February 25

The Our Daily Bread devotional had a great message last week that tied nicely with the message Sunday about how your heart needs to be clean and so I am going to reproduce it here.  If you read it this last week, read it again.  Ernest Hemingway was asked if he could write a compelling story in six words.  His response: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn”  Hemingway’s story is powerful because it inspires us to fill in the details.  Were the shoes simply not needed by a healthy child? Or was there a tragic loss- something requiring God’s deep love and comfort?  The best stories pique our imagination, so it’s no surprise that the greatest story ever told stokes the fires of our creativity.  God’s story has a central plot: He created all things; we (the human race) fell into sin; Jesus came to Earth and died and rose again to save us from our sins; and we now await His return and the restoration of all things.  Knowing what has come before and what lies ahead, how should we now live?  If Jesus is restoring His entire creation from the clutches of evil, we must “put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Romans 13:12).  This includes turning from sin by God’s power and choosing to love Him and others well (Rom 13:8-10).  The specific ways we fight with Jesus against evil will depend on what gifts we have and what needs we see.  Let’s use our imagination and look around us.  Let’s seek out the wounded and weeping, and extend God’s justice, love, and comfort as He guides us.  Live out your role in God’s story as He leads you.