Daily Devotional April 4, 2023

Rerun of Daily Devotional April 3, 2018

Way back at the beginning of time, when I was in the process of becoming a pastor, I served the Haslet/Dido Charge.  That meant serving two small, wonderful congregations at the same time.

Danny Peek was an old cowboy who served on the Haslet Pastor Parish Relations Committee.  Sonny Nance also served on the same committee.  One of the committee’s responsibilities was to evaluate my ministry and report to the district superintendent whether or not I was fit to serve as pastor in the United Methodist Church.

Danny worked on Sonny’s ranch, which at the time, took up most of North Texas.

Sonny had a lot of land, a lot of cows, a lot of money, a lot of everything.  Danny didn’t.  He lived in the ranch house, had an old beat-up truck, a horse, and a hat.  That was pretty much all Danny had.

I will never forget the night the district superintendent met with the Haslet PPR Committee.  When they made their report, Danny said my greatest quality was that I had always treated him the same way I treated Sonny. Sonny agreed.

Isn’t that interesting?  What mattered most to Danny had nothing to do with my brilliant sermons, awe-inspiring Bible studies, or my incredible leadership skills.  It was about something that mattered even more.  What mattered most to Danny was that I didn’t show a preference for Sonny because he had a lot of everything while Danny didn’t.  It was the single greatest compliment I have ever received.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have to confess that my sermons are brilliant, my awe-inspiring Bible studies are legendary, and my incredible leadership skills are the sorts of things dreams are made of.  None of that mattered to Danny.  What he taught me is that how I treat others matters more than anything else.

In a world that ranks and categorizes everyone based on wealth, education, appearance, skin color, or gender, we do not.  There is no room for that sort of foolishness in the Church of Jesus Christ.  The Have-Nots matter just as much as the Haves.

This is exactly what Paul was talking about when he said, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”  (Galatians 3:28)

No matter where you are in the world’s pecking order, know that God loves you the exact same as God loves everyone else.  You are precious in his sight, and nothing will ever change that.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, let me see others through your eyes.  Strip me of any prejudice or bias.  Mold me into the person you want me to be.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Jesus treated everyone he encountered with love and compassion.  God expects the same from us.

On another note, I think I need to write a devotion on humility.  Some in my congregation really need to read it.  And of course, who is better equipped to deal with the subject than someone who writes brilliant sermons, teaches life-changing Bible studies, and possesses the greatest leadership skills the world has ever seen?

My humility has always been my greatest asset.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins