October 15, 2019
Carrying Jesus Into the World
“Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1 (NIV)
Corrie ten Boom was a beautiful woman of God who helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II by hiding them in her home.
She was once asked if it was difficult for her to remain humble after she became famous and had many media appearances and book signings. Her reply was simple: “When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the back of a donkey, and everyone was waving palm branches and throwing garments onto the road, and singing praises, do you think that for one moment it ever entered the head of that donkey that any of that was for him?”
She continued, “If I can be the donkey on which Jesus Christ rides in His glory, I give Him all the praise and all the honor.”
In Matthew 21, a beautiful picture unfolds where Jesus makes His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. A donkey quietly carries Jesus into Jerusalem a week before facing the cross. The crowd is welcoming, and shouts of hosanna ring much kinder than the shouts of crucify Him! that came just a week later.
I’ve often wondered what it would look like for me to simply be the donkey, daily and humbly carrying Jesus into the world.
Growing up in communist Romania, everything was under strict control — from what we could wear or eat, to where we could live or work, to what we could say or believe in.
Our small, two-room apartment was our haven where Mom and Dad strategized daily what food to put on the table or how to buy new shoes for us growing kids. Mom’s hands often bled as she worked hard to wash our clothes. My older brother looked after me while Mom and Dad tirelessly worked 14 hours a day in a factory.
My brother and I quickly became independent. We spent many hours home alone, and one day, when I was 7 years old, we found a Bible hidden in the floorboard of our apartment. Bibles and churches were forbidden during communism, and speaking the name of God out loud could easily become a death warrant, so the contents of this book were a mystery to us.
Despite the potential harm, we began to read the Bible and fell in love with its stories. God started working on my heart through this small Bible, and at 11 years old, I started attending a small underground church.
I still remember the first time I learned how to pray. I was 13 and wanted to see snow outside so we could make the best of the cold, dark winter days. My prayers were simple but expectant. I wanted God to prove His existence by giving me snow, but He didn’t answer for three months.
Just as I was ready to give up on Him, my answer came in an unexpected way: a colorful, wrapped shoebox. Within this box I found a snow globe that brought snow to life like never before. I understood through that little globe that God knew me and the desires of my heart. He knew I was ready to give up on Him, but He was not ready to give up on me.
I learned He is a God who answers prayers; His answers can just look differently than what I imagine. On that day, a simple silver and blue snow globe launched my desire to be just like the Palm Sunday donkey and carry Him into the world, and for that I am grateful.
Psalm 115:1 reminds us this was the desire of the psalmist’s heart too: “Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” May His fame and glory continue to grow!
Father, help us stay humble as we carry You into the world and go wherever You lead us. Help us listen carefully for Your voice and treasure Your Word. May we adamantly refuse to go our own way, doing and saying what seems so right to us, but rather trust You fully. Help us always be quick to point back to You and Your saving grace in our lives, and redirect all the glory to You and You alone! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 42:8, “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.” (NIV)
For millions of children around the world, a relationship with Jesus starts with a simple shoebox gift. For more information and to find a shoebox drop-off location nearest you, visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.
Today’s devotion author, Izabella McMillon, serves as the Speakers Bureau Manager with Operation Christmas Child, and she loves hearing stories of God changing lives all around the world through a simple shoebox gift, allowing His children to carry His name to the ends of the earth.
Hear more encouraging stories like Izabella’s as you follow Operation Christmas Child on Facebook.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What’s one thing you can do today to adamantly refuse going your own way, but rather trust God fully?
© 2019 by Izabella McMillon. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Samaritan’s Purse for their sponsorship of today’s devotion and our annual She Speaks Conference.