I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. Philippians 1:3-5
You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8
Today we begin week five of a five-week Devotional Series entitled, “The Touch of the Master’s Hand.” When it comes to realizing Christian spirituality that is truly triumphant, it is “the Touch of the Master’s hand” that is absolutely essential and makes all the difference. This Devotional series calls us to an understanding of Christianity that is absolutely dependent on the touch and work of Christ living in and through us. This series is a compilation of separate weeks of Devotional material. They were selected and put together because they all contribute very nicely to this emphasis. This is truly a series to help the person who wants to explore, enter into, and consistently experience the “Deeper” Christian life. We hope the “Touch of the Master’s Hand” Devotional Series blesses you and wonderfully guides you into a “Deeper” Christian experience.
This series has five weeks of Devotional material with two weeks having six Devotionals and three having five. This week has five devotionals (Monday through Friday). Week One: Divine Adjustments. Week two: Communion with God. Week three: The Presence of God. Week four: Becoming Spiritually Whole. Week Five: Tale of the Soul. We begin week five: Tale of the Soul, with the following:
By Myra Brooks Welch
‘Twas battered and scarred and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good folk?” he cried.
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar ... now two ... only two ...
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice,
Going for three” ... but no!
From the room far back a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow.
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As sweet as an angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
As he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars ... and who’ll make it two?
Two...two thousand, and who’ll make it three?
Three thousand once and three thousand twice ...
Three thousand and gone!” said he.
The people cheered, but some exclaimed
“We do not quite understand ...
What changed it’s worth?” and the answer came:
“Twas the touch of the master’s hand.”
In answer to the question, “What changed,” our poem proclaims triumphantly, “the touch of the master’s hand.” When it comes to realizing Christian spirituality that is truly triumphant, it is “the Touch of the Master’s hand” that is absolutely essential and makes all the difference. This Devotional series calls us to an understanding of Christianity that is absolutely dependent on the touch and work of Christ living in and through us.
There is another poem that goes something like this: “Only one life, will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” It is a tremendous thing when a person comes to the spot where they want the message of this poem to be true for their life. However, if we could somehow search out the truth, I think we would find that almost everyone that gets to this spot gets to another spot, a spot of frustration and weariness. Living life “for” Christ becomes a real burden at first until there is a transformation of our understanding of the word “for” that God brings about. The problem lies in limiting our thoughts about living “for” Christ to simply the “mission” He has for us. It is absolutely essential that in our understanding of “for” we include the “means” as well as the “mission” we seek to pursue. When we try to fulfill the “mission” God has for us without using the “means” He has for us, frustration and weariness are inevitable. We need the poem as it is to remind us of our “mission” in life, but the following rendering of the poem brings the “means” of our mission more clearly into view: “Only one life, will soon be past. Only what’s done “by” Christ will last.” Our “mission” is a redemptive one whereby people come to Christ, but Christ must be the one and only “means” of our mission. This is the focus of this week’s Devotionals.
Lord, I do want to become the redemptive vessel you have in mind for me to become. Please, show me what this is really all about. Keep me going further and further in this journey of living fully for you. Keep me going further and further in pursuing a life that truly comes from “the Touch of the Master’s Hand.” I know it is all about you, through you, and for you. Thank you for redemption and the awesome adventure of you in me and through me sharing it with the world. Amen!