May 2, 2014
Hope can be ignited by a spark of encouragement.
READ: Ezra 9:5-9
There is a remnant according to the election of grace. —Romans 11:5
The lone tree in the field across from my office remained a mystery. Acres of trees had been cut down so the farmer could grow corn. But one tree remained standing, its branches reaching up and spreading out. The mystery was solved when I learned the tree was spared for a purpose. Farmers long ago traditionally left one tree standing so that they and their animals would have a cool place to rest when the hot summer sun was beating down.
At times we find that we alone have survived something, and we don’t know why. Soldiers coming home from combat and patients who’ve survived a life-threatening illness struggle to know why they survived when others did not.
The Old Testament speaks of a remnant of Israelites whom God spared when the nation was sent into exile. The remnant preserved God’s law and later rebuilt the temple (Ezra 9:9). The apostle Paul referred to himself as part of the remnant of God (Rom. 11:1,5). He was spared to become God’s messenger to Gentiles (v.13).
If we stand where others have fallen, it’s to raise our hands to heaven in praise and to spread our arms as shade for the weary. The Lord enables us to be a tree of rest for others.
— Julie Ackerman Link
And that all You have brought me through
can be used by You to encourage others.
Bring praise to Yourself through me.
Source: Our Daily Bread