Thursday 1st December 2016 - Daily Reading:
Matthew 7:24 - Putting it into practice. By Alan Mills

Walking in the Spirit brings enormous blessing, not only to others but also to us. As I bring this devotional to a close over the next couple of days I thought I’d give you a real example of how putting this knowledge into practice has helped me to be a blessing to people by choosing to reflect the image of love. Let me set this up by explaining the situation that I found myself in.

Recently, I had to go to the bank in town. When I arrived, there was a queue at the counter, so I decided to use the “fast” deposit machine. A young lad was using it and his granny was beside him. I could hear them muttering and granny kept looking at me apologetically as I waited, and I waited, and I waited. An impatient thought came: "Oh, come on, you’re a teenager. You should know how to use this machine.” Aha, I thought! That’s not my thought and it’s not from God. Under my breath I began to pray and give thanks to God that impatience is not part of who I am in Christ. I chose to put on patience and asked the Holy Spirit for his power to help. However, the devil doesn’t give up easily and he continued to bait me as the wait continued.

The lad eventually took a card from the machine and handed it granny. I instinctively leaned forward to walk to the machine but granny looked at me sheepishly as he then put another card in and began the process again. The thoughts kept coming, and getting more insistent. “You’re kidding me!” “This is supposed to be a fast deposit machine”. ”I could have joined the queue and been out of here by now”. “For goodness sake!” “Look, all the folk who were in the queue when I came in are long gone.” “What on earth are you doing?”

Before I discovered my real identity these thoughts would have had me fuming and granny would have been in no doubt about it. I wouldn’t have wanted her to feel pressured, but I would have dealt with this out of my old identity and my forced, cold as ice smile would have given my mood away. It would have been a poor witness. Tomorrow we’ll finish by looking at how this all worked out.

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NEWBOLD BAPTIST CHURCH