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We hope you benefit from the devotions below.  Please check back often as they are updated regularly!

Author: CBF Personnel/Partner Created: 12/18/2007 1:43 PM
Devotions from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Internationals Center

Do you know what stands out in the call of Isaiah? Isaiah doesn’t say “if”. Here am I, send me, if you will pay off my house first. Here am I send me, if I can go to Europe. Here am I send me, if it is not too far from my family. Here am I send me, if I can keep my kids in private Christian schools. Here am I send me, if I can maintain a certain standard of living. Here am I send me, if there is the assurance of success. Here am I send me, if the sacrifice is not too great.

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We usually look at how reluctant Moses was and associate that with our reluctant obedience. But recently I saw the grace of God in the burning bush extended towards a true servant.

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Remember the Sunday school envelope? Number of contacts made, Offering, Sunday school attendance, Church attendance, Lesson studied, and On time? The big deal was to get a perfect score and to be honored at the end of the year.

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It was the first time we saw Central Baptist Church in Miami, Florida. We had heard of the homeless population of the area and that they were often found sleeping in the doorways of the church. We weren’t prepared for the actuality and truth of that statement, however. Having just returned from the overt poverty that exists in West Africa, we were stunned to see such need on the streets of a wealthy nation.

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We had just moved to the inner city of Brussels with many of the same ghetto type problems that you would expect. However, my son greatly desired to play in the park in front of our house even though some of the kids were rough. “Well, if I don’t play with and get to know these kinds of kids, then I won’t know anyone. This is the only kind of kid who lives here. They are why we came!”

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I do my daily urban errand: get a haircut and exchange ideas with my barber-fellow Christian about some common interests in Bible study, pickup a book from the library, interact with one homeless man sitting at the benches by the library, and this encounter leads me to reflection.

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As long as I can remember, I have been anxiously awaiting something and never with any amount of patience that is required. I have tried to remind myself of the cliché that life is more about the journey than the destination, but I still longed for the destination more than looking out at where I am now. Growing older, I have seen that this rush through life, this impatiently waiting has allowed room for worry and fear to take root in my mind. I see this more in contrast to my ever flexible, patient and happy husband. Seeing the qualities I would rather have in him has caused me to evaluate and take to the Word of God to find change and healing.

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Living in West Africa exposes one to beggars such as we rarely see in our modern developed world. So many folks who were seeing them for the first time asked us, “So what do you do? Do you give to all of them? Do you try to help them? How do you know who to help with so many crying out?”

 

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Jesus cursed the fig tree. No fruit, you die. Ooh, tough judgment. But the truth is that it is as much a simple reality as a judgment. When the church is not fruitful, it will die.

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We are all about doing as long as we can choose what we will do. As soon as God asks us to do something that will demonstrate true love for him and our neighbor the cost becomes too great and we walk on the other side of the road.

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