I read in the paper yesterday about a lady who saw a little baby in the middle of a street with cars coming toward the baby. She stopped her car, got out and picked the baby up. She said “I saw a car go around him without stopping. I don’t understand how anyone could do that”. The little baby boy is only one year old and had wandered from his yard into the middle of the street because nobody was watching him. The police found his dad and arrested him on child neglect.
The baby is now under the watchful care of the Department of Children and Families. How sad and how tragic that the dad was not watching his son. He said that he thought somebody else was watching him. I think we all know that a baby that little must be watched constantly because it only takes a couple of minutes for the baby to wander into the street or get into a swimming pool that doesn’t have a fence and drown. Yet, we should not point the finger of guilt at the dad unless we are willing to point a finger back at ourselves.
I wonder how many times we have seen Christians in the middle of the road with the storms of life and temptations coming right at them and we either ignored them or went around them. Joyce Landorf, a well known writer and speaker, said on one of her teaching tapes “Men and women are leaving full time Christian service in droves because we have not encouraged them. We have impressed them with our spirituality and just knocked a hole in their relationships with others and with God”
Not only do we sometimes fail to be an encouragement to our pastors, to our missionaries, to our evangelists and to all who have committed their lives in full time service to Jesus, we fail to encourage new Christians also. May God forgive us! One day we will stand before a Holy God to give an account of the way we have treated our pastors and those He has called into full time service.
Jesus tells us in this passage of Scripture for this devotional that the thieves stripped the man of his raiment, wounded him and left him half dead. We do the same thing to our Christian brothers and sisters. We sometimes say critical, sarcastic and judgmental things to them stripping them of their self confidence and sense of worth. Because of the harsh words spoken to them, they sometimes doubt that Jesus can love them if they are that bad a person.
We go away leaving them half dead emotionally because of our cruel and thoughtless words. We can tell them we are sorry but the damage has been done. The knife has been plunged deep into their hearts and only Jesus, our great Physician, can take it out through His unconditional love and understanding. May God have mercy on us for plunging the knife into the hearts of our Christian brothers and sisters and walk away leaving them wounded and half dead!
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