Matthew 19:30 – But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. (NIV)

Each day I receive about twenty or thirty e-mails. In that pile of "required reading", there is trash, some jokes, reference to web-sites, and letters from home. Somewhere sandwiched in between that pile is the Daily devotional. Today I noticed a quirk, if you will, in my behaviour. I have been saving the Daily devotional to read last. "Why am I doing that?" I asked myself. "It's just another e-mail." Several reasons came to mind.

First, for me, the Daily devotional is like a fine wine, to be savoured and enjoyed. It requires me to listen and empathize with the writer — to put myself in the writer's shoes and walk a mile with them. This is a wonderful, unique web-page. Here we are not preached to, but rather we have writers sharing a piece of their lives with us. Their writing is based on their real life experiences and observations.

I save reading the Daily devotional to the last because I know I feel compelled to respond to the writer in some fashion. This is not always easy. Each response is done with prayer, hoping the writer gets just the right message of encouragement. Sometimes I draw a blank and must walk away from my computer and quietly reflect and pray. Saving the Daily devotional to last gives me the time to respond without having an anxiety attack wondering what else is in my mailbox.

I learn so much more through teachings rather than preachings. Wasn't that what Jesus modelled for us: stories, parables, and examples?

Finally, I save the Daily devotional to read last because it enriches my life and lifts my spirits for the next twenty-four hours. How wonderful to have a story or experience to think upon, cling to, and ponder during all the hubbub of everyday life. While the Daily devotional is read last, it is first in all the mail I receive.

Prayer: Lord, we thank and bless you for Daily devotional and all its contributors. Give us the wisdom to respond to our writers in such a way as to return to them, in some measure, words that are meaningful and encouraging to them. Amen.

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About the author:

Jim Wagner
Beaumont, Texas, USA

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