And there came two angels to Sodom at even: and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; … and he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night. Genesis 19:1, 2.
Lot, Abraham’s nephew, though he had made his home in Sodom, was imbued with the patriarch’s spirit of kindness and hospitality. Seeing at nightfall two strangers at the city gate, and knowing the dangers sure to beset them in that wicked city, Lot insisted on bringing them to his home. To the peril that might result to himself and his household he gave no thought. It was a part of his lifework to protect the imperiled and to care for the homeless, and the deed performed in kindness to two unknown travelers brought angels to his home. Those whom he sought to protect, protected him. At nightfall he had led them for safety to his door; at the dawn they led him and his household forth in safety from the gate of the doomed city.
Lot did not know their true character, but politeness and hospitality were habitual with him; they were a part of his religion—lessons that he had learned from the example of Abraham. Had he not cultivated a spirit of courtesy, he might have been left to perish with the rest of Sodom. Many a household, in closing its doors against a stranger, has shut out God’s messenger, who would have brought blessing and hope and peace.
Every act of life, however small, has its bearing for good or for evil. Faithfulness or neglect in what are apparently the smallest duties may open the door for life’s richest blessings or its greatest calamities. It is little things that test the character. It is the unpretending acts of daily self-denial, performed with a cheerful, willing heart, that God smiles upon. We are not to live for self, but for others. And it is only by self-forgetfulness, by cherishing a loving, helpful spirit, that we can make our life a blessing. The little attentions, the small, simple courtesies, go far to make up the sum of life’s happiness, and the neglect of these constitutes no small share of human wretchedness.
—– Thank you everyone for your prayers for my mom! Keep them coming. According to my dad and sister, Saturday was pretty scary. She was so very week and was having so much trouble breathing. When I saw her on Sunday, she was still in the step down ICU, having to wear her CPap the majority of the time, and she was unable to do much of anything. Today she is continuing to improve. She sat up for a long time, ate a bit more, has stayed off her CPap most of the day, and had some visitors. The doctors were happy with her progress so they moved her down to a PCU room to monitor her heart rate. Needless to say, she was exhausted this evening when we left. Please continue to pray for her! At this point, her current diagnosis is E.Coli Pneumonia with a form of mold growing in her lungs. Pray specifically for improved unlabored breathing, the new treatment plan/medication to start kicking in and healing her body, her heart rate to stay low (had been jumping up to 165), her coughing to ease, and that she will continue move forward in health without any setbacks. Thank you so much! Kathy
—–I am supposed to leave Sunday to deliver some items and a car in Michigan, but the car is having some problems with sputtering and dying. Please pray that the mechanic will get it finished today and that it will be a good trip. Rose
My mother’s favorite aunt was her Aunt Blanche. She visited her often and many times took the elderly woman places. Auntie Blanche was a lovely lady, full of the sparkle of life. Even though she had rheumatoid arthritis very badly, Auntie Blanche never let her painful condition get in the way of a fun time.
One time while my mother still lived in Michigan, she and Auntie Blanche had gone out to eat at a restaurant. My mother had moved to a trailer park in Mattawan, a small town to the west of Kalamazoo. She wanted Auntie Blanche to see her new place. My mother lived on a large lot on a short, quiet side-street at the far end of the park. Across from her trailer was a large grassy area with a pond and at the end of the street was a group of trees.
Suddenly, the car accelerated to full speed. My mother had been driving very slowly as she was almost to her house, but when the car started running at top speed, she was instantly going over 80. The two women could see the trees looming closer and closer. My mother put on the brakes, but they did no good. Brakes were powerless to stop her car’s racing engine. Fear and panic swept over my mother. She knew if they continued as they were, in a few moments their lives would be over.
Auntie Blanche saw the terror written on my mother’s face. Calmly she said, ” Geneva, what is it that makes the car run? What should you do to keep gas from flowing into the engine?” Surprised out of her terror by her aunt’s calmness, my mother reached up and turned off the key. As soon as she did that, the car began to slow down. Then my mother could apply the brakes successfully and steer the car over to the side of the road. The two of them sat there for a few minutes trying to calm their racing hearts. How thankful they were to be alive.
My mother called a tow truck and soon the mechanic found the problem. A tiny spring had broken and fallen off the controlled the carburetor, causing the car to run as if the gas pedal were pushed all the way to the floor. That little spring was only a little part to a large engine, but without it her automobile could not function correctly.
Just as that tiny spring was vital to my mother’s automobile, so each one of us is important to the proper functioning of the body of Christ, His church. “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit, To another faith by the same Spirit, to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit, To another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another divers kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the! members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the bo! dy, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour, and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. 1 Cor 12:4-26
Sometimes those in responsible positions within the body of Christ are tempted to think that they are more important to God than are the regular members, but this is not the case. Sometimes we might be tempted to think of a fellow believer as useless, but God sees them in an entirely different way. “The LORD seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” 1 Sam 16:7 He sees the motives. He sees the love and devotion for God. He hears the humble soul’s petition. In Jesus’ eyes, each of His followers is like that little spring in the engine of my mother’s car. Each individual is vitally important to Him. He loves each of us with such a strong and everlasting love thatHe has given Himself to redeem us from the hand of the evil one. We all are His children. He loves each one. He is! “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Peter declared, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” 2 Peter 3:9, Acts 10:34, 35
May we fulfill Jesus’ prayer in John 17:15-23: “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. . . . Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word, That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” Amen