TITLE: Not Forgotten
DATE: August 18, 2019
TEXT: John 6:34-35 - A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
There are times when some things which seemed inconsequential are truly important.
Case in point: Alexander H. Stephens.
Alexander H. Stephens had been Vice President of the Confederacy. He died shortly after becoming the governor of Georgia.
After the doctors told him they could do nothing to prolong his life, a great many people crowded into his bedroom. Each of them brought his own agenda, and each asked Stephens to sign important documents.
Stephens waved them away and asked his private secretary to retrieve an old, faded paper from his desk.
The secretary found the letter. It was the petition of an old, woman who lived back in the hills. She was asking for the pardon of her son who was locked up in the penitentiary. The state officials by Stephens bedside asked him to put aside such a trivial thing and spend his energy on items of more importance.
Stephens replied: "No. I am going to sign this. The man who comes after me will take care of the great matters of state.” Then, propped up on his pillow, Governor Stephens took the yellow, faded appeal of the heart-broken mother.
Dipping his pen into the ink, across the appeal, the governor wrote the word: "P-A-R-D-O-N-E-D." Underneath the single word, he scrawled his name, "Alexander H. Stephens, Governor." Then he dropped back upon his pillow-dead.
The governor knew some things were important. He might well have taken a lesson from our Savior.
Throughout His ministry Jesus had always shown compassion to the individual. He had stopped for a centurion’s sick servant; shown resurrection kindness to a widow who was burying her son; offered forgiveness to a Samaritan adulteress who was drawing water from the town well.
All of these people, and many more, experienced Jesus’ unique, personal touch.
But at Golgotha Jesus had been deserted by friends, railroaded by the law and unfairly nailed to the cross. No one could blame Him if He had become embittered against all of humankind. Nobody could hold it against Him, if His all caring attitude shut down before the pain He was enduring in His quest to save humanity.
But that was not Jesus’ style. For Jesus, even on the cross, some things were more important than others. That is why He turned to the repentant thief and promised salvation before day’s end.
What a wonderful picture He showed. He was carrying every sin that I, you, and the world, has committed. He was dying for the sins of all humanity. Yet it is the soul of one, single, dying thief that got His attention.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for caring for the world. Thank You for saving me. In Your Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html