Devotional Week 39 Monday
“’I will visit you, and keep My good promise to you…for I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘thoughts and plans for peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.’”
Jeremiah 29: 10, 11
“God, on a long, lonely day
You spoke so clearly through Your Word:
‘Your days of mourning all will end.
You will live in joy and peace.’
O God, what a glorious promise…
Again You said:
‘Always be expecting much
From Him, your God.’
I trust You implicitly, my Lord
For Your ‘much’ exceeds by far
My greatest comprehension of much.
Surely You have planned a
I open my heart wide to receive it.”
Ruth Harms Calkins
This week, as we join our voices in prayer around the world, we are specifically praying each day for individuals who are in need of finding work – a job suited to their God-given abilities.
All our Texts and Thoughts of Encouragement will be gleaned from the words of the Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah, whose ministry to God’s children took place at a very difficult time in history.
Many of you have written and shared how challenging it has been to find a job. This week we are taking these needs to our heavenly Father’s throne, where we are invited to come boldly and present our requests.
A special thank you to my treasured friend Georgia M. who surprised me with books she had collected by Ruth Harms Calkins. Her gift arrived this past week, just in time for me to find today’s beautiful prayer which providentially applies to the needs of all who are seeking to find the right job. “Thank you, Georgia!”
Today’s Study Text:
“She (the Israelite girl) said to her mistress, ‘If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him (Naaman) of his leprosy.’ Naaman went to his master (the King of Syria) and told him what the girl from Israel had said.”
II Kings 5: 3, 4
“The So-Called Minor Details”
“The greatness of God in large measure consists in the fact that He is ‘faithful in little!’ We make a mistake when we confuse God’s greatness with ‘bigness’ or when we associate His greatness only with bigness. Then we begin to carve out for ourselves a graven image of the living God which shapes Him in our image: He is so busy, so preoccupied and distracted…This CEO-type God can have no time for Joe or Jane Peon. Ah, but that is not our God.Part of His greatness appears in the fact that He does attend to the small problems, the dinky details, the individual needs, the mundane and ordinary affairs of our lives.”
Dale Ralph Davis
Kings 2 – The Power and The Fury
Do I believe that my heavenly Father has concern for the details of each day in my life?
Does when I work and how I accomplish each task in my day receive my Father’s attention?
What are the “plans” that I believe my Father has for my life?
Thank You that when Your Spirit is at work, You always produce in the commonplace something that is inspiring.”
“Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave and notice. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Matthew 10: 29-31
“God takes and keeps all the concerns of His children, even of those that are most minute, and least regarded. This is a matter of encouragement to live in continual dependence upon God’s providential care, which extends itself to all occurrences…If God numbers our hairs, it intimates that He takes better care of us than we do ourselves…Not the least hurt shall be done to us without God’s consideration, so precious to God are His (children).”
Our study in II Kings 5 begins with these words, “Now Naaman, captain of the host of the King of Syria.” I think it is a wise endeavor on our part to note with care that this particular chapter in the Bible begins with the description of a mighty man of valor. But we would make a big mistake if we let ourselves come to the conclusion that the story of Naaman hung on a hinge which swung toward the powerful.
Instead, it is a young Israelite maid, seized by ransacking Syrian warriors, who becomes the pivotal person in this experience.
This isn’t the only time the Scriptures carry out an extraordinary task of contrasting the powerful with the powerless; the mighty with the feeble; and the influential with the seemingly unimportant.
At its core, the entire story of Naaman, from beginning to end, revolves around the fact that our great God most frequently chooses to employ, as Pastor Carrie N. Mitchell so clearly states, “Ordinary people to act in extraordinary ways.”
This “performance reality,” as I choose to call it, is highlighted in II Kings 5 by the fact that it is a servant, a girl at that, who becomes a major player from what appears to be a minor position. Professor Trevor Eppehimer gives us this telling description of the young Israelite as he explains that she happens to be, “a slave girl – the ancient world’s consummate non-person…This is yet another Biblical instance of those to whom society attributes little intrinsic value serving as effective heralds of the power and presence of God.”
The Apostle Paul made this point completely clear when He wrote to his Christian friends in the city of Corinth, reminding them in his heartfelt note to: “Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life…not many influential, not many from the high-society families.” Then Paul proceeded with this pertinent observation: “Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these ‘nobodies’ to expose the hollow pretensions of the ‘somebodies’? That makes it clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God…That’s why we have the saying, ‘If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God’” (II Corinthians 1: 26-31, The Message Bible).
I chose to share the passage above because so often we get the mistaken idea in life that we aren’t going to get ahead if we aren’t a “bigshot.” While it is true that there are many occupations where having the proper education can prove extremely valuable, let us never forget, no matter who we are and whether or not on this given day we have a job that we believe allows us to use our natural abilities and God-given talents, that there is a heavenly “calling” upon your life and mine. It is a seal of divine blessing for as the Apostle Paul encouraged the believers at the church in Ephesus, “I ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory – to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally, your eyes focused and clear; so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for His children” (Ephesians 1: 17-19, The Message Bible).
The beauty, the encouragement, the strength and the guidance that lies in the words of Paul should serve as a great inspiration to each of us today, no matter where we work, no matter how unsatisfying our current job happens to be and finally, especially when we are searching for a job where we believe God’s power can fill our lives as He uses our talents and gifts here on this earth.
If the fact is that what you happen to be doing right now isn’t fulfilling or you do not have a job at all, please never forget that just as God’s hand was over the life of one in society who was deemed to have “little intrinsic value,” so His mighty hand holds you and He longs to place you in just the perfect place where you will be an “effective herald” of the power and presence of God. Never forget, in our Father’s world, there are no “bit players” at all. Not on any day or at any moment.
“We His little ones, who need Him much
To Him are fully known:
His love and care and interest are such
He knows us one-by-one.
And so the direct need or darkest hour
Never forms cause for dismay;
Through exceeding greatness towards us of God’s power
Can problems sweep away.”
J. Danson Smith
A Prayer For Each Day’s Journey
“Touch me, Lord,
With the promise of Your dawning,
Prince of the Morning
Rising swift and sure.
Breaking through the shadows
Of my fitful sleeping
Bring me to awakening
Of Your great love once more.
Touch me, Lord,
With the power of Your rejoicing.
Day-star of the noon-time
Rising on the wave
Of our Hope and Glory
In Your true light our story,
Unfolding realm of brightness
Your Spirit comes to save.
Be there, Lord,
When my day returns to evening.
Fragrant Rose of Sharon,
Fill this Day of grace
With perfumed oil of gladness
And joy from grief and sadness.
The skies reflect Your presence
And the beauty of Your face.
Be there, Lord,
When the nightfall veils my vision.
Light in my darkness,
Guide me on the Way.
Bear me on the ocean
In the depths of Your compassion.
Bring me safe to harbour
At the closing of my day.”
Laughter, Silence, and Shouting
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author