Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise Him All Ye Little Children"1 (Lyrics)
1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray continually. (NIV)
I had never made baked beans from scratch, but recently, I decided to do so. I was amazed that the beans needed not only to soak overnight but also to boil gently for another hour after soaking and then to cook on low in my slow cooker for yet another ten hours before they would be ready. Talk about needing softening up before becoming edible!
This bean revelation brought to mind the number of people that I have met over the years who also need much patience and time when it comes to softening up spiritually. For various reasons, their hearts are hard toward the gospel and our Lord Jesus Christ. Some were not raised with the faith. Others were, but experienced great hurt, disappointment, or lack of fulfillment from their faith.
Whatever the case, their hearts are hard, and hard hearts need constant softening through prayer and consistent, loving, Christian example.
As my beans continued to cook slowly and their delicious smell filled the room, not only did I look forward to eating them, but also, I was reminded not to give up on those in my life who have not yet softened to the power of the Holy Spirit's caress upon their lives. Rather, I was encouraged to continue to be diligent in my prayers for God's will to be done in their lives, and in mine, as I seek to be an example of God's unconditional and gracious love toward them.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that Your Holy Spirit is at work in the lives of those whose hearts have not yet softened toward the love and call of Jesus Christ. Remind us daily to be faithful in prayer, trusting that You are able to draw them to Yourself according to Your good and perfect will. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.
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I love it! What a good illustration!
I smell the aroma. Love some baked beans. And a great analogy.
Who else could compose a Devotional around beans? Blessings.
Thank you for the reminder to never give up on those we love.
Do you ever make baked beans. So good. I haven’t made for a long time. There is a good recipe in our church’s cookbook.
Hi, how very clever to use “our lowly baked beans” as a focal point for the devotion. Thank you and may God’s Blessings be with you.
Good one Lynne! Reminds me of my first attempt at baked beans…having not consulted a recipe. I put them in water in the casserole in the oven….and a couple of hours later I had the hardest little pebbles you can imagine.
Oh Lynn, I’ll never look at beans in the same way again! Such a good analogy and reminder to be persistent in our prayers.
Boy did you ever bring back memories of church bean luncheons with this devotional! Yes, baking beans from scratch takes about 24 hours, but are they ever tasty! Praying along with you that God softens our hard hearts and renews His Spirit within us. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.
What a wonderful reminder not to give up on family, friends, and neighbours that do not yet know our Lord. The baked beans are such a good example of how it sometimes takes a long time to soften hearts.
Thank you for your devotionals and the thoughts that you share.
Good morning Lynne,
Before reading your devotional, I had been praying to be forgiven for not asking the Lord with faith for the salvation of some I know with hardened hearts. Thank you so much for your thoughts.
We have heard of brutal murderers who killed for fun, experiencing conversion. Who knows what prayers opened their hearts and made it possible for the Spirit to enter?
We need the encouragement you offer to pray.
Good message Lynne.
My goodness, I hope the beans were good to eat. That’s a LONG time in prep.
I have friends who make their own too. I had no idea of the length of time needed for preparation.
Hope you had enough for more than one helping.
I like your devotional today, I don’t usually start the computer on a Sunday, but I wanted to write one of our granddaughters in Michigan a letter and I read yours of today.
I can understand that people who did not grow up in a church environment are not interest or at least reluctant, but we have grandchildren some of whom grew up in Christian homes, but once they reached adulthood they quite going, some because of spouses, work or “fun”.
I have talked to some of them, all good hardworking people, but just not interested. As one grandson told me “We’re happy with our lifestyle”.
All we can do is just keep showing a good example and the Lord will do the rest in due time I’m sure.
Thank you for writing, Lynn.
Thank you for this devotional.
It is a great reminder for me not to give up!
I have friends who know the way but just aren’t ready to give in to God.
One friend accepted the Lord years ago but won’t go to church. She can talk the talk but that’s as far as it goes.
She will post “nice things” on Facebook and she really is a nice person but totally balks when asked to go to church.
We also are very good friends who came to church with us every Sunday for a whole season and since then, they won’t go. The gospel is very clearly preached every week.
She came to my Bible study for a number of winters and he came to my husband’s study.
They want to be friends and we get together every week but they don’t want to make a commitment.
I continue to pray for all of them regularly. I must remember that I can’t save them.
I know the Holy Spirit is speaking.
Thank you for your faithfulness in contributing to these devotionals.
Sometimes the “Christians” have the hardest of hearts too!
Fortunately, I am often pulverized by God to keep me mindful.
Yup, one plants the seed, another waters.
But patience in letting God do His touch is also very important.
Nice analogy with the beans.
Don’t think I’ll ever make them from scratch!
Lynne, LOVED this devotional. The simple bean and the analogy of faith. I have just prayed again for the softening of those who have never known Christ and those who have strayed away. I also gave thanks that I never gave up my faith even when it was severely tested. God brought family and friends of faith to walk by my side. God Bless you Lynne.
Lynne, your analogies always amaze me. Keep writing! Blessings.