Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God Posts

I was the keynote speaker at the staff retreat for Christianity Today Institute, a media conglomerate that operates out of Chicago. The theme they gave me: Why CTI? (Christianity Today Institute)  In other words, I was supposed to tell them why they existed, or at least why they should.

I chose to speak on Matthew 8, where a Roman Centurion comes to Jesus and asks him to heal his servant. Jesus offers to come to the man’s house right away.  The Centurion tells Jesus he doesn’t deserve for Jesus to do that (interestingly, the Centurion was more sensitive than Jesus was to the cultural custom of Jews shunning the houses of gentiles). The Centurion doesn’t think it’s necessary anyway: “Just say the word”, he tells Jesus, “and my servant will be healed.”

Jesus is astonished. Such faith!  He hasn’t seen faith like this anywhere in Israel.  He hasn’t found it in the Temple, the synagogues, the churches. Everywhere he’s gone among the faithful he’s found hesitancy, wariness, a demand to prove himself first, to establish his credentials.

And then this pagan, this man of the world, comes to him and simply says, “Just say the word”.  That’s all it will take.

The man wasn’t asking Jesus to quote Bible verses, or spout Christian platitudes.  He just wanted Jesus to speak truth with authority. That alone, he believed, would change things: raise the dead, heal the sick, comfort the sorrowing.

  • Just say the word.
  • Don’t embellish it. Don’t apologize for it. Don’t argue in its behalf.
  • Just say it.

So that’s what I told this gathering of journalists and publishers. Write and speak with integrity, truthfulness, clarity. Believe in the One who has called you, who is with you, who is faithful to you. Do that and it will change things.

I’m not sure I inspired them. But I inspired myself, is the truth. I walked away freshly committed to just say the word.

By Mark Buchanan
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

• Truth – A Devotional by Katherine Kehler

Steps to Truth – A Devotional by Christa Hardin

Truth – A Devotional by Roy Lessin

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“Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.”  Psalm 51:15

During the recent pandemic, a dear friend of mine did something rather unusual. A wiz at sewing, she normally makes prayer quilts for hospice patients and the elderly as a ministry. But during the lock down, she switched gears. She made cloth masks, but with a distinct difference. Hers had clear plastic in the front, so deaf people could still read the lips of their family members and the teachers who wore them. She saw a need and knew she could fill it with her talents.

Jesus saw people’s needs and helped them. Then once their plight was eased, their hearts were open to the salvation and the love he offered.

We all can find a way to help others. That is what being a disciple is all about. It is following Jesus’ example and spreading the Gospel’s message that God loves us and wants to be with us. This is conveyed by our actions, and if necessary, words.

We may think the little things we do, such as smiling at a frenzied clerk, or waving to the widow sitting alone on her porch, has no effect. But God can take our acts of kindness, big and small, and use them to bring people to want to know him.

If you see someone in need, reach out in love. Find ways to ease their pain, hold their hand, or just listen without judgment. Let your attitudes and actions reflect Christ’s  working in your life. Be willing to be Jesus to them and let God do the rest.

Lord God, please show me how you can use me. Help me be the disciple you want me to be as I read your Word and follow your Son’s example, seeing to others’ needs and then, when prompted, sharing that I do this because of the way your amazing, forgiving love has influenced my life. I pray this in Jesus’ name, my Lord and example. Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
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