November 26 - Zacharias and Naomi!

By Joanna Zeiner

Today's Scripture: 1 Peter 4:8-11

Central Thought: We must share what we have—even if it is only hope.

'Let's see now, you have four children, right?”

'No, we have five children.”

'But, you just told me you were expecting your fifth child.”

'I am. But when the child is born we will have six children!”

    We quickly loved Zacharias and Naomi's unwillingness to keep count! They had five children in their home, and soon it would be six. But we could not tell the child that was not their child, for she was loved and treated as one of their own—as was the nephew of a distant cousin, the old man who opened and shut their driveway gate, and the young cook who was soon to marry the gardener.

    Zacharias and Naomi were not wealthy. But, like most families we met in Burundi, our generous hosts took people into their home giving them shelter, food, purpose, and the love of a family. They lived more simply so they could give more generously. Rather than count the expense, they counted the cost of loneliness and despair. An African colleague of mine once said, 'You must learn this about Africans—we share everything with one another: our food, our possessions, even our hope.”

Devotional Prayer: Father, show me how to be a better steward my time, my health, and my possessions that I might become a more generous supporter of those You bring my way. Help me to open up my comfort zone to let Your generous heart love through me. Help me not to count the expense, but the cost of the Cross. Lord Jesus Christ, help me.

Today's Bible Reading: Daniel 2:24-3:30; 1 Peter 4:7-5:14; Psalm 119:81-96; Proverbs 28:15-16