Encouragement for Today

Principle 7

 

“A Box of Crowns”

Wendy Pope, Coordinator of Development, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:
Matthew 25:40, "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (NIV)

 

Devotion:

My son has had hearing trouble since the early years of his life.  I don't mean difficulty "listening" (he suffers from this, as all children do.) but real hearing issues.  Numerous ear infections, fluid buildup and allergies had led us to the operating room in the Same Day Surgery Center three times.  As a result of these difficulties, he struggles with pronouncing words correctly because he could not hear the correct pronunciation.  It is challenging for us to understand exactly what word he is trying to say.  One word in particular that we constantly work with him to pronounce correctly is crayon.  For years he has pronounced it, "crown".  This was cute when he was three, but can be frustrating now that he is six.

 

After Christmas break his teacher sent a note home asking all parents for a new box of crayons.  My son interpreted the note by explaining to me that "all the boys’ and girls’ crowns were broken and everyone needed new ones."   I had an extra pack of crayons at home and sent them to school the next day.

 

When I picked my son up from school that afternoon, he was excited about his new crayons but very concerned about his friend "whose mommy forgot to buy new crowns."  I consoled his concerns by telling him that his friend's mommy probably had not had time to go to the store yet and that she would make sure her little boy would have new crayons, too.

 

Weeks went by then one day my sweet boy exclaimed as he got into car that his friend still did not have any new "crowns".  More concerned about his pronunciation of the word, I quickly corrected him and said to him, "His mommy will buy him some crayons.  Sometimes mommies forget things."  This answer did not satisfy my son.  Silence filled the car for a few moments then he resounded excitedly with the answer to his friend's dilemma.   "I know mommy, I will give him my 'crowns' from home."  To which I replied, "Those crayons are not new, honey, they have been used."  He answered back, "But they are not broken.  Can I give them to him?"  How could I argue with that?

 

The very next morning God arranged it so I could see Griffin give his friend these "crowns."  His friend did not know what to say and my little boy acted as if he had just given someone a million dollars.

 

The moment was priceless.  How often do I not give because I don't take the time to see the need or because I don't have something new?  I was brought to tears because of my selfishness.  God has blessed me with so much and I give so little back.  What about you? Do you have a box of "crowns" at home that may be a little used but could be a true treasure to someone without?

 

My Prayer for Today:

Forgive me Lord for my selfish heart.  Open my eyes so that I may see needs around me.  Change my heart so that I may have the desire to help others in need.  I am so blessed!  Enable me to live like it!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps: 

Write in your journal your heart's true reflection on serving.  Ask someone on your church staff how you can help someone in need within your church.  Also ask a staff member of an agency within your community where you can serve.

 

Reflection Points:   

What have I done for the "least of these" lately?

 

Do I harbor prejudices toward those I will serve?

 

What keeps me from serving?

 

Power Verses: 

Mark 10:45, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (NIV)

 

Ephesians 6:7, "Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." (NLT)

       

Colossians 3:24, "Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ." (NLT)

 

Additional Resources:

Out of the Mouths of Babes, by Wendy Pope

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_mouthBabes.htm

 

You Are Special, By Max Lucado

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_youAreSpecialBoard.htm

 

“5 Fun Summer Activities for Families,” ETC Corner, June 2005

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/etcJun05.htm