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Generous Spirit

Posted in Daily Devotions

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11.25)

A woman is brought to Jesus who has been caught in the act of adultery. “Let him who is without sin,” says Jesus, “cast the first stone.” (John 8:1-11)

A Pharisee invites Jesus to have dinner with him. A woman who has lived a sinful life invites herself to the Pharisee’s house bringing an alabaster jar of perfume. Her tears fall on Jesus’ feet. She wipes them with her hair. Then she kisses his feet and pours perfume on them. The Pharisee is offended. “If this man were a prophet, he would know . . . what kind of woman she is.” Jesus answered the Pharisee with a parable, “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender.” One owed him a great deal; the other, much less. He canceled the debts of both. “Now,” he asks, “which of them will love him more?” (Luke 7:36-48) The Pharisee was weighing the woman’s past; Jesus was weighing her potential. He knew that generosity could heal that which condemnation could not.

A generous spirit. Sometimes we use the word mercy. You can see it in everything Jesus did. His compassion for the sick as well as the sinner. His gentleness with children. Even as he hung on Golgotha’s cross, we see his generosity extended to a dying thief. (Luke 23:43)

Dear God, help me to be a forgiving servant, so broken souls can be healed. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Posted in Daily Devotions

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the LORD swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. (Deuteronomy 30.19-20)

God says to the people through Moses: “I have set before you life and death . . . therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live.”

That was a lesson that Mel Trotter had to learn the hard way. For much of his life Trotter was a hopeless alcoholic. He came home after one ten-day drinking spree to find his baby dead in his wife’s arms. “I’ve killed my son,” he cried. “I’ll never touch another drop.” But two hours after his baby’s funeral, Mel Trotter staggered home–drunk again. He had taken the little white shoes off his baby in the coffin and pawned them for money to buy drink. In utter despair he headed along a Chicago street for Lake Michigan. But on the way the strong arm of Harry Monroe, Superintendent of Pacific Garden Mission, pulled him inside a hall where the Gospel was being preached. That night suicidal Mel Trotter heard that there was a hope in Christ. He became a Christian and for the next 40 years served as superintendent of a rescue mission in Grand Rapids, Michigan. From this base he started 60 other gospel missions in U.S. cities, all designed to reach down-and-outers for Christ. He counseled thousands of would-be suicides, putting them on the road to happiness and Heaven. Mel Trotter chose to turn from death to life.

Our situation is not apt to be as desperate as Mel Trotter’s but still there are choices you and I make every day that determine the quality of our lives and the quality of our relationships. God’s will for each of us is to make choices that lead to abundant life.

Dear God, help me to make good choices. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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