Matthew 21:6 - The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.
On this Thanksgiving Day, as we thank God for gifts great and small—for friends and family, for coffee and cheeseburgers—we naturally thank Him for the gift of His Son and the new creation He makes us through Jesus' shed blood on Calvary.
And as we're in the spirit of thankfulness, it's good to thank God for the gift of life—time, if you will, and what we make of it. As we watch another year speed by, it's a great time to consider how we'll live out the remaining weeks of the year. Thirty-three days separate us from 2020 and the start of the third decade of the 21st century. (How is that even possible!?)
Do we make this a launch date to finally get all those things done that have stalled for 2019? Granted with after-Thanksgiving Day fatigue—not to mention a lingering tryptophan coma—it might be tough to find the resolve for certain things right now. Then too, the last weeks of the year are typically a scattershot, hustle-bustle of activities and scramblings as we dart ahead on another high-speed race toward Christmas. So how are we to redeem the remaining hours of this calendar year?
Perhaps a word from Scripture is in order. Today's Bible passage is one of those simple, clear-cut statements we can carry forward into our own lives: "The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them." In this instance, the Savior wanted them to go to the next village and bring back a donkey and a colt for His use. Not too complicated, and in fact they accomplished their mission without a hitch. And from there, He rode into Jerusalem.
If that's all the disciples were ever called to do—simple requests like bring back an animal or grab a boat—following Jesus would be a cakewalk.
But His purpose for His disciples—you and me—is so much more than that.
Jesus wants us to live full and expansive lives—lives that are God-pleasing and that impact the world for the kingdom of God. First, He wants us to love God and our neighbor (see Matthew 22:37-39). He wants us to follow Him and encourage others to do the same (see Matthew 4:19). He wants us to love our enemies (see Matthew 5:44-46), forgive completely (see Matthew 18:21-22), and come to Him with any problem we might have (see Matthew 7:7-8). And, of course, He wants us to take the Gospel to the whole world (see Matthew 28:18-20).
Because we know the Gospel message and the grace of God in our lives, let us be doubly thankful this Thanksgiving that "the disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them." And in the remaining hours leading up to Christmas, may we give of ourselves to each other, mirroring God's self-giving love to us, best expressed in the Christ Child born to us on Christmas morn.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, on this Thanksgiving Day as we approach the season of Advent, we praise You for the gift of service You give us to bless one another—just as Jesus' disciples have blessed us. In His Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. Why is doing what Jesus says so difficult for us?
2. How do you think Jesus relationship with His disciples grew over time?
3. When it comes to following Jesus, do you have any special strategies to keep on going when the going gets tough?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"