Sunday, May 27, 2018

Day of Praise

Mon, 5/28/18, Memorial Day, "Day of Praise"

Having just visited last week with our now three grown children, here's one of my favorite devotions I've written for Memorial Day. 

John 15:13 - "[Jesus said,] 'Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.'"

As we take time this Memorial Day to thank God for the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and the freedoms we enjoy, let's remember that Christ, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the spiritual freedom of every nation, was raised from the dead to pour out his life everyday to set people free.

My three kids and I are on vacation for a few days. As we worshiped together in our hotel room yesterday morning, my oldest, Calley, concluded our worship by asking God to cross our paths with His choices so we could be a blessing in Christ here like we ask to be at home. 

Well, no sooner had we finished worship than we walked 50 yards to our bus and got there just in time to be the last on board so that we were standing at the yellow line next to the driver. The driver started having a grand time, looking in the mirror and engaging everyone on the sound system. His name was Tito, and he was from Carolina, Puerto Rico. 

I turned to Tito and said, "I'm so excited because I've always dreamed that when I retire from pastoring that I'll become a Disney bus driver and minister to people like you're doing." 

Tito replied, "Oh, I'm a big believer, but I don't do the church thing."

I said, "Just look at all the joy you're bringing to people on this bus who weren't even looking for it. Just think how much you'd bring to the many people who come to church because they're looking for God!"

Tito's face turned white as a sheet. Then he asked if, after we got to our destination and everyone else got off, we'd stay and listen to something about God as Creator that he'd recently downloaded to his phone. 

Of course, we said, "Yes!" because Calley had asked God not ten minutes beforehand to cross our paths with His choices. 

After the bus unloaded, we stayed with Tito, and he played his download about God being the greatest Artist who created all the other great artists. And then we encouraged him to find a church home and use his God-given gifts toward others. 

He started crying, which is a Biblical mark of revival, and shared how he wasn't even supposed to be driving that bus yesterday, but two others bailed out on the company, and he was the next driver they called. He also shared how God told him to close the door right after we got on the bus instead of cramming in 20 more like he was supposed to do, which led to our standing right next to him. 

In sum, y'all, Christ poured himself out through worship in a hotel room and Calley's prayer and a willingness by Tito to serve by driving a bus you're not supposed to be driving and to talk to the most important person in your world, namely, the person who is right in front of you. Tito, Calley, and the rest of our family, we're just plain ordinary people like all of you, who God wants to work through extraordinarily, as with all of you, so He can get the glory because we were all made to love to praise the Lord. 

So stop right now, like Calley did, and ask the Lord to cross your path today and everyday with the people of His choice. Yes, it's kind of scary because it's laying down your life both for others and for God's glory. But we can lay down our lives for these purposes because 1) others have poured out their lives for us, as we celebrate today on this Memorial Day, and 2) Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, continues to pour out his life for us everyday!

To God be the Glory!

Praise God!

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