Psalm of the Day: Psalm 14
Proverb of the Day: Proverbs 9:1-12
Scripture Reading: Luke 1:57-66
We have in this passage the history of a birth — the birth of a burning and shining light in the Church, the forerunner of Christ Himself — John the Baptist. The language in which the Holy Spirit describes the event, is well worthy of remark. It is written that "The Lord showed great mercy to Elizabeth." There was mercy in bringing her safely through her time of trial. There was mercy in making her the mother of a living child. Happy are those family circles, whose births are viewed in this light — as especial instances of "the mercy" of the Lord.
We see in the conduct of Elizabeth's neighbors and cousins — a striking example of the kindness we owe to one another. It is written that, "They rejoiced with her." How much more happiness there would be in this evil world, if conduct like that of Elizabeth's neighbors and relations was more common!
Sympathy in one another's joys and sorrows costs little — and yet is a grace of most mighty power. Like the oil on the wheels of some large engine — sympathy may seem to be a trifling and unimportant thing — yet in reality it has an immense influence on the comfort and well-working of the whole fabric of society. A kind word of encouragement or consolation is seldom forgotten. The heart that is chilled by affliction — is peculiarly susceptible, and sympathy to such a heart is often more precious than gold.
The servant of Christ will do well to remember this grace of sympathy. It seems to be such a small thing — and amid the din of controversy, and the battle about mighty doctrines, we are sadly apt to overlook it. Yet it is one of those ornaments of the Christian character — which make it beautiful in the eyes of men. Let us not forget that it is enforced upon us by a special precept, "Rejoice with those who rejoice — and weep with those who weep." (Romans 12:15.)
The practice of sympathy seems to bring down a special blessing. The Jews who came to comfort Mary and Martha at Bethany, — aw the greatest miracle that Jesus ever worked. Above all, it is commended to us by the most perfect example. Our Lord was ready both to go to a marriage feast — and to weep at a grave. (John 2, John 11) Let us be ever ready to go and do likewise.
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, please give me a heart for others. Help me to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.
This devotional was taken from The Gospel of Luke by J.C. Ryle published in 1858
and adapted by Pastor Tim Lewis of New England Shores Baptist Church.