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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Today's devotional "Never Give Up"

Luke 15:1-10, John 5: 1-8
This past week, God has taught me about not giving up no matter what. You see, this past month has been hard for my family. There is stuff going on that could be very discouraging to anyone. I have been complaining about having to do what needs to be done. We are also in the midst of spring cleaning and it seems so overwhelming because it never seems to be done. I just want to give up, but that isn't an option now. He showed me these two stories about these people in order to open my eyes about their persistence and the different attitudes they had about their situation. In the first story, Jesus talks about the lost sheep and how the Shepherd goes and looks for the one lost sheep and doesn't stop looking until He finds that one and brings it home to the flock and rejoices over it. You see, for me, I have read that passage probably about a million times and always took it at face value, about salvation. Which of course is true. But then you read about the woman and the lost coin and how this woman loses her coin, which is about a day's wages, and doesn't stop looking until its found. She didn't give up until she found her treasured coin. Then she rejoiced about it. She was persistent like the Shepherd was persistent. Then as you read the story about the healing of the paralyzed man who was lame for 38 years, waiting to get into this special healing pool. You see, the pool only healed once a year by swirling up and only one person a year who dipped themselves into this pool got healed. Then along comes Jesus. Sweet, compassionate Jesus. Jesus asked him if he wanted to get healed. Then he starts complaining, "I can't sir. I don't have anyone to help me into the pool when the water gets stirred up. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me." Then Jesus told him, "Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat and walk!"
And of course he was healed, but he had to do his part. I can imagine how annoyed Jesus must have been. It basically told me to shut up complaining and get the job done, no matter what. Everything is a process and as the Apostle Paul says he will finish the race no matter what happens to him. (Phil 3:12-14). So I am not going to give up on anything until the race is done. I will keep on keeping on. If you are feeling discouraged today, please remember that God is there for you. He promises that He will never leave you or forsake you. The Bible is full of that promise. You can stand on that promise.

Father, I thank You that You promise that You will never leave me nor forsake me. Thank You that You are here to hold us in the shadow of Your wings, (Psalm 91) and that as a loving Father you discipline us in love, when we need it. As we focus on You and Your word, please change our hearts and attitudes to be more like Jesus.

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