Quite a few years ago, a bulletin from our church had a picture of a graphite illustration by Gerald Folkerts, entitled "Self Portrait".
The picture so intrigued me that I kept the bulletin all these years; it was dated Good Friday, March 29, 1991. The background is dark, and at the top of the picture are thousands of snakes. In the foreground, there is a man dressed in blue jeans, wearing a jacket, holding a hammer in his right hand, and positioning a huge nail onto an open palm that is lying on a cross. There is a giant snake coming towards him, and the man is looking directly at you.
Every time I gaze at this picture, it drives an arrow of truth into my heart. I think of how I, by selfish actions, am continuously driving nails into the hands of Jesus again and again.
Different circumstances that occur in our daily lives influence our actions by the choices that we make.
While I was waiting in a check-out line at the grocery store the other day, there was a woman in front of me who didn't have enough money to pay for her groceries. She started to give back a couple of items to the cashier. When I noticed this, I had a choice. Will I let this stranger continue, or should I offer to pay the amount that she was short? I decided to tell the cashier to let the woman take those items and that I would pay what she still owed. The woman was very thankful, and she left. The cashier, too, was surprised and told me, "What a nice thing to do!"
Matthew 5:16 – Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (NLT)
It was after the fact that I realized that I had missed the opportunity to share that I had done this out of love for Jesus. It was too late to let them know that it is His Spirit that enables Christians to do good deeds towards other human beings.
God continuously gives us opportunities to witness, and we are faced with choices every day. Sometimes, choices are easily made, whereas at other times, they are not so easy.
James 1:5-8 – If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. (NLT)
Did you have an opportunity to witness about God's love and didn't? What choice will you make the next time?
Prayer: Lord God, You allow choices in our lives every moment, every day. Help us to make the right decisions that would bring honour and glory to Your holy name, always. Thank You for always being here for us. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "I Surrender All" (Lyrics)