The Letter P

October 2, 2016
by William Hamblen

Recently, I met a person on the main street who offered to sell me a treasure map. He said, "I have marked the letter X where this treasure is located in the St. Lawrence River. You will be a very rich man if you buy this treasure map from me." You guessed it. It was a fake!

Instead, I believe that there is a better treasure map for churches and individuals to follow that is marked with the letter P.

Firstly, P on my map stands for "play". We are so serious today in our churches that it is enough to frighten our treasured children away. Do you ever have a games night? Many churches have table tennis or pool tables in their basements. Has your church sponsored a hockey, soccer, or softball team? While Jesus did not play these games, He did emphasize having times of rest and relaxation.

Mark 6:31b – He said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." (NIV)

Secondly, P on my map stands for "plan". We planned a trip to Florida in great detail. Yet when my doctor told me to put my house in order, as I had only a few weeks to live, I was not prepared. I remembered that Jesus told us to lay up treasures in heaven, not on earth.

Matthew 6:19-20a – Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. (NIV)

What plans do you have for storing up treasures in heaven? Are they plans to aid the work of Christ within your community, your home, and your church, going about doing good in Jesus' name, and being ambassadors of the kingdom of reconciliation? Or are your plans self-centred and empty?

Thirdly, P on my map stands for "prayer". I believe prayer is so important. Unfortunately, in today's world, noise, noise, noise seems to be everywhere. I am fortunate to have a quiet corner where, every morning, I can read the Word and sit for ten or fifteen minutes to meditate and listen for God to speak to me. Remember that the Lord was not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. It was only when everything was quiet that Elijah received God's message. Do we take time to listen to the whisper of God today within our individual and corporate prayer lives? Or do we allow the distracting noise of the world to drown God out?

Another point regarding prayer is that we often forget to say thanks. Do you recall Jesus healing ten men with leprosy?

Luke 17:17-18 – Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" (NIV)

Is it possible that we are doing the same thing today within our personal lives, within our churches? Have we lost our sense of gratitude and praise to and for the greatest treasure of all, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord?

Prayer: By sitting in a quiet corner, may we find You where we have never looked. We ask You to kindle the flame of Your searching Spirit within us. Warm us with courage to travel where You want us to go. Give us the eyes of faith to see Your brightness and to say thank You for all that You have given us. Amen.

About the author:

William Hamblen <whamblen@cogeco.ca>
Brockville, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks!


    And P for persevere!


    Thanks for sharing William.


    I thank you very much for these words.
    God bless.


    William, thank you for the reminder about listening for God in all of the noise and activity of daily life. May God Bless you, wrap his arms around you and comfort you.


    Thank you for your devotion this morning. A very good reminder for us all. May God continue to bless you as you share His love with others.
    (Ont)


    Dear Mr. Hamblen,
    What a wonderful “Daily”! Thank you for sharing.
    Please tell me the doctor was wrong, and you don’t have just a short time to live.
    Whatever your situation, my thoughts and prayers are with you.


    Thank you William Hamblen. My thoughts are with you in your diagnosis. May Prayer play a part in your plan for whatever time you are given. Miracles do happen. My prayer would be that you receive one.
    God Bless and be with you.


    Dear Mr. Hamblen,
    Thanks very much for the devotional.
    I pray for God’s continued blessings and healing for you, and I pray for your continued witness and service of our Lord.
    Keep writing.


    William, Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us. Praying for your health and thanking God for your witness. Blessings.


    William: Thank you for your words today. A small quiet voice from God warning us all to be ready. We are all praying for you, that the doctors are wrong, or that the Lord would overrule and give more time to share your joys.


    William,
    Thank you so much for this devotional! It was chock-full of things I needed to hear and is especially timely. Too much going on, too much thinking about me, not enough quiet time…
    Thank you for putting things into perspective for me, and for taking the time to share the insights our loving Lord has laid upon your heart.


    Dear Friend,
    Thank you for your devotional. I found it to be thought-provoking and relevant. It encouraged me to know that someone in our church community is aware of how Jesus calls us to relate to others (who may not know Him) in a way which reflects our joy in having the constant companionship of the divine spirit of Jesus. How can anyone receive into his/her heart and mind the amazing story of Jesus and the amazing comfort of the love of God if we are always dreary and joyless about sharing the good new? This devotional and the perspective it gives us has been very helpful to me.
    Thanks.

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