A servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. Acts 12:13
A far cry from the celebrated “roses of Picardy,” mentioned in a popular song of yesteryear, are the wild roses found in fields and pastures. Yet they have a natural beauty of their own. The American composer Edward MacDowell was moved to name a piano solo after them.
To some, the wild rose is a weed. It grows low to the ground. Its stem is prickly, its thorns reminding us of what God said to Adam after the fall into sin: “It [the ground] will produce thorns and thistles for you” (Genesis 3:18). Of course, the curse of sin was really a curse on the sinner, for disobedience of God draws punishment, the ultimate wages of sin being death.
Human beings are by nature like wild roses. Totally sinful, they still retain some of the qualities that are good and useful for life in this world. The person of dissolute character may have talent for the arts and sciences. Then you say: “Think what such a person could be and do if moral and spiritual uprightness went along with talent! He would be a wild rose become an American Beauty!”
As a matter of fact, that is what God has in mind when He causes the Gospel to be proclaimed in the world. For the Gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). Those who have come to faith in Jesus Christ as their liberator from sin and the fear of death are an entirely new creation. They are like prickly weeds turned into lovely roses.
Such changes have take place in Christians from earliest times. It took place in the servant girl in Jerusalem named Rhoda, or Rose, who recognized Peter’s voice and let him into the house. Yes, also servants can be beautiful roses in God’s sight. They can, in Isaiah’s words, cause the desert to "rejoice and blossom" (Isaiah 35:1) as the rose – this by the power of Him who has been called the rose of Sharon, our beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, help me to grow more like You in the beauty of life. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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