Friday, January 29, 2010

Bath Time

After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded (John 13:5 KJV)

My kids used to complain about taking a bath at the end of the day. They weren’t dirty; they took a bath yesterday. But they played hard, lived close to the ground, and couldn’t avoid accumulating grime.

Sometimes I think of that when I read the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. Why would He do that? Presumably they’d all been baptized, spiritually washed, yet every day, they needed help getting rid of toxic muck. Even though Jesus was with them all the time, they wouldn’t let some children talk to Him, bickered about who would sit at His right hand and fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane.

That puts me in “good” company when I don’t invite a friend to church, speak irritably or fall asleep without praying. Of course, “They did it too” is not a good excuse. The Lord calls us to come and keep coming to His side where He forgives and gives us rest. He reminds me that being baptized is just the first giant step in learning to walk with Him. After that, I need my spiritual feet, hands, heart and soul scrubbed down over and over in order to serve Him well.

Prayer: Lord, Help me to stay always in your presence, ask your forgiveness and be acceptable in your sight. Amen.

© 2010 V. Colclasure

Friday, January 22, 2010



For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he as looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. James 1:23-24 (NASB)

We all have days when we try to justify our actions and see ourselves in a better light than our actions warrant. When I take care of my three year old twin grandchildren, I occasionally become impatient with their dawdling. We need to put shoes and socks on to get out the door, but one sock is missing, or they put their shoes on the wrong feet - again. I fuss at them because we are running late. I rationalize my harsh words because I want to get everyone going on time no matter how I get it done. In my anxious desire to be punctual, I sometimes forget to show patience and love as I care for these special little ones. My most important role is to reflect Jesus to them.

James reminds us that God’s word is like a mirror in which we look to see a reflection of who we really are rather than who we imagine ourselves to be. When I peer into God’s word, I can see His truth about myself and discern what changes He wants to make in my life. If I merely glance at His precepts, then turn away to live my life as usual, I miss an opportunity to become the person He wants me to be.

Dear Father: Please give us the discernment to see the truth about ourselves through Your word. Strengthen us to surrender to the changes You want to make in our lives. In Jesus Name, Amen.

© 2010 Diane E. Hussey

Friday, January 15, 2010

More Daniels in Our Time

“And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he trusted in his God.” Daniel 6:22 (NIV)

My Christian grandson is a college junior in a secular institution. The professors often like to challenge him. They say things like, “How can you be so narrow minded as to think your beliefs are the only way?” Or they may say, “You are just plain prejudiced if you don’t accept other lifestyles.”

Thank God, my grandson is grounded in his Christian faith. Moreover, thank God for these challenges. They have made him stronger and determined to be prepared with answers when pelted with such questions.

The Bible tells of a young man named Daniel taken into captivity far from his homeland. Daniel remained strong in his faith even when subjected to sophisticated indoctrination techniques meant to change his worldview and belief system.

Under political pressure, King Darius ordered all of his subjects to bow and pray only to him. When Daniel was caught praying to the Lord God, he was thrown to hungry lions. King Darius sealed the stone over the lion’s den. He spent a sleepless night fasting and hoping that God would save Daniel.

God sent angels to shut the mouth of the lions and Daniel survived.

Because of Daniel’s faithfulness, and God’s deliverance, King Darius rejoiced and declared, “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.” Daniel 6:26

It is a blessing to know that there are young Daniels in our world today willingly to live their faith.

Lord, thank You for the example of Daniel. In today’s troubled times, bring forth more young Daniels to represent You in the world.

© 2009 Christy Struben

Friday, January 8, 2010

Making Sauerkraut

And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matthew 5:30 (KJV)

Mother and I make sauerkraut every three years. This is the year. I cut every head of cabbage out of the garden, thankful for each one. I washed and cut away imperfections that could contaminate the finished product. As I did so, I remembered Matthew 5:30.

God did not mean we should literally cut off our hand, but that we should cut the imperfection of sin out of our lives. Stop doing the unclean thing that offends God. He wants us to live our lives so that we can come before Him cleansed of every offense due to the blood of His Son, Jesus.

Shredding the cabbage, adding the salt and packing it into the large crock, I thought of another Bible verse: For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt...Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another. Mark 9:49b, 50 (KJV)

Salt cleanses the cabbage of harmful bacteria. The spiritual salt extracts sin from our thoughts and actions, covering us with the cleansing grace of Jesus Christ. We can have peace with one another and a good standing before God.

Heavenly Father, help me to cut the sin from my life. Cure me with Your love through the blood of Jesus. Amen

(c)2009 Bonnie E. Ryan