face this world without God?Who is man that God is mindful of him?Who indeed?
God loves us - His people - His children."God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6) "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up." (James 4:10)
"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." (1st Peter 3:8-9)
The Lord says, "My people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves..."Is He talking about you?Does the Lord consider you among those He calls "My people"?If you have humbled yourself before the Lord He is faithful and has promised to lift you up and place you among His people.Amen and Amen
"…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
“Let me walk on the water, too!”Simon Peter yelled out to the Master as
Jesus walked across the lake toward the frightened and bewildered disciples.
I have wondered why the Lord didn’t tell Simon to stay in the boat where it was safe.Instead, He invited him over the side of the boat, right into the stormy seas.What do you think the disciples were doing while Simon stuck his impetuous neck out and tried the impossible?They were probably standing at the side of the boat “encouraging” him - “Simon, get back in this boat before you drown!”
GospeLines Prayer:Dear God, I may not ever have enough faith to try the impossible.If not, at least help me to be an encourager to those with Simon-like faith.Amen and amen.