Roger Bothwell

Roger Bothwell
Roger Bothwell's Devotionals

Issues That Matter

I witnessed an argument between two earnest souls.  One had taken the position that Jesus miraculously, creatively produced more bread and fish at the feeding of the 5000.  The other took the position that the miracle was the opening of the hearts of those present to share what they had with them as had the little boy with his basket.

I would like to take a third position.  What does it matter?  The real point is the people were fed.  But the arguers were adamant as if they had been there and personally saw what happened.  While I tend to lean toward the creation of more bread and fish, I also think changing the hearts of selfish people is a great miracle.
Sometimes we get worked up, generate a lot of heat and hard feelings over issues that really are insignificant.  Issues that relate to our salvation – these are what matter.  How Jesus did or did not do something has not been shared with us.
I confess that through the years I found myself sucked into meaningless arguments and afterwards I always regretted it.  I went away wishing I had not spoken.  Silence on issues of which we were not witness to, issues on which God has not given us definitive information, issues that tend to divide us when we really don’t know the actual facts seem to me to be a ploy of Satan to draw our attention away from Jesus and His command to love each other.
I have some young men in my classes that are studying to be pastors and I see the fervor and fire that burns in their hearts.  Hopefully they will always use that zeal to lift up Jesus and proclaim Him and only Him to be our savior.


It’s spring and the goldfinches are turning their lovely canary yellow.  It’s fascinating to note the different stages of maturity at our bird feeder.  One or two are bright yellow while some are still gray.  Others show various shades of transition.
I have always been fascinated by Paul’s addressing his letter to the Corinthians to the saints at Corinth. When you read the letter one soon becomes aware that these people were far from perfect.  A very important lesson may be drawn from this.  Each church member at Corinth was at their own personal stage of maturation. Yet each qualified to be a saint.  To Paul, the person who was an infant Christian qualified compared to the old hands who had weathered the battles of character growth and development.
Just as our gray goldfinches are still goldfinches, so everyone who makes Jesus the Lord of their life is a precious saved child of the Lord.  Justification makes us saints and sanctification is a reflection of our growth.  We are saints before we are sanctified.  Just as I am looking forward to all the goldfinches displaying their dazzling summer plumage, so our heavenly Father is anxious to see us radiating Jesus in our attitudes and actions.
There is a wonderful hymn with the words, “Just as I am without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bidst me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”  Jesus never told anyone to go, clean up their act and come back later.  He first touched the leper and then said, “Be thou clean.”  Awesome.  Just plain awesome.

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