Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Saturday, January 2, 2016
Several years ago, I heard an interview on the radio with Christian singer and musician John Tesch. The interview took a twist from the evening’s major topic when John began to describe a deeply moving African experience. Having traveled to third world countries, it reminded me of how blessed we are to live in this country and how faithfully God provides for us.
Right after September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center was attacked, John was in Nairobi, Kenya. A call went out for Christians throughout Kenya to come to Nairobi for a special prayer session to focus on the events of terror attacks. The event, called on extremely short notice, was a smashing success. More than one million people jammed in the streets of Nairobi to pray for the victims of the September 11 events.
After the prayer vigil, John had the opportunity to speak with the organizer of the event, a local minister. John asked him how, with virtually no notice, more than a million people would leave their homes to pray. Moreover, many walked tens of miles to participate in the Nairobi prayer event. John commented how amazed he would be if a million people in the United States assembled on short notice for something as “frivolous” as prayer.
The minister replied, “You see John, people in Africa do not have the distractions that burden the people in America. In Africa, people don’t have to worry if they’re going to eat today. People don’t have to worry about having the money to buy shoes for their children. This frees them and gives them the time they need to focus on God.”
The minister’s response should stop us in our tracks. Imagine being relieved of the “burden” of eating or the “burden” of providing shoes for your children. For Americans to consider eating a distraction is almost unfathomable; likewise providing shoes for our children as a luxury. We consider these things fundamental to daily life, not extravagances, yet more of God’s children are not blessed with such great abundance than those who are. Millions of Christians throughout the world do not share our comfortable lifestyle; rather, many are persecuted severely. Nevertheless, they consider their situation normal, as does the God of the Bible whom they follow.
It embarrassed me to hear how faithful these Christians were to the plight of fellow believers in Jesus Christ. I can’t remember a million Christians in this country coming out to pray for a disaster in a foreign nation. After the recent Paris murders, social media lit up, but no million person prayer vigils took place. Even if they had, I suspect they would have driven to the prayer meeting, not walked. They also would have been well-fed and otherwise “distracted”.
The message cuts like a knife: We are too distracted by our own busy-ness and self-serving interests to serve others in Christ the way we should. Our jobs, our entertainment, our hobbies, even our church work all envelop and consume us, not to mention eating, sleeping, or providing shoes for our children. These endeavors are not bad in themselves, but we seldom plan and make the time to help others who are in need.
I’m not recommending you stop providing for your family. Simply take a few minutes today and pray how you might be able to meet the needs of others, no matter how small.
God calls us to perform a variety of tasks in our limited time here on Earth. He wants us to be good providers for our families, but He wants us to remember that other Christians are part of His family and Christ’s Church as well, and many of them are in need. Wanting to help those in need is a normal reaction to the Holy Spirit working inside you. Doing so is Christ-like. What will you do today?
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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