Devotional

When Jesus Stops

27 February 2024, 12:00 am

For days, the sickly cat cried, huddled in a box near my workplace. Abandoned on the street, the feline went unnoticed by many who passed it by—until Jun came along. The street sweeper carried the animal home, where he lived with two dogs, which were former strays.

“I care for them because they’re the creatures no one notices,” Jun said. “I see myself in them. No one notices a street sweeper, after all.”

As Jesus walked toward Jericho on His way to Jerusalem, a blind man sat begging by the roadside. He felt unnoticed too. And on this day especially, when a crowd was passing through and all eyes were focused on Jesus—no one stopped to help the beggar.

No one except Jesus. In the midst of the clamoring crowd, He heard the forgotten man’s cry. “What do you want me to do for you?” Christ asked, and He received the heartfelt reply, “Lord, I want to see.” Then Jesus said, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you” (Luke 18:41–42).

Do we feel unnoticed at times? Are our cries drowned out by people who seem to matter more than us? Our Savior notices those the world doesn’t care to notice. Call to Him for help! While others may pass us by, He’ll stop for us.

 

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Sweet Sleep

26 February 2024, 12:00 am

Bad memories and accusing messages flooded Sal’s mind. Sleep eluded him as fear filled his heart and sweat covered his skin. It was the night before his baptism, and he couldn’t stop the onslaught of dark thoughts. Sal had received salvation in Jesus and knew that his sins had been forgiven, but the spiritual battle continued. It’s then that his wife took his hand and prayed for him. Moments later, peace replaced the fear in Sal’s heart. He got up and wrote the words he would share prior to being baptized—something he hadn’t been able to do. After that, he experienced sweet sleep.

King David also knew what a restless night felt like. Fleeing from his son Absalom who wanted to steal his throne (2 Samuel 15:1–17:29), he knew that “tens of thousands [assailed him] on every side” (Psalm 3:6). David moaned, “How many are my foes!” (v. 1). Though fear and doubt could have won out, he called out to God, his “shield” (v. 3). Later, he found that he could “lie down and sleep . . . because the Lord sustains [him]” (v. 5).

When fears and struggles grip our mind and rest is replaced by restlessness, hope is found as we pray to God. While we might not experience immediate sweet sleep as Sal and David did, in “peace [we can] lie down and . . . dwell in safety” (4:8). For God is with us and He’ll be our rest.

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Not Luck, but Christ

25 February 2024, 12:00 am

Discover magazine suggests that there are around 700 quintillion (7 followed by 20 zeros) planets in the universe, but only one like Earth. Astrophysicist Erik Zackrisson said that one of the requirements for a planet to sustain life is to orbit in the “Goldilocks” zone, where the temperature is just right and water can exist. Out of 700 quintillion planets, Earth seems to be one planet where conditions are just right. Zackrisson concluded that Earth somehow had been dealt a “fairly lucky hand.”

Paul assured the Colossian believers that the universe existed, not because of Lady Luck, but because of the work of Jesus. The apostle presents Christ as the Creator of the world (Colossians 1:16). “For in him all things were created.” Not only was Jesus the powerful creator of the world, but Paul says that “in him all things hold together” (v. 17)—a world that’s not too hot and not too cold, but one that’s just right for human existence. What Jesus created, He’s sustaining with His perfect wisdom and unceasing power.

As we participate and enjoy the beauty of creation, let’s choose not to point to the random activity of Lady Luck, but to the purposeful, sovereign, powerful and loving One who possesses “all [God’s] fullness” (v. 19).

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Better Together

24 February 2024, 12:00 am

After another health setback, I feared the unknown and uncontrollable. One day, while reading a Forbes magazine article, I learned that scientists studied the rising of the “Earth’s rotation velocity” and declared that the Earth “wobbled” and is “spinning faster.” They said we “could require the first-ever ‘drop second’—the official removal of a second from global time.” Though a second doesn’t seem like much of a loss, knowing that the earth’s rotation could change seemed like a big deal to me. Even slight instability can make my faith feel wobbly. However, knowing God helps me trust that He’s in control no matter how scary our unknowns or how shaky our circumstances may seem.

In Psalm 90, Moses said, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (vv. 1–2). Acknowledging God’s unlimited power, control, and authority over all creation, Moses declared that time cannot constrain God (vv. 3–6).

As we seek to know more about God and the wonderful world He made, we’ll discover how He continues perfectly managing time and all He created. God can be trusted with every unknown and newly discovered thing in our lives too. All creation remains secure in God’s loving hands.

How does knowing God is in control of time and all creation help you trust Him when facing the unknown? How can you honor God with the time He’s entrusted to you today?

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