Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
Have you ever thought about the blessings God has given you through the people He has brought into your life? Have you thought about how different you would be had they not been there? As I look back, I clearly see God’s hand at work, day after day, year after year, placing people and events in my life that thankfully changed me forever and still continue to do so.
I was 29 when God blessed me with Terry as my husband, and as I begin writing this devotional today on my 45th wedding anniversary, May 28th, I praise the Lord for bringing him to me. Without Terry, I might never have learned about the love Jesus has for me and how He wants a relationship with me that is personal and intimate; and because of Terry, I was introduced to a generous and loving family who were the hands and feet of Jesus—living examples of true, genuine Christian faith.
It’s a long story, but God provided a miracle which led us to a very small church where Pastor Vaughn Nelson (now with his beloved Jesus) taught the Word, verse by verse, using an overhead projector. He gave us meat, and we were like desperate lions roaring for it! God was giving us His living water: “But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14 Pastor was following Jesus’ words to Peter when Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” John 15:17
It was in this church I first saw Jesus’ Spirit being demonstrated, and it was something I had never experienced before. The pastor regularly visited us, answering our many questions, and as we grew in the faith, urged us to share Christ with our neighbors. Also, within the first several weeks of our attendance, Christ’s love was displayed to us in more ways than I can describe. Examples: One dear woman surprised me by knocking on our front door and handing me my first Bible study. “Work through this, then let’s talk!” Then there was the family who invited us for lemon meringue pie to get to know us, while another had us to dinner, talked of Jesus, and introduced us to Christian music. Others had us to their homes many times to talk with us of Jesus. Very importantly, the entire church drew together in unity and began a new believer’s class on our behalf. There we learned the basic truths of Christian faith—the Good News: "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9
This describes only the beginning of the blessings God’s family has been in our lives. As we moved several times, our Lord always placed us in churches and careers where there were faithful followers of Christ: pastors teaching His Word, their lovely wives, devoted Christian brothers and sisters, fellow teachers, and best friends—all whose examples grew us then and continue to grow us now in our faith. How can one begin to describe that?! Truly, there is no way, but there are no people dearer than God's people, and I thank Him for each and every one of them and pray His abundant blessings upon them. I also pray the same for you!
I would urge you to take some time and think about those God has placed in your life. Who were the people who led you to Christ as Savior? How have they influenced who you are today, and who are those who continue to bless your life? Take a little more time and thank God for how He has directed you on your journey and brought to you those who build you up, grow you in Christ, and walk with you through life’s many ups and downs. May those people be blessed, and may God be glorified through all He is making you to be!
Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!”
John 15:17 “A third time He asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.”
1 Corinthians 1:10 “I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.”
Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
PRAYER: Father, thank you with all my heart for blessing me with the people you know I needed and still need in my life to teach me and daily transform me more and more into your image. You have provided pastors, church members, and those who have become my dearest of friends…all demonstrating your love and spirit, shining with the heart of Jesus. As You have been clearly glorified by their love and care, may my life—all I say and do—also glorify You, Father. Indeed, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For You created all things, and they exist because You created what You pleased.” Revelation 4:11
DISCLAIMER: I am just an ordinary woman who loves Jesus, accepting Him as Savior at the age of thirty-two and digging into the Bible ever since. How could I possibly hope to develop a heart relationship with God and trust Him with my life if I didn't know who He is?!
These devotionals are written to help you journey with Christ and grow in your heart relationship with Him. However, it is essential that you examine my words, and those of all other "teachers," with God's Holy Word. Therein lies the source of all truth!
Candice Mary Thomas writes about loving God and loving people! Coming to Christ at age 32 and now in her 70's, Candice knows what a difference it makes living with or without Christ as one's personal Savior.