Devotion - August 29, 2014
A man finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!
It usually takes about 15 minutes.
Fifteen minutes after I’m walking away from a conversation–then I think of what I should have said!
I completely agree with Solomon’s wisdom in Proverbs 15:3. There is great joy is giving a friend an apt reply in a timely manner. I just wish I knew what that felt like!
But I do. And you can too.
My friend was going into minor surgery. As his pastor, I shared a devotion with him before the surgery. Instead of focusing on Bible passages that promised the Lord would be with him and keep him safe, we read a passage about God’s forgiveness. I reminded my friend that he was going into surgery totally forgiven by his Savior. I reminded him that his heavenly Father had put my friend’s sins behind God’s back. His Lord loved him without reservations.
Later, my friend told me that my “reply” was the best thing I could have told him. He went into the operating room filled with peace and confidence.
Many of us are not good with the quick come back. We struggle to know the right thing to say. What do you say to a friend who is down? To someone who is grieving? To a person feeling lonely? To those who realize they made a huge mistake? To a friend going into surgery?
We don’t have to be clever or witty. Sometimes the most apt reply is the good news of Jesus’ forgiveness because we have all sinned. Feelings of guilt can jump up and pull us down when we least expect it. We always can use a dose of good news that God’s Son has taken our guilt away forever.
Be a friend who is willing to talk about God’s overwhelming forgiveness. Share a few thoughts on how God has put away all our sin since Jesus died for the whole world. Tell your friends that Jesus died for them too. Whatever challenge or heartache or danger they are facing, they can face it being absolutely sure God holds nothing against them. God has forgiven them and will be with them as their loving, dedicated Father.
They will know the joy of forgiveness. You’ll know the joy of giving an apt reply that will help them for the rest of eternity!
Jesus, so many times I’m not sure what to say. Help me find the words to talk about your undeserved love to people who need you. I’m not asking you to make me quick witted, just compassionately open about your grace. Thanks! Amen.
This special series has concluded. Refer to the archive for all the devotions in the “Summer with Solomon” series.
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