The Upper Room Devotion for Friday Janurary 5th, 2024 was written by Madeline Kalu of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
1If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. 9Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name
that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:1-11 NRSV
After a snowstorm and dramatic drop in temperature, a thick layer of ice and snow covered the ground. Although it was blisteringly cold, my husband, Solomon, went out to clear the sidewalk in front of our house. It was hard work, but he slowly began to carve a path.
Solomon had leaned back on his shovel to take a brief break when a man passed by. He was dressed inadequately for the weather and looked gaunt, but he offered to help Solomon shovel the snow and did so with gusto. As the man shoveled snow, he and my husband struck up a converstation. Upon hearing that the man was homeless, Solomon's heart was grieved. He knew that during the harsh winter, many people were in dire need of shelter and provision, yet this stranger had approached Solomon with a heart intent on giving. Working together, they cleared the sidewalk. In return for his kindness, Solomon gave the man a gift before bidding him farewell.
Afterward, Solomon ruminated on the lessons God had shown him - that help can come in unexpected ways and we should be open to receiveing it. We each have God-given gifts that we can use to lift each other up and provide hope.
Thought for the Day
Each of us has gifts that can benefit others.
Merciful Father, help us to receive the gifts and assistance of others. Show us how to use our gifts to provide hope and help to those around us. In Jesus' name. Amen.