Devotional Thought of the Day
33 Sir, I am your slave. Please let me stay here in place of Benjamin and let him return home with his brothers. 34 How can I face my father if Benjamin isn’t with me? I couldn’t bear to see my father in such sorrow… …Yes, I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt. 5 Don’t worry or blame yourselves for what you did. God is the one who sent me ahead of you to save lives. ….
Tell your brothers to load their donkeys and return to Canaan. 18 Have them bring their father and their families here. I will give them the best land in Egypt, and they can eat and enjoy everything that grows on it. 19 Also tell your brothers to take some wagons from Egypt for their wives and children to ride in. And be sure to have them bring their father. 20 They can leave their possessions behind, because they will be given the best of everything in Egypt. Gen. 44:33-45:1, 4-5, 17-20 CEV
One good deed is more worth than a thousand brilliant theories. Let us not wait for large opportunities, or for a different kind of work, but do just the things we “find to do” day by day. We have no other time in which to live. The past is gone; the future has not arrived; we never shall have any time but time present. Then do not wait until your experience has ripened into maturity before you attempt to serve God. Endeavour now to bring forth fruit. Serve God now
You may just have read the excerpts from my devotional reading this morning and thought that I am a little… confused.
After all, neither reading has anything to do with Christmas, Thanksgiving or Advent. You probably have a point, yet,please listen to me for a moment.
Far too often we look past this moment, thinking of something in the future. At least I do, and in the process I miss the work God is doing, right now, today, here where I am. Other times, I miss where I am because I am haunted by my past. (this is starting to sound a little like A Christmas Carol!) We have to hear Spurgeon’s urging us to to live in the present, we have to see what God is doing.
We see that in the in the three voices from Genesis. They all live in the moment, and find themselves acting like Jesus.
Judah, remembering how he didn’t help Joseph, is willing to lay his life down for his brother Benjamin. He lives in the moment, and acts like Jesus would (maybe for a different motive) but he is willing to take the heat, and deal with the wrath that could be poured out on his brother. Jesus couldn’t go back tot the Father without his brother either, so He took your place.
Joseph, lived in the moment as well, looking past the sins committed against him, was able to see God’s hand in bringing him to this moment, for the purpose of saving lives. Despite the pain, despite all the suffering, he was sure that God had him there, and was able to minister out of the present moment, even to those who sinned against him. Sound familiar?
And then there is the Pharoah, the guy who ministers in the present, welcoming his “new” people home, and ministering to those who were broken by the famine, and were wasting away. He welcomes them into His presence and gives them of the best that He has. He even tells them to leave all the stuff they had behind, for he will provide all they need. Again, we see that in the moment, someone acting like God, who has us leave the brokenness of our spiritually famished lives behind, giving us more life than we can ever imagine,
There is something about living in the moment, seeing those in need around us, and ministering to them. Something that allows us to be God’s person in this place, brought here in advance, to save people.
So look around, and see who is there…
C. H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896).
Devotional Discussion thought of the day…
As I am sitting home sick, I’ve been catching up on superhero movies – reliving my childhood one would say… except the superheroes are far more technological, their challengers even more vicious, the battles far more …. critical, than the ones Adam West and Boy Robin faced. or Chris Reeves.
What they have in common, these heroes of my youth and the heroes of this day.. they don’t become lords, they don’t govern, they simply serve…they work to bring health to their communities and peace, and indeed to protect them from evil. Whether it is a global threat – or a child needing to be rescued from a tree, they are there.
There is something at a sub-conscious level that resounds and gets excited by the superhero concept, and I believe it is because we believe we are also threatened. Threatened by a darkness that would consume us, enslave us, ruin us. Sometimes that darkness is an external threat ( we often project this on… let’s say – a presidential candidate? That is why we must vilify them, rather than just base it on issues) Sometimes it is an internal threat – the superheroes today often battle internal demons, (Dark Knight/Batman, the Hulk, Ironman etc) and the difference between Villain and Hero is slim, razor slim.
We have heroes in our midst, the apostles and ministers who reflect light into the darkness. I don’t capitalize either of those words for a purpose – I am not talking about pastors and priests, bishops and other clergy. I am talking about the people who are sent by God into the darkness of this world, to reflect the light,t he glory that envelops them, for they have found hope in Jesus. They are more than superheroes – for in Christ, they have become children of the Father, they have been united in Christ’s death and resurrection. As they live normal lives, they become our heroes, as they pray with their kids, as they sing in the choir, as they help their neighbor and their neighbor’s family as they approach death, as they simply listen to that co-worker, whose life is broken, just as their lives were.. It’s the lady who teaches Sunday School, the musicians who arrive early, the people that greet with smiles and hugs. They have been “apostled” sent into the place to serve, to minister, on God’s behalf. Without thought of reward, but to give hope to the hopeless, to bring healing where there is pain, to bring love where there is hatred and apathy…
to bring Jesus, His mercy, His love, His glory….
Who are these superheroes? Come to church on Sunday, and I will introduce you to some… and we’ll help you see that you are one as well….