Daily Devotional – 12/28/11 “And the award goes to… “

There was this woman who lived in this big expensive house, drove an expensive foreign car and was the head of her law firm.  She came from a big Christian family but because of her work and lack of time, she rarely got home except for the occasional holidays and when she did, she came with the biggest gifts.  Her siblings didn’t like when she came home to visit because she would often brag about this and brag about that and she always made sure everyone knew that SHE was the one sending money home to help their Mom because she had it to give.  She never did any good deeds because she was caring but she was always acting like she was performing in front of a packed audience.  She always acted like she was performing to get an academy award.  Whenever one of her siblings asked her for anything, she could never keep it private because she wanted all to know what SHE had done.  Soon, her brothers and sisters stopped asking and they stopped inviting her to family dinners and holidays because they could no longer deal with the stories of her fancy life.  But she didn’t care because she thought all they did was beg anyway like she owed them anything.

One day they received a call that she had been in an accident and was in the hospital.  By the time they made it, they were notified that she was in a coma and the doctor’s weren’t sure if she would ever wake up.  But while in the coma, she was visited by God.  She thought he was coming to her because of all the things she did to help folk and because it was her time.  But God has another thing in mind.  He asked her how she thought her life had been and if she thought her ticket to Heaven had been stamped.  She replied, “My life has been great, well, since I left for college.  I became this big time lawyer, I live in this fine house, I drive this fine car and I have more money than I know what to do with.  Every time my family begs, I help them and they never pay me back. So, yes, I think my life has been great and my ticket has definitely been approved.”  God looked her over and he said, “Where do I fit into your life?  Have you ever stopped once to thank me for the path you’ve taken?  Have you ever given to your local church, helped someone in need because it was in your heart to do so or prayed for others who are not as well off as you?  Have you ever prayed to me since all your days have been good?” She said, “No, but I help folk when they beg and they never offer it back, so isn’t that enough?” God simply replied, “No!”  She asked, “Why not? Isn’t that enough since I give when they ask?”  God replied, “No, because when you help people it’s not because it’s the right thing to do, but it’s because you want your name called in order for you to be recognized.  But haven’t you read my word in Matthew 6:1 which says Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven?”  Don’t you know that it’s not about the acts that are performed on a stage that I count but it’s the ones done when the curtain has fallen?  See, when I sent my only Son as a sacrifice so that you could be free, it wasn’t so that I could be recognized but it was because I knew of the things he could do.  When I sent you down the path to the place you are now, it wasn’t for you to become so high up that even I wouldn’t dare reach but it was because I knew the person that you could be.  I knew that you could be the one to help others when they asked and you’d be a shoulder for others to lean on when they needed it.  But look at you!”  She wept as she listened to his words.  God then opened her ears to hear the pleas of her loved ones begging her to fight to live because they loved her.   She wept some more.

God said, “My child, I left the bible for you to read and study as a way to me, not just to be used as a bookend.  If you studied more you’d know that my word says in 1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”  There is no need for you to boast and brag because your work should speak for you.  If you do good things then others will see.  If you share what you have been blessed with, then it shall be returned to you with an added blessing.  You don’t have to speak about yourself when your good deeds come from your heart.  John 5:31-32 saysIf I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid but there is another who testifies of me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about me is true.”“  As she listened and the tears streamed down her face, she began to realize the mistakes that she made.  She asked God to just give her one more chance to live a life that is pleasing in his sight.  She promised that she would talk less, listen more and study a lot more.  So God granted her request.

After two days, she opened her eyes to a room filled with family members and all she could do was cry.  When she was able to speak, she made a promise to them that she would be more of a sister and daughter to them than what she had been before.  She asks them all for their forgiveness as she works toward being a better Christian on God’s journey.  She asked them all to pray with her, for her and they were all happy to do so.  As of that moment she realized that the life she has is not because she has been all good and because she was great at what she did but it was because of the goodness of God.  She knew that all she had could have been gone a long time ago but because God had given her another chance she was ready to change. 

See, sometimes God has to lay us on our back before we look up to him and he has to knock us to our knees before we reach out to him.  The next time you want to act like you’re up higher than anybody else, know that you can be knocked down faster than you did climbing the ladder up.  Just because you have more than the next person and you don’t have to struggle from paycheck to paycheck, don’t act like you’re better than your neighbor.  Please know that the person you step on going up may be the person’s whose hand is outstretched to help you back down.  The person whose shoulders you stepped on to boost yourself up may just be the ones to help carry you when you fall.  The bridge you thought you’d never have to cross again may be the only one available when the rain won’t stop falling in your life.  Be careful where you put your lips when everything is going good because you may have to eat those words when you walk into the interview and the person you cursed is the one doing the hiring.

Published by Pastor LaKisha

LaKisha Johnson is an author of thirty Christian Fiction novels, devotionals and journals. She writes from her heart, as she hopes the messages, on the pages, will relate to every reader.  Ask her and she’ll tell you, ”It’s not just writing, its ministry.” Over the course of her career, she’s won the 2018 Drunken Druid Book of the Year Award for her book, The Forgotten Wife, 2019 Top Shelf Christian Fiction Book of the Year for Dear God: Hear my Prayer, 2020 Distinguished Authors Guild Award for her book, I’m Not Crazy and was a 2020 TopShelf Women’s Fiction Finalist for her book, When the Vows Break. In addition to being a self-published author, she’s also a wife of 22 years, mother of 2, Asst. Pastor of Macedonia MB Church in Hollywood, MS; Sr. Business Analyst with FedEx, Devotional Blogger and more. She’s a college graduate with 2 Associate Degrees in IT and a Bachelor of Science in Bible.   LaKisha writes from the heart, and this is why she doesn’t take the credit for what God does. If you were to strip away everything, you’d see that Lakisha is simply a woman who boldly, unapologetically and gladly loves and works for God.

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