Friday, August 29, 2014

Devotional 8-29-14


My granddaughter, Ruby, and I were reading the book Matching by Istar Schwager. Of course, the object was to find items on a page that were identical or related.  As we flew through the pages, we reached one with the following rhyme: Remember this rule while you play this game: Things that match are not always the same. Now, what goes together?  What are their names?

Ruby looked at me and quickly pointed to the foot and sock, key and keyhole, and mitten and hand. The last set of pictures showed a round magnifying glass, silverware, and a bowl of macaroni and cheese. Without batting an eye, she pointed to all three pictures.  She had never done that before, and I guess the look on my face told her she was mistaken. She then pointed to the silverware and bowl, and I smiled.

I started to move to the next page, but my curiosity got the best of me.  I asked, “Ruby, why did you also point to the first picture when you were matching the silverware and bowl?”

She answered without a moment’s hesitation, “You cook macaroni and cheese in a pan and eat it with the fork and spoon.”

As I studied the page, I could see that her answer made sense. The magnifying glass did look like a pan! I grabbed my magnifying glass from beside my laptop, and for the next half hour we played with her new found toy.

In Philippians 3: 4-14, Paul describes his life before Jesus Christ claimed him.  From a Jewish perspective, he was perfect. He was circumcised, he belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, he was a Pharisee, he persecuted Christians and worked to destroy the church, and he kept the Jewish law without fail. He was flying through life like Ruby flying though her book.  Suddenly he was thrown by something he’d never encountered.  Sacrifice.  Not hard work. Not constant study.  Not tradition. It was the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for all of us – even a Christian persecutor – that made life worth living.

Ruby didn’t recognize the magnifying glass because she had never seen one, but learning to use it brought her joy. For much of his life, Paul didn’t recognize his life for the garbage it was – his words, not mine – but he left it behind because it didn’t bring him joy.  What about you? Are you caught up in hard work, constant study, and tradition, or do you get up each morning joyful and grateful for the sacrifice Jesus made for you simply because you belong to Him? Recognize the joy! You shouldn’t need Ruby’s magnifying glass to find it!


Dear Jesus, thank you for helping me to recognize the sacrifice you made for me, the never ending love you give to me, and the simple joy you bring to my life each day. In your name I pray. Amen
Becky Warren

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