January 27, 2021
Hope you are having a peaceful day. I made several dishes this morning and went to my exercise class. I also took a picture of Al’s ear wound and sent into our dermatologist so he doesn’t have to go back until Monday to have stitches out. It looks ugly but is healing. Al had the men’s Soul Care group this morning and soon we are going for our walk early today.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Has anyone ever called you a saint? In the New Testament all believers were called Saints but some showed great faith and willingness to lay down even their lives. In Hebrews 11 we can read of the Hall of Fame (or the Hall of Faith) of those saints who gave their lives for the Lord in some extraordinary ways. We are given examples to follow of those who conquered kingdoms, built an ark before it rained, left home to go to a country God would show him etc. But some of them by faith also endured being imprisoned, tortured and stoned to death. These are examples to help us look to Jesus and to run the race set before us with perseverance. (Heb. 12:1). We can also read spiritual biographies of saints who inspire us to be faithful to the Lord and become transformed more and more to be like Him. We all grow through the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives and not by self-effort that will run out. It doesn’t happen all at once either and sometimes we need encouragement and to read of someone who has blazed a trail for us. We are uplifted by their example of total abandonment to the Lord and their obedience. Some people today meet regularly with a spiritual mentor who is ahead in years and learn from them. Perhaps we can be inspired by stories of such people as John Chrysostom who was a pastor, leader, preacher, writer, scholar, and known as “Golden Mouth” because of his great preaching. He was born in Antioch and his father died when he was a young boy. His mother raised him and his sister with the best education; but instead of law, he went to a monastery for two years and was in isolation for four more years where he prayed and memorized most of the New Testament. He became a priest in 386 and when rioting broke out in Antioch, he preached every day with great passion and became quite famous. He was kidnaped by a government official who wanted this great preacher to serve the church in Constantinople and the imperial family. But Chrysostom didn’t just serve those in power but fed the poor and widows, built hospitals, reformed the clergy etc. He preached about God’s compassion and said the church is a place where forgiveness is granted and not a place where punishment is exacted. He spoke boldly about the abuse of wealth, even though there were wealthy members of the court present. He told them to invest their resources in the poor. A jealous bishop brought charges against Chrysostom and he was removed from office and from the city; people rioted until he was brought back. Another time the emperor sent him into exile and he went to a remote place by the sea and collapsed. He gave his clothes away, received communion and died after saying, “Glory be to God in all things. Amen.” His life touched so many people and God wants to use our lives to make a difference too.
Challenge for today: Be aware of those who God may put in your life to help you in the transformation process.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy