Listen to this devotional:
Romans 12:2 – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)
Early in January, we were blessed by an uplifting and marvellous devotional describing how a plain and ordinary painting the writer was working on soon became so much more vivid and beautiful when touched by the professional hand of his teacher. After reading this message and meditating on it over breakfast, I realized how we Christians would be so ordinary and not nearly so vibrant and alive without experiencing daily "the Touch of the Master's Hand".
When we were first married and very active in youth work in our home church, we had a dear young friend who did not believe in God or the Bible and who would not have anything to do with the church. He thought Christianity was a crutch for the weak who needed a shoulder to lean on, and he was quite confident that he could look after himself. We loved this kid — he was one of our best friends — and over and over again, we would encourage him to come to youth group or even to church with us, but all to no avail.
One Sunday afternoon, I met him on the way home from my parents' home, and I invited him to come to youth group with us. He declined, and after giving me the same old story in great length as to why he did not need God or anything associated with the church, I said to him, "Well, look, why don't you come over to our house for a little visit tonight? I promise that no talk of salvation or church will be on the agenda." To my surprise, he said that he would come over, but I never thought that he would show up. However, around 9:00 p.m., our friend arrived, telling us that he could stay only a few minutes, because he had to go home and listen to some cowboy songs that were coming on the radio at ten o'clock.
When he first arrived, we had a great time small-talking about hit parade songs, fishing, and girls, but somehow, views on the Bible and commitment became part of the conversation. As I sat there and listened to him and my husband chat, I could see the powerful work of the Holy Spirit taking place in his life. I prayed; they talked.
To make a long story short, at approximately two o'clock on Monday morning, this young man surrendered his life to Christ, and like Paul, he became so ashamed of the way he had treated his Christian friends. He, also like Paul, became, and still is, one of the most dedicated and vibrant Christians I have ever known — a life that was changed and transformed because of the wonderful and glorious work of the Holy Spirit and the touch of the Master's hand.
Our Lord is wonderful! Through our years of ministry, we have witnessed the change in lives, the restoration of health, the curing of addiction, the mending of marriages, the reinstatement of respect for others, and the proclamation of the love of God, all because of the touch of the Master's hand. I invite you to reach out, clasp the Master's hand, and allow Jesus to be your Saviour and friend.
Prayer: Eternal God, You who are indeed the author and finisher of every good and perfect gift, we thank You for Your love and concern for us who often fail You in so many ways. We ask that in Your loving mercy, You will touch our lives and make us more dedicated and loving servants of Yours. May folks notice that we have been touched by Your hand because our lives reflect Jesus as our Lord. Amen.