Daily Devotional, May 19th
Steve Goldsmith is a veterinarian who performs humanitarian work in difficult locations around the world. It's humanitarian work because in poverty-stricken regions healthy animals can spell the difference between life and death for the people!
Recently, Dr. Goldsmith went on a medical mission to war-ravaged Afghanistan. One family cow didn't take kindly to being stuck with a needle. The bad-tempered beast managed to kick free of her handlers. In the process, she kicked up a helping of, you guessed it, fresh fertilizer. The flung dung splattered across the vet's face. Yuck!
The crowd of curious kids that had gathered found this highly amusing. And Dr. Goldsmith? He laughed heartily with them. "I won them over with that," he recalls. "It broke down the barriers."
The classic example of barrier-breaking is Jesus Himself. Author Philip Yancey notes that when Jesus came to earth, "He played by the rules." Yancey means that Jesus didn't come as divine royalty but as a humble baby, totally reliant on His mother, fully vulnerable to life's pain. The apostle Paul writes of Jesus: "He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being" (Philippians 2:7). Jesus did this to rescue us from the penalty of our own willful disobedience. "He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross" (v.8).
Our first reaction to unpalatable situations is to preserve our own comfort and dignity. Jesus offers a stunning contrast. "Because of the joy awaiting Him, [Jesus] endured the cross, disregarding its shame" (Hebrews 12:2). We all face things we'd rather avoid. Remember, we serve One who has endured far worse for our sakes. , Tim Gustafson, Our Daily Journey
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