Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, January 21, 2016
This Week’s Devotional Focus is, “Love.”
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,” (1 Corinthians 13:4).
“Are you trying to work my very last nerve?” This was the shout of a young woman to a gentleman in the stairway as she stormed off. One could almost cut through the air’s tension with a knife as the man kept silent. He made a simple statement, she lost it, he kept silent, and she stormed off. Which of the two were patient and kind?
It is easy to be kind when things are going your way and you are having a great day. But, what happens when the dog thinks the kitchen floor is a patch of grass and your child was supposed to walk her, but didn’t? Or, what if your girlfriend habitually asks you the same questions as though you two had never spoken about a thing before. What if you are a serving in a fast food joint and unruly teens bark their orders at you while texting and don’t even say thanks when their order is complete? How does love behave when your fellow church member obviously seeks to undermine your programs, no matter what you do? Are these questions far-fetched? You be the judge. What certainly is not far-fetched is the choice each of us must make when someone actually does get on our very last nerve.
One of the most serious things we can do is pray for some Christian virtue. When we do this, generally God does not roll a bunch of that esteemed virtue into a premium goose down pillow and toss it in your direction. Oh, no! It is not that simple. When we ask in faith for that which is pleasing in God’s sight, the antithesis of that thing floods into our experiences. Since God loves us so much, if we pray for patience, He will guide us through the most trying of circumstances. If we put in a request for a large order of kindness, we can rest assured that we will soon mysteriously encounter the meanest, most needy people we have ever met. I say these things sort of tongue in cheek, but it’s true nonetheless.
This is not meant to be a discouragement of prayer. The fact is that we need to possess these and other Christian virtues. As such, our heavenly Father is delighted to carry us through various opportunities for growth, to the end that we will soon be fit representatives for God on earth. Fit representatives of God on earth will one day become holy residents of His eternal kingdom.