In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery. “Your Majesty,” said Prior Richard, “do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king.” “I understand,” said Henry. “The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.” “Then I will tell you what to do,” said Prior Richard. “Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.” When King Henry died, a statement was written: “The King learned to rule by being obedient.”...continue reading this devotion.
In Israel, cell phones are all the rage. You wouldn’t believe it but parents even buy cell phones for their kids and send them to school with them in their schoolbags. I’m talking about six and seven-year-old kids! While it is true that part of the reason for this cell phone craze stems from the fact that violence goes on here daily and people want to be able to contact one another in the event of an emergency, I would still say that it’s somewhat excessive....continue reading this devotion.
Since moving to Israel we’ve been thrust into a Middle Eastern culture of “extreme hospitality”. The above parable from Luke takes place in a similar cultural context, and it powerfully illustrates how God wants us to approach Him....continue reading this devotion.
Have you ever heard of the Valley of Elah? It’s the valley near Bet Shemesh where David defeated Goliath, yet this historic battlefield is virtually untouched in Israel. During the rainy season a brook runs through the midst of the valley, however it dries up during the summer. This brook is very likely the one from which David chose his five smooth stones – one of which was used to kill Goliath. Yet, this historic place has no landmarks, no churches – people drive past it all the time unaware of it’s biblical or historic significance....continue reading this devotion.
In the parable of the unmerciful servant, the servant mistakenly thought that he could demand justice from another servant all the while asking mercy for himself from the king. When the king found out about this servant’s awful behavior, he became enraged and said to him “You wicked servant, I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to; couldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?”...continue reading this devotion.
When I was younger I used to take an ax and cut up firewood from the woods behind our house. The one thing I always did was sharpen my axe! A dull axe meant harder work chopping through fallen trees. The sharper the ax the less effort and energy required for the task. So I learned early on to sharpen my ax before venturing into the woods, and I saved myself a lot of time and energy. (Besides I was a small kid, growing up, so I needed all the help I could get! ;) )...continue reading this devotion.
In these days, we have to pray for wisdom! In the letter of James, the Lord’s brother, he writes, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally…” [James 1:5] The context for this request is trials! Since this is a time of almost constant trials, God knows we need His wisdom, more than ever....continue reading this devotion.