Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Saviour Teach Me Day By Day"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 – Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (NIV)
Throughout this pandemic, I have been collecting British stamps. I am doing this for two reasons: firstly, I'm gathering them in several albums to give to my grandson in years to come. I hope that he appreciates the stamps as something that I personally put together for him during a time of crisis. Secondly, I needed something in the evening to take me away from the television and my obsession with the news. I was becoming overwhelmed and depressed with the situation, which was affecting my faith and relationships. I thought that if I did something quietly and peacefully, it would bring down my levels of anxiety and distress. It worked.
I rediscovered my boyhood joy of collecting stamps. The colours, the artistry, and the events depicted on the stamps all brought back memories from my childhood and remembrances of historic celebrations and commemorations. It helped me to escape from the pressures of the present pandemic into a past world that I cherished. It has been a wonderful godsend to me and has kept me balanced, focused, and determined to get through this critical time.
Stamps are really postal seals that are used by us to guarantee that a letter or package will be successfully sent from one place to another. Most of the stamps that I have collected have been purchased online from all over the world. It has been delightful to receive letters from folks on the other side of the planet who share this wonderful hobby. I've also realized that the stamps that I collect have their own individual stories of messages and packages, letters and notes sent by people years ago. It's amazing to think that something which began its journey in someone else's life has ended up in an album that I will pass on to my grandson.
When I read today's Bible verses, I am reminded of the seal of ownership — the stamp of approval, if you like — which God gives to us through Jesus. With the Spirit's blessing within our hearts, we are guaranteed a better and brighter future to come. I like that idea, especially during this pandemic. It gives me hope for the years to come and peace throughout this present time.
Question: What has God shown me during this pandemic to sustain me with hope and bring me peace?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the greatest gift in our earthly lives. By God's seal, we are stamped with Your love, grace, and approval. Help us throughout this present crisis, and enable us to discover new or old ways to find hope, peace, and love. In Your holy name, we thankfully pray. Amen.
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Great reminder, John.
Thanks, John. Good thoughts. This pandemic has certainly taught me to pray faithfully!
Thank you, John, for your devotional today. I have been reading these emails for years. They are all good, but when I read yours, I wonder who wrote it and always say to myself, “That was good.” I am a retired pastor like you. God bless you. The news is always discouraging and too much of it. When I grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota we only had 15 minutes of radio news a day.
It may seem I am “gambling”, but I worked this strategy out after a story I heard of Rev Moody having 100 that he was praying would come to Christ, 96 of them had come when he died, the remaining 4, at his memorial service.
The pastor who told us this story, challenged us to pray for 5 and suggested having a stone for each one that would bring them to mind.
All health and blessings to you and your ministry!
Dear John Stuart,
Thank you for the blessing devotional. especially for the prayer.
Please pray with me that God will continue to bless the scientists working on covid cure.
We thank God that an almost 100% cure has been arrived at.
And we pray that the serum will be perfected. And that cures for those already affected by the virus will be made better.
We thank God that he has been blessing scientists with continuing improvements.
We rejoice that soon victory will be won.
For God’s sake. Amen.
It was good to read your story and how you found something to help you through this time and to bring you joy. English stamps must have improved since my son collected stamps 35 years ago. Canadian stamps are very interesting and varied. There is no way of knowing what someone else will value and in the end, it doesn’t matter because you have improved your own feelings, your relationship with God and friends. When you were talking about the stamp’s journey and story, it reminded me of a friend who wanted to get a “brown paper package tied up with strings” (in her 50’s) and her sister heard of it and sent her one. It brought her great joy also. It was like fulfilling a childhood memory. Thanks for sharing and I am glad that God helped you find peace and joy.
I always appreciate your devotionals.
Nice to hear from you again, it’s been a while.
I collected stamps for a long time and recently gave mine to a close friend who loves the hobby.
Your vivid description brought back great memories! That in itself was a gift.
Each of us must do the best we can to protect our mental, health at this time.
I find I don’t sleep well, and I need to take a rest when I need it without guilt (the Protestant work ethic you know)
I work at home so easy to respect the rules.
I can’t get to church but find the virtual service is a blessing.
God is good.