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Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

John 14:21

"Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him."

Several years ago my mother was living in an assisted living facility. My pastorate was over 500 miles away so our visits were infrequent. She had a strong constitution and seldom complained about any ailments she might have had. It was like pulling a hen's tooth to get anything out of her.

That was not the case with some of the other residents. I had known some of these people across the years and was glad to see them again. It was a joy to see them after many years and I was anxious to speak with them. I have an expression that comes very natural when I greet someone: "Hi ______! How are you?"

Years ago I was told by a visitation pastor that this is not the statement to use when you are visiting nursing homes, because they will want to share each and every ailment that is bothering them. I thought he was being funny until I greeted someone in Mom's building in that manner. I thought I would never get away!

There are times when we ask that question with a sincere desire to find out if the other person is getting along well, or if there is some situation we can pray about. Most often however, it is just small talk. I guess my gifting is not to listen to medical complaints---so I am the small talk guy.

Feelings are important, but they can be so subjective and hard to describe that it is almost as if they control even our social and spiritual life. Let's face it, if we have the flu, virus, infection, broken arm, ingrown toe nail, or what have you, we will not be on top of the world with joy. Be that as it may, I wonder if we have a true interest in the spiritual condition of the people we meet on a day to day basis?

In the little booklet, "Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws?", there is an illustration of a train. The engine is labeled Fact, the second car is labeled Faith, and the caboose is labeled Feeling. Three key words, Faith, Fact, Feeling all have a part in our Christian walk, but getting them in the wrong order can create problems in our life.

God has given us His Word, the Bible. as the basis of our stability, apart from our feelings. We need something other than the way we feel to give meaning to our life, and that something is the Word of God. From the Word of God we understand that God has established the plan for this world and even sent His own Son to pay the price for our redemption.

The second car in the illustration is the payload. It is why the engine is pulling the train and remember it is labeled Faith. We choose to believe and to put our trust in the authority of God's Word even when our feelings are down in the mud. It is interesting that most (if not all) freight trains now operate with no caboose. Fact (God's Word) and Faith (our total reliance on God's Word), are the two requirements. The Feeling part just tags along behind - - or should!

Is your spiritual foundation based upon the shaky ground of "feelings", or do you place your "Faith" on the solid, never changing "Fact" of the Word of God?

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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