April 5, 2009
“And when Jesus had thus spoken, He went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when Jesus was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples. Saying, ‘Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? Thus shall ye say unto them, Because the Lord hath need of him.’”
Luke 19: 28-31, King James Version
“The Lord Has Need of You”
“The world cannot always understand one’s profession of faith, but it can understand service.”
If Jesus came to me today and said, “I have need of you,” would I follow Him, immediately?
“It is not the possession of extraordinary gifts that makes extraordinary usefulness, but the dedication of what we have to the service of God.”
Frederick William Robertson
“The Lord doesn’t ask about your ability, only your availability; and, if you prove your dependability, the Lord will increase your capability.”
His name was David Brainerd and he was born in 1718 in Haddam, Connecticut. Orphaned at the age of only 14, when David was 21-years-old he had an experience at Yale University that greatly affected the rest of his life. Expelled from the school for words he spoke in private, saying that one of the school’s tutors, “Has no more grace than this chair,” David Brainerd was kicked out of school. He could have become embittered, for he repeatedly apologized for his words. Instead, his pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears. However, rather than giving up on God, during hardship, David Brainerd was drawn closer to his God and decided when only in his mid-twenties, to devote his entire life to missionary work among the Native Americans. His efforts were heroic and self-denying for he had weak health and saw only a handful of converts during his life, which was shortened by tuberculosis. However, his legacy lives on in his writings as well as the building at Yale Divinity School that now bears his name. In one of his journals, published after his death, these words were penned, “I longed to be a flame of fire continually glowing in the divine service and building up of Christ’s kingdom to my last and dying breath.” David Brainerd honored this commitment – to his last breath.
As we begin an eight-day study on the life of Jesus – our focus during this week will be concentrated on not only Jesus’ ministry to the people He met, but also on His ministry in your life and mine today as well as His’ call for us to follow Him.
For all of us who take on the name “Christian,” must never forget that when we call ourselves by “Christ’s” name, in order to be true to this name, we must, by our choice, live our lives in harmony with the life Jesus chose to lead when He was on earth – a life that was infused with the perfume of loving-kindness which spread to every person He touched.
As a follower of Jesus, how hollow my words, if my life does not reflect the same message revealed every day in the life of Jesus Christ.
As I was preparing our studies for this week, I asked God to show me which texts I should chose for our daily devotionals, and today’s text was the first one that caught my attention.
As Jesus got ready for His triumphant ride into Jerusalem, He instructed His disciples to go and get a young donkey, one that had not been ridden on before. I don’t know about you, but I might have questioned Jesus’ judgment. “Do you really want a creature that’s never been ridden on,” I might have asked?
But then in words that penetrate deep into my heart, Jesus responded, “The Master has need of him.”
Over the next few days, as we study about the unfathomable way our heavenly Father turned the universe inside out to redeem His children on our fallen planet earth, I’d like for us to ask ourselves this question. “What does my Master need from me?” It is my prayer, that after we review the great lengths God went to in order to bring unity into the universe again, that we will be ready and willing to pour out our lives in service to our Master, too.
Teresa of Avila penned these wonderful words that should open our eyes to the way the fragrance of Jesus can, through His followers, touch everyone we come in contact with:
“Christ has no body now on earth but yours; yours are the only hands with which He can do His work; yours are the only feet with which He can go about the world; yours are the only eyes through which His compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world, Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
When I was a little girl, my mom taught me a song which her mother, my grandma, had taught her. As I was working on this devotional, the words to this little melody kept going through my head and I want to share them with you:
“Master, Hast Thou Work For Me”
“Master, hast Thou work for me?
I would gladly toil for Thee;
I have neither strength nor skill,
yet some place I long to fill.
Though my hands are small and weak,
yet some little task I seek
let me seek to walk Thy ways,
know Thy will and sing Thy praise.
Heart and hands to Thee I bring,
let me serve Thee, Holy King.
Let me daily sow some seed,
daily do some kindly deed,
grant Thy loving help to me,
give me perfect trust in Thee.
Trusting Thee to teach me how,
let me serve Thee, here and now.
Jessie H. Brown
When Jesus asked for help – He didn’t send a team of expert headhunters out to find only the experienced. Or the smartest. Or the highly educated. He called out for everyone. Experience wasn’t required. Willingness was! As someone so aptly stated, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.”
Long after missionary David Brainerd died, in his journal was found this testimony: “As long as I see anything to be done for God, life is worth having.”
Do you hear Jesus’ call? His words still ring out clearly today, “Your Master has need of you.”
“If but the least and frailest, let me be,
Evermore numbered with the truly free
Who find Thy service perfect liberty!”
John Greenleaf Whittier
“What of Thy Day?”
“Thy Way, Not Mine”
“Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be!
Lead me by thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.
Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to thy rest.
I dare not choose my lot;
I would not, if I might;
Choose thou for me, my God;
So shall I walk aright.
The kingdom that I seek
Is thine; so let the way
That leads to it be thine;
Else I must surely stray.
Take thou my cup, and it
With joy or sorrow fill,
As best to thee may seem;
Choose thou my good and ill.
Choose thou for me my friends,
My sickness or my health;
Choose thou my cares for me,
My poverty or wealth.
Not mine, not mine the choice,
In things or great or small;
Be thou my guide, my strength,
My wisdom, and my all!”
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Available May 2009
P.S. Thank you for coming to Transformation Garden. For the next eight days, we are taking a break from our studies about all the women in the Bible to focus on the greatest gift every given to humans, the gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. I hope you pass along this free gift to your friends and family. Why not invite someone you care about to join you in the garden this week – www.transformationgarden.com
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.