Saturday, January 22, 2022
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Listen while you read: "The Wise May Bring Their Learning"1 (Lyrics)

Do you like surprises?

I posed this question recently in a not-very-significant survey (I asked only three people). I received two responses in the positive and one in the negative. Even the two positive responses were later qualified with the comment, "Provided the surprise is a happy one."

As the saying goes, "Life is full of surprises." It is always the case, but lately, with all the disruptions caused by COVID-19, we can almost hear the comic strip character, Charlie Brown, saying, "Good grief!" Not again!

Whatever your response to the question, I can guarantee that shortly, you will be surprised again.

There is a common saying, "Nothing is certain in this life but death and taxes."

While uncertainty seems to be a constant in our life, fortunately there is another constant: the love of Jesus for you and me!

Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (NIV)

I have a plaque that hangs on my bedroom wall:

    Only one life
    'Twill soon be past.
    Only what's done
    For Christ will last.
    "To me to live is Christ."

Since I know that I will be constantly surprised, I believe that the most important thing is my reaction to others — hopefully positive and helpful.

There are many biblical references to people being surprised, but one of my favourites is recorded in one of Jesus' parables:

Matthew 25:34-40 – Then the King will say to those on His right hand, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me." Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?" And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (NKJV)

The "blessed of my Father" doing ordinary things — helping to meet the needs of others — are recognized as doing it for God Almighty!

It may be a surprise, but it is true that you and I can do simple things, like being kind to others, and in so doing, we are part of God's wonderful plan.

Prayer: Dear God, as we react to the surprises that continually come to us, may we always do so in a positive, helpful way. May we constantly show others the unchanging love that Jesus demonstrated for all. Thank You for allowing us, as mere humans, to be part of Your great plan for all mankind. In His name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Vince. God bless.

    Thanks Vince. Good words.

    Thank you so much for a wonderful inspiration today.

    I appreciated the quotation hanging in your bedroom.

    Great post and so true, Vincent! Thanks for the reminder!

    Thank you for this today. Seeing your name so often brings back great Memories.

    Many thanks for helping to get the Daily Devotional back online and I mean many, many thanks.

    Hi Vince,
    I am so grateful to you for the wonderful inspirational thoughts you send each time I receive this email. God uses you to bless a lot of us. Thanks again!

    Dear Vince,
    Once again, we readers are Blessed with a wonderful Devotional today. Keep on doing your work that has a way of picking me up in my daily walk with Jesus. Thank you for all you do for PresbyCan Devotional.
    I was wondering if you were a pastor at a church at one time. You’re so gifted at what you do. You would be a joy to be around.
    Have a blessed day.

    Dear Rev Walter: I enjoyed your devotion today, as so many others. Your faith and your compassion shine through it so well. I can recognize your writing before I get down to the author.
    I work part time in a long-term care facility as the chaplain and as pastoral care lead for my church. The passage that you quoted from Matthew 25 was the defining passage for me that made me decide to answer the call to this type of ministry. Thank you for your words.
    Stay safe and keep well. Blessings.

    Hello Vince.
    I have just read the article that you have shared by Presbycan. The first was the one regarding the young boy who was the elevator operator who became a member of the same S.A. as your family.
    As I was reading through it seemed like yesterday when we were all enthusiastic young folk.
    Thank you for the input you have given to this publication. I am enjoying the reading of them.

    Dear Vince,
    It is interesting about surprises which can be positive or negative depending what the surprise is. This morning I woke up and was surprised that I could see an almost full moon in one direction and in another direction, there was a beautiful pink sunrise. Both were positive surprises and started my day on a good note. I am a person who does not like a lot of change in my life but know that I have no control over that so I am not sure how I would have answered your question. Something to ponder.
    I do know that I feel better when I am kind to others and can do things for others who maybe don’t know how to do it or are no longer able to do it. I know that God guides me to opportunities and I need to be ready and willing.
    Thanks for the great message. Blessings.

    Thank you, Vince, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us!

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