Roger Bothwell

Roger Bothwell
Roger Bothwell's Devotionals

On Thoughtlessness

This morning I witnessed one of the most thoughtless acts of indifference I have ever seen.  As I started to pump gas into my car another man finished and went inside.  In a few moments he returned to his car with a handful of lottery scratcher tickets.  By this time there were two cars waiting behind his car to pull up to the pumps.  He was totally oblivious and sat in his car and scratched his tickets without moving his car away from the gas pump.

I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest that he was so self-absorbed with his lottery tickets that he never noticed the other cars.  Alternative explanations are even worse.   When I finished and drove away he was still sitting in the same place.
Could it be that I am so wrapped up with me and my concerns that I don’t notice others?  I hope not.  I wonder if anyone noticed Zacchaeus in that tree except Jesus.  The good thing to note is Jesus saw him.  He paused looked up and called him by name.  That must have been a thrill for Zacchaeus.  Our names are important and this Great Man knew his.  Then the thrill got even bigger.  He invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ home for dinner. Zacchaeus would never have invited Jesus to his home.  Not because he didn’t want Him.  He just never would have dreamed that would happen to someone like himself.
Out of all the amazing things we can say about Jesus one of the more important was His notice of and concern for others.  A woman touched the hem of His robe.  Jesus noticed.  Do you have a care or concern today?  I guarantee that Jesus has noticed and cares.

Freedom to do Anything You Want

On the last day of May in 1880 Queen Sunandha of Siam and her daughter drown when the royal boat capsized.  Many bystanders could have rescued them but were unable to help because it was forbidden on the punishment of death to physically touch members of the royal family.  It is a classic story of laws becoming more important than principles.  The law was made to protect the royal family from overly fond admirers harming them in a quest to touch them.  (See the story of the woman who wanted to touch Jesus’ robe.  Matthew 9)
Jesus’ struggled with the religious establishment who had fallen into the same trap.  Many of His miracles performed on the Sabbath were an attempt to teach them the principle of human need and care.  This was the important issue.  It is fascinating that they knew the law condensed to two principles – love your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.  (See Matthew 22)   In Galatians 5:14 Paul says, “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Yet they were obsessed with rules.
Once we understand and begin to live by principles we experience a marvelous life of freedom.  When I love you I only want the best for you and would never desire to harm you.  I don’t even think about the Law.  I am free to do anything I desire because what I desire is to benefit you and all those around me.  It is a wonderful way to live.  Just think about getting up in the morning and doing anything you want to do and not fearing you would upset God.  Being a real Christian is an incredible way to live.

It's All about Trust

I have to admit Malachi 3:10 reads like a contract and while I have to say in my particular case, God has always kept His end of the deal.  “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”   Well, the “not be room enough to store it” is a hyperbole.  I can say without a moment’s hesitation there has always been ENOUGH.   And what more can a person ask for in life?  I can only wear one pair of shoes at a time.  I don’t need a closet full.  As a matter of fact my black dress shoes are over twenty years old and have been resoled so many times the shoe repairman told me never to bring them back again.
But I do know some people who, if they are telling me the truth, did keep their part of the Malachi 3:10 contract and they experienced tremendous financial loss.  This forces me to reexamine the “contract.”  Could it be that God is rewarding people in other ways than money?  Perhaps He pays off by making sure we are eternally cared for. 
Or is the “contract” the wrong way of looking at it?  Perhaps it is a relationship thing where I say, “God I trust you with everything I have.  I trust you with my home, my income, my family and most of all with my soul.”  And whatever happens will always be for my best interest.  When I someday have the opportunity to see all the details of life’s events, the back story, I will then know His promise was to do the best for us and He did.

The Wonders of Glue

I have a very thin scar where they put in my new knee.  There are no little pin points on either side of the scar because the doctor did not stitch it shut.  He glued it.   I have a few crowns on my teeth that were glued in place.  Last week a Honda hit me while I was waiting at a traffic light.  It wasn’t hard, but it left a small tear in my bumper.  As soon as it gets warm enough outside I am going to glue it back.   Glue is wonderful stuff.
I have met some people who know how to solve problems.  They know how to hold families, churches and organizations together.  They are the glue of society.  They know exactly what to do after someone else has broken something important. They are fixers.
Death came to the home of Jesus’ friend Lazarus.  Jesus knew what to do.  He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus come forth.”  Lazarus came forth.  It was wonderful for Mary and Martha.  It was a death knell for Lucifer.  Lucifer claimed the dead belonged to him.  He tore that family apart and determined to keep it that way because he hates us to be happy.  Jesus glued that family back together.  And so it will be for the entire world and universe.  The hater of all that is good rent the beautiful tapestry of God’s Kingdom.  He filled it with horror and sorrow.  But Jesus meant it when He said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”
Jesus will glue whole every broken family, every torn life and reputation, every broken heart will be new again with the glue of Jesus power and love. 

The Power Point Presentation

I sat through a Power Point presentation today that said absolutely nothing.  When it was over I had to conclude that the presenter had been told to give a report and to justify his salary he got very creative using nothing.   At first I wanted to say that is what God did on Creation Day.   He got very creative using nothing, except God ended up with a marvelous product unlike the Power Point presenter.  But upon second thought perhaps God did not make us out of nothing.  We can turn matter into energy.  Perhaps God does just the opposite and takes energy and turns it into matter.  Move over Albert E.  The Creator is in the house.
“By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.”  Psalm 33:6 doesn’t mean it was magic.  It was science and we came from His omniscience.  He didn’t say “Abracadabra” and it happened.  He said, “Let us make man in our image.”   Our making required so much knowledge and design that our finest researchers are still just beginning to open the secrets of knowledge required to breathe the breath of life into us.
Nothing comes from nothing.  One would have to wait forever for something to come from nothing and even then it would still be nothing.   Now isn’t that something.  Yes, we are something and it’s a very special something.  We are the sons and daughters of that Creator designed to live forever and do some creating of our own.  He has made us thinkers just like Himself.  Now if only that Power Point presenter could have been a thinker I would have had a better day.

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