And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 1 Thessalonians 5:14
Living in St. Louis, we have the opportunity every spring and fall to watch migrating birds travel the Mississippi flyway.
I'm not a student of birds, but I once had the opportunity to visit with such an expert. He told me if you were to capture and cage a bird whose flock is migrating, it would keep trying to travel. But, after the migrating season has passed, you can open up the cage, and the bird will be apathetic to making the trip.
He summed it up by saying, "The tug on the bird's heart to travel is gone."
I've known a lot of people who are just like those birds.
At first, they want to do what's right and good. Then, due to all kinds of interfering circumstances, they get sidetracked. If those circumstances keep up long enough, eventually the tug on that person's heart to do what's right is gone. These poor souls end up as pitiful as any caged bird.
You and I can't always prevent such things from happening, but we can try to help everybody we meet see the Savior. He did as His Father asked and because He did, we are saved.
Now, because of the grace we have received in Jesus, the Holy Spirit encourages us to live the life that God wishes. By encouraging and reflecting the love we have received from the Savior, we can set an example and encourage others to be part of God's flock and to fly as God intends.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, there is much that distracts and makes us ineffective for Your service. When we encourage those who've lost heart or passion, grant us patience and empathy. For they, like we, have all faltered in our service to You. Strengthen our resolve, Oh, Lord. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was originally published March 29, 2008.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries