Daily Devotions

A Humble Home

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Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46)


In our passage, Philip was telling Nathanael about this guy Jesus. Nathanael could not believe his ears when he heard where Jesus was born and raised. His response was, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Very little in the story of Jesus was done by coincidence. I believe Jesus' humble home was intentionally planned by God.


Nazareth represents all the backwater places that time has forgotten. I feel that way about Iowa sometimes. There are amazing people that have come out of Iowa. Yet, if you mention Iowa in different parts of the country, people turn up their noses and make some comment about corn. My daughter and her husband were on their honeymoon in Lake Tahoe, and when they were out, people asked where they were from and they said, "Nebraska." On numerous occasions the local's sarcastic response was, "I'm sorry." Like Iowa, Nebraska gets no respect. We're too often referred to as, "fly over states."


Jesus was raised in a disrespected place so people would know he wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but was like anyone else. That way all of us can relate to Jesus, not just the rich and pampered. Just like Jesus, from Nazareth, great things can come from Iowa and even Nebraska. You do not have to be from New York or California to be happy in life. You do not need an Ivy League education to be intelligent. A humble upbringing simply shows how far you have come in life.


Today, celebrate where you are from. Don't let anyone make you feel unacceptable because of where you were raised. Take time today to consider the moments in time when God put people and opportunities in your path that helped define you. The place you were raised molded you, set your values, and influenced your faith. Celebrate your background, and give thanks for those who blessed you.


Come and See

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 "He said to them, 'Come and see.'” (John 1:39)


Many times each day Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, calls out to us, "come and see." Many of you have instinctively heard his "still small voice." This is why you are participating in church and even reading this devotional. Jesus is smiling down on you for responding to his call for you to "come and see."


But this call to "come and see" is something requiring a daily response. Each day we get out of bed and choose again whether we are going to listen or ignore Jesus' call. This call to "come and see" doesn't mean you have to come to the church every day. Frankly, I am too busy to have all of you come in to the church every day. "Come and see" means to come into the presence of God through prayer, or simply by thinking of God while performing an activity.


God doesn't mean for you to "come and see" through continually demanding, time-consuming tasks. Sabbath worship is one day a week. God knows you have other responsibilities in this life. But other means of communing with God are also meaningful. Short prayers, daily devotionals, thinking about a Godly ethic before making a decision, are all examples of "coming to see" God.


Today, think about ways you can "come and see" Jesus. Do you have time to read chapter one of the Gospel of John? Perhaps you can take a minute a visit with someone who is lonely. Go out and buy someone flowers who is usually forgotten. Jesus is calling you to "come" to him today. Jesus is waiting to "see" you today!


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