New Devotions

Proverbs 16:9

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Yes, when I was younger, I had big plans for my life, but something happened that changed those plans. God established my steps, that lead me to live a life dedicated to encouraging and serving others. Yes, I did go on, and I had a fairly successful career in the aerospace industry, and also during that time God was with me.

My wife and I just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. She was diagnosed with MS just a couple of years after we were married, and we were not Christians at the time. I can still remember the first thing her neurologist told us, before he gave us the bad news. He asked us the question; How’s your faith? Later on that day my wife told me, after we had gotten back home, that I had not bargained for this, and if I wanted out of our marriage, she would understand. My wife worked in the healthcare industry, so she knew what she was in for. When she said that, I looked her straight in the eye and said to her, you don’t have MS, we have a MS.

I think God has honored and always blessed that commitment I made to my wife all those many years ago, to stick with her through for richer or poorer and in sickness and in health. Over the years, as her health steadily declined to where she now finds herself completely bed-ridden, she has always been my main ministry, and through it all, she has been and continues to be, the most positive person I have ever known.

I was thinking today about the fact we have now been married for 40 years, and I was reminded of the fact that God sent angels to attend to Jesus after his 40 days in the the wilderness being tempted by Satan. Yes, my wife and I have now been married 40 years, and it seems that God is now blessing me even more than in years past. I also recalled that Moses spent 40 years leading the children of Israel across the desert to the promised land, and that in Noah’s time, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. What is it about the number 40 as used the Bible? I asked Alexa, and she replied; In the Bible, the number 40 is used to indicate the amount of time an individual’s faith is tested.

I was also reminded of something even more significant, and that is, if you ask someone if they would like to have been present when Jesus died on the cross at Calvary, I suspect that most would say no.

My friends, watching my wife lay and suffer for the past 40 years, and trying to encourage, care for and comfort her, makes me think that I would have liked to have been present, when Jesus was suffering and dying on the cross. It makes me think that I might somehow have been able to comfort him.

I think this also explains why our lives have been so isolated. This explains the reason why there has never been anyone knocking on our door, in an attempt to comfort us, but by God Grace however, my wife and I have always attempted to encourage and comfort others.

I am also reminded of what Jesus said in: Matthew 25:40

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I truly think it is an indictment against the church, that more people aren’t out there trying to comfort those in nursing homes, or in hospice situation, or reaching out to the hungry and discouraged, and others who, for whatever reason, have fallen by the wayside. My wife has always said, after all her friends had abandoned her, that if you can’t keep up, you are left behind.

They don’t reach out to others, because first of all, it reminds them of their own mortality, and because of the sin and shame they hide in their hearts. I also think that Satan causes people to be sort of like uncaring sociopaths, who have a tendency to only concern themselves with their own wants and needs and those of their families, Satan causes them to be totally oblivious to the needs of others.

For the same reasons, they would not, have liked to have been present to see Jesus die on the cross, and for the same reasons, they do not try to comfort those, who Jesus refers to as, the least of these.

In conclusion, I believe that the extremely rich blessings that I have received from God over these past couple weeks, indicates that God does richly reward those who take the greatest command in the Bible seriously, and that is to love God with all your heart, and to love others like Jesus does, by sharing and caring.

I’m thinking about the verses in Matthew 16:24-26 which says

, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”

I am so glad and thankful that God established my steps over these past many years, that has caused me to be an encourager and a servant to others, and to try to be obedient to the teachings of Jesus! Praise the holy name of Jesus!

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