Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "His Eye Is On The Sparrow"1 (Lyrics)
As we were walking along one day, my middle-school-aged grandson picked something up off the ground.
"What did you find?" I asked him.
"A pull tab. Our school is collecting them," he answered. "They make wheelchairs out of them." I smiled to myself, considering with amusement the urban legends about the value of pull tabs. Unfortunately, there is no facility that melts down aluminum pull tabs from soda cans and makes wheelchairs out of them. A pound of pull tabs — 1267 of them — recycles for 15 cents, but a million of them brings $118 for charity.
For decades, people have believed that pull tabs (or pop tabs) are valuable. Several organizations, such as March of Dimes Canada, have redeemed the situation by facilitating the collection of pull tabs for a good cause. They receive bags full of them, collected by schools, churches, and youth organizations, and sell them to recycling centres. The proceeds are used to buy mobility equipment, like wheelchairs, for needy people. That's the real truth.
Just as my grandson's perception was limited, so is the understanding of those who rely on human wisdom rather than on wisdom revealed by the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14 – People who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. (NLT)
Anything spiritual doesn't make sense to unbelievers. Merely spouting words when sharing the good news with them is like a child believing that wheelchairs can be built from melted-down pull-tabs. Like the child, unbelievers don't perceive the real truth. They just don't get it.
How do we, who are Christians, go about explaining God's wonderful good news to those who can't take it in?
The process starts with prayer.
- Jude 1:20b – Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit. (NLT)
- Luke 18:1b – Always pray and never give up. (NLT)
- Hosea 10:12b – Plow up the hard ground of your hearts. (NLT)
We must continually pray that the Spirit would illuminate the minds of unbelievers, plowing up the hard ground of their hearts, so that they, too, can be born again and be able to appreciate the wonderful things that God wants to give them.
1 Corinthians 2:13 – When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths. (NLT)
Preparing in prayer equips us to speak the Spirit's words, so that unbelievers' hearts can receive the truth. When we have the mind of Christ, the words that we speak can give birth to spiritual results. Let's remember to prepare the hearts of our unbelieving friends and family members by praying for them, before we attempt to explain God's truth to them.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to remember to pray for those with whom we want to share the gospel. Plow up the soil of their hearts, so that they will be ready to receive the wonderful truth of salvation through Jesus Christ. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Thanks for the good reminder, Alice.
WOW, Alice. Your devotional spoke right to me today.
Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us today.
Thank you for your insight explained in easy-to-understand words. I love the idea of praying for the one you tell about Jesus.
Good advice, Alice! I collect those tabs for a local facility for clients with special needs and I thought they were for making wheelchairs too. Thanks for the enlightenment and God bless!
Merci Alice, superb devotional. And the insight of what Prophet Hosea is communicating is now revealed, prepare a recipient’s soul, mind, heart to imbibe the Word. (Takes some effort by the Sower). Close enough?
Alice, you have shared such an inspiring, grounded message with us. Thank you for the reminder of the importance of prayer to prepare hearts and guide us in speaking. A timely message!
Thanks, Alice, for another of your interesting and mindful devotionals. Yes, prayer is the important action needed when we want others in our life to be willing to learn about the Gospel and become aware of the Lord’s love. Blessings for these writings you do.
Thank you so much for this memorable devotional. I appreciate those prayer suggestions. I love to think of your grandchild thinking pull tabs can be made into wheelchairs.
Thank you for your interesting devotion today. Just to let you know – The local Royal Canadian Legion has been collecting pop tabs for many years now. In the beginning they used the funds to purchase wheelchairs for people who could not afford them. Nowdays, when the government provides wheelchairs for many people, many of the funds go to buying new wheelchair batteries for those who cannot afford them.
Thank you for your faithfulness in writing devotions that are a benefit to so many others.
Good morning Alice,
Well that is an interesting way to get into the conversation of remembering to pray for our unbeliever friends so that God can stir up the soil of their heart in order that the seeds of our sharing will land on prepared ground.
Prayer is so important in our lives. Many times we forget to pray for God to prepare the ground for us and we just do our own sharing not realizing that they are not prepared to hear those words. I know there has been times I have heard things I needed to hear, but I wasn’t ready, and it took time for me to hear them. Praying to God to prepare others and myself to hear, is a great idea.
Thanks for sharing. Blessings.
Good Morning Alice
Thanks for your devotional.
Thank you, Alice. This is so true: When we have the mind of Christ, the words that we speak can give birth to spiritual results.
Thank you for sharing these scriptures and your thoughts in your devotional today. It became very personal to me as I read it: I had just reached the paragraph starting with “Anything spiritual doesn’t make sense to unbelievers…”. This immediately triggered thoughts about a relative, who is a very aggressive, disrespectful atheist – and all of my hurt, anger, bitterness and unforgiveness rose up. (I wrestle with these frequently, when I think about her – but the Holy Spirit isn’t leaving me there!) He instantly caused me to face my sinful reaction and feelings, to confess them, asking for forgiveness, and to re-commit her into His loving arms and care, so she may yet come to know how much God really loves her.
Then I continued reading your devotional and the three scriptures, the path down which He had just led me. And the plowing that Hosea spoke of, had to begin in my own heart. The Lord’s words and yours are so “right on”. I thank you and I thank the Lord for speaking to me in this.