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Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

Matthew 11:28-30

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

It is sometimes interesting to review what you have been doing. I was reviewing some of my Daily-E-Votionals. I noticed that the ones for Thursday and Friday of last week and yesterday’s started with the word “YOU.”

I was struck by how often we make ourselves the object of our attention. When a team wins a championship, we often see the players (and fans) parade around with their index finger held high while shouting at the top of their lungs: “We’re number one! We’re number one!”

I fear that as Christians we fall into that same trap. Some individuals compete with other denominations or other churches within their own denominations. Individuals have been known to have a superior attitude toward other Christians.

Jesus was especially critical of judgmental pride. In Luke 18:9-14, Jesus told the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. He compared the self-righteous pride of the Pharisee who prayed in a loud voice and boasted of his spirituality. The Tax Collector would not even raise his eyes but cried out: “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

What was the teaching of our Lord about the parable? In verse 14 He gave these burning words to all who were listening to Him: "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

I can almost picture the scene Jesus describes in this parable. The Pharisee is pompous and proud---pre-occupied with the view of himself. On the other hand the tax collector is thinking of how far he is from God and how much he needs the saving grace that only God can give. The direction of his prayer is away from himself and toward God.

The story is told of an old man that was full of pride and self. Day after day he devoted himself to making himself comfortable. His desire for comfort, ease and the welfare of only his family caused him to lose any care or concern for others around him.

His beloved son began to show signs of some type of disease that ravaged his body. It tore this man’s heart apart. In grieving for the suffering of his son he shut out others even more than he had done before. It was only he and his family that counted!

He read in the newspaper about a medical treatment that had been discovered that seemed to be just what was needed to save his son’s life. He wrote a long and passionate letter to the doctor who was working on the project.

Day after day he eagerly looked for the mail to bring an answer to his plea for help, but none came. Several weeks passed and his son slipped closer and closer to death’s door.

One afternoon the man was returning home from work. He had checked the mail earlier in the day and there was still no reply from the doctor. As he rounded the corner with an especially steep bank along side of the road, he saw where a car had gone over the bank.

He stopped his car and walked over to the edge of the road. He could see the driver of the vehicle trying to crawl from the wreckage. He called out to the man to come and help him. The man felt a small twinge of concern, but he knew that if he went to help it would take him away from his family and especially his gravely ill son. He decided to just go home and call for medical assistance for the man.

After he had made the call for police and emergency medical services, he forgot the man and his terrible condition. The next day he read in the paper that the man, a doctor, had died. The article said that if the doctor had received assistance earlier he might have survived.

The next day the man checked his mail as he had done so many times before. He was excited beyond measure when he saw a letter from the medical center he had written. It was from a doctor who said that he was coming to personally see to the care of the man’s son. With heavy heart he realized that the doctor he had refused to help was this very man!

What is the focus of your attention? Are you so concerned about your personal affairs that you close your eyes to the needs of others? Let me close with the wonderful testimony and admonition of the apostle Paul in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

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

--- Pastor Cecil


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