2021.04.16 Daily Devotional
The Upper Room devotional reflection for Friday, April 16, 2021 comes to us from Jody Williams of Illinois
Genesis 4:7-22 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 But the LORD said to him, “Not so ; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech. 19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. 22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (CEB) Whatever you do, you should do it all for God’s glory
Recently some local high school students were returning home from a math competition when the brakes went out on their bus. The driver took her foot off the accelerator and slowly made her way to the shoulder of the road, eventually stopping just a few feet from a ditch. Then she called for help and kept an eye on the students until help arrived. This experienced driver was praised for staying calm in a dangerous situation and for acting on her training.
I thought about how bus drivers don’t usually receive accolades for their work, even though they have an extremely important job. Many of our daily tasks seem mundane, and it’s only during events like these that we learn to appreciate the people who carry them out.
Genesis 4:19-22 speaks of the descendants of Cain and the talents God gave them. Among these gifts were raising livestock, playing instruments, and working with metal. These gifts don’t seem like holy callings in themselves, but any task done for the Lord becomes a noble one. Paul teaches us, “What ever you do, you should do it all for God’s glory.” When we heed these words, we invite God to use us to draw others to our Creator, even when our work seems mundane.
Prayer Focus: Bus Drivers
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us always to remember to use our talents for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Whatever my work, I can do it for God.
Jody Williams calls us to focus on those around us whose mundane work we often take for granted. She offers us an opportunity, which is similar to one that has become evident in the pandemic. We can remember to take the opportunity to offer thanks and gratitude to each of those folks who offer various services that we so often take for granted.