Devotional for May 8, 2017

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by Mark Malcolm

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The passage for this week recounts the very brief ending of the Jews surviving Haman’s efforts to exterminate them. This marked the beginning of the Jewish festival of Purim. This even also marked a Jewish revival in scripture reading (the Torah) and of their nation returning to God.

Every year in early Spring Jews celebrate this time of joy but let’s consider what came before this celebration, after all the point of the holiday is to remember it all. The time before the two day celebration was a time of great persecution and strife for the Jews. Think back on last year at this time. If you participated in last year’s study the question sheet asked you to reflect on trials and tribulations you might be going through and list them. The point then was found in Romans 5:3-4, the passage related to that week. That passage spoke of hope coming out of our trials and tribulations.

This year, we are not seeking hope four ourselves, but rather for others. Think about what having hope does for people. Out of hope springs joy that things can and will get better. You carry with you the innate ability to spread that joy to others by bringing that hope into their lives. This knowledge should fill each of us with hope and joy as well.

The problem is, we can do these things but that does not mean we will do them. Just because we are able, capable, and aware of what we are capable of doing does not mean we actual do them. The question then becomes how do we ensure we actually do spread hope and joy to others?

If we follow the example of the Purim festival, we do this through gifts. During the celebration people are supposed to give two gifts of money to two different poor people.  Additionally, two types of foods are to be gifted to one other person.

As Christians we no longer celebrate Purim. However, imagine the kind of joy in someone’s life at receiving a gift of this type for no apparent reason. Also, consider your own position and what this type of act might do for you as well. No matter where you are right now, making the time for someone else will change the course of your day or week.

Bio from my web site :

Smiling Mark IIMark Malcolm is a child of God, husband, father, project manager, technical writer, gamer, fiction writer, Marine (’87-’91), has practiced Shao Lin Kung Fu and Tai Chi, been published in magazines and newspapers (editorial anyway), and seen the Southern Cross.

The goals he has currently are to more accurately identify the path God has for him to walk, continue to provide for his family, establish a solid web presence, build a career writing novels through both traditional and independent publishing, and learn to better relate to the people around him.

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