Christian Devotions
By Ross Freeman

Lessons From the Horseman
by Ross Freeman

On a bitter cold Virginia night, an old man waited on a path near the river. He was hoping somebody on a horse would come by and carry him across. His beard was glazed with frost and his body was numb before he finally heard horses coming. Anxiously he watched, as several horsemen passed without even noticing him.

Finally, when only one rider remained, the old man caught his eye and asked, “Sir, would you mind giving me a ride to the other side?” Graciously the rider helped him on to his horse and sensing he was half frozen, he decided to take him all the way home, which was several miles out of his way.

As they rode the horseman asked, “Why didn’t you ask one of the others to help you? I was the last one; what if I’d refused?” The old man said, “I’ve lived a while son, and I know people pretty well. When I looked into their eyes I saw no concern at all for me, so I knew it was useless to ask. But when I looked into your eyes, I saw kindness and compassion.”

At the door of the old man’s house the rider stopped, looked up and silently prayed, “God may I never get so busy with my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others.” And with that President Thomas Jefferson turned his horse back toward the White House.

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore you eye is Good, your whole body will be full of life.” (Matthew 6:22 NKJ)

“If your eye is pure there will be sunshine in your soul.”(Matthew 6:22 (LIV)

“Light came into the world and the darkness did not know what to do.” Ted Dekker

The person who has a good healthy eye is one whose intent is to serve God. As we do so we will be full of the light of God, personally committed to the Lord and His will. This is not a magic formula but a commitment of the heart.

As we walk in the light of God, our lives will be full of meaning and purpose. Our goal will be to serve our God and the people with all kinds of needs that He brings into our lives. He will bring these individuals into our lives for us to love and help with His divine guidance.

With this in mind let us look at four lessons from our opening story, which will aid us to help others in our God-given ministry.

1. Wait:

“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, wait I say, on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14 NKJ)

This verse is one of the great keys of victorious living [see also Isaiah 40:32] if we need help from God, if we need instruction from God, or if we need guidance from God. We must prayerfully and meditatively wait on God. Under no circumstances are we to get ahead of God by doing it our own way. This is a sure-fire path to nowhere, leaving us unable to serve the people He desires for us to help.

It is vitally important for us to do things God’s way, in God’s time with God’s wisdom, understanding and compassion. To do this we must wait on God with hope (faith).

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”(Hebrews 11:1 NIV)

The key word in this verse is now; the moment you ask God is the moment you put your faith to work. Now is the time and not later. Many people say “I will believe it when I see it.” But the opposite is true; you will see it when you believe it.

Faith simply put is: That we believe without a shadow of doubt that God can and will do everything in His Word He said He would do. Be like the Centurion and speak the word only.

Waiting on the Lord takes many things including faith. Do not jump at every opportunity that comes your way. Instead wait on God’s opportunity and timing for it is always perfect.

2. Stop:

When you feel in your spirit that something is imminent, stop! Be prepared to stop and help someone or for someone to stop you. Never be in too much of a hurry during your day, missing the opportunity to help someone in need.

“Do not forget to entertain strangers for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2 NIV)

Hospitality, which literally refers to opening ones home to traveling strangers as well as others in need, will bring unexpected blessings. As this passage says you do not know who you could be helping.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:35-40 NIV)

As we stop and assist others it will reveal our moral character, which is shown by our love, willingness and empathy or the lack of thereof. Our outward reaction to those in need demonstrates our inner righteousness or unrighteousness. Good works do not produce good character; good character produces good works.

When you and I minister to the needy as well as the fortunate, we are doing it for Jesus. When we give food to the hungry we are giving it to Jesus. The person we visit in prison, in hospital, in the home for the aged or someone on his sick bed at home become as Jesus to us.

As we do the work the Lord has called us to do, we do it as much to Him as for Him. Therefore, we may not just be entertaining angels or ministering to angels, but to Jesus Christ Himself. How awesome is that?

3. Look into the eyes:

“The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good (clear) your whole body is full of light. But when your eye is bad (evil or unhealthy), your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.” (Luke 11:34-35 NKJ)

Darkness here is referring to spiritual, moral and intellectual darkness. Its origin comes from; error, ignorance, disobedience, willful blindness and rebellion. Darkness is evil and absolutely opposed to the light.

The eye is regarded as the lens of the soul. It reflects what is on the inside of a person, which the old man saw in the eyes of the last rider. Do we have compassion for people no matter what their social standing is? Do we recognize the needs in the eyes of others? Do we look long enough to really see? What do we need to be able to see? Are we looking with the eyes of Jesus or self? What are the eyes of people telling us? Do we have the love and empathy to read them?

4. Humble ourselves:

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6 NKJ)

Humble means to make low, to debase, and lower oneself. It describes a person who is willingly submitted to God and His will in humble service. As we lower ourselves in humble service, God will exalt or lift us up. We do not have to do it by blowing our own horn about what or how good we have done. This is really a disgraceful and proud attitude and as we know God humbles the proud. (Isaiah 2:11 NIV) After all, in the long run, our humble service leads to those words we all want to hear; “Well done good and faithful servant.”

So the question is, who or what do people see in your eyes when they walk past or talk to you?

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