FOCUS 40 Devotional 17

Interruptions That Turn to Blessings Day 17

While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.

Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.

When Jesus entered the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. News of this spread through all that region. —Matthew 9:18–26

Jesus was interrupted two times in a few minutes. While he was teaching, a ruler interrupted him, asking him to come to his home to heal his daughter who had just died. Jesus healed her. While he was on the way to the ruler’s home, a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years interrupted him when she touched his cloak and was instantly healed. Many would be upset with those two desperate people for interrupting Jesus in the middle of his important business. Not Jesus! He turned interruptions into opportunities for healing hurting people.

Several years ago, during my recuperation following knee surgery, I had set up a study in our home. Early one Sunday morning, while I was making final preparations for the morning worship service, I heard a gentle, quiet, little knock at my door. It was my little girl Janelle, who was seven years old. She had come in earlier to get a phone book from my desk, and Sandie had told her not to bother me because I was preparing my sermon for the morning service, but this time she came over close to me and said, “Daddy, I just came in to hug you and give you a kiss, and tell you I love you!” After she gave me a hug and a kiss, she stepped back, with a big, beautiful smile, and said proudly, “You know what? I’ll bet I’m more important than your sermon!” I pulled her up on my lap, gave her a big hug, and said, with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye, “You sure are, honey! You’re more important than anything to me!”

As she walked out of the room with a proud That’s-my daddy-kind-of-smile on her face, I paused to reflect and thank God for the special gift he had given me in that little girl. Sometimes we get so tied up with the things we’re doing, the goals we’re trying to reach, that we forget the most important relationships we have: God, children, wives or husbands, friends. It’s important that we set our priorities in proper order. Then we need to be open and responsive to the spontaneous interruptions from God that are some of his finest blessings. It’s about Transforming Hearts…Transforming Lives!—investing love, prayer, listening, modeling the Christ-follower lifestyle, sharing the Word, and mostly, just being there, leading those we love on the path home to God. Today, Janelle is a godly Christ-follower, wife, mother, and teacher. As we’re open to God’s will and plan, we will be recipients of constant blessings and joys that no amount of planning or money can achieve.

Lord, thank you for those little interruptions that turn into huge blessings. Help me to always recognize and cultivate them, to recognize them as opportunities to renew and strengthen those precious relationships. Enable me to keep my priorities in order in my relationships with you and others who are especially important in my life. I love you, Lord, and I praise you again for another gentle reminder of how blessed I am to be surrounded by people I love and who genuinely love and respect me. Thank You! Amen.

 Dr. Sam Bruce; President, Sam & Sandie Bruce Ministries; Pastor, Hope Point Church, Pearl, Mississippi; Online Instructor, Mid-America Christian University, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Copyright © 2011 by Church of God Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. This document may be downloaded, reprinted, or distributed free of charge for ministry and educational purposes provided that the copyright notice on this page appears without modification. The contents of the booklet may not be modified or abridged in any way, and this electronic version of the booklet MAY NOT BE RESOLD in any print or electronic format.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NRSV are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked Phillips are taken from The New Testament in Modern English by J. B. Phillips, 1962 edition, published by Harper Collins.

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