Hug Them Anyway

by Dec 15, 2022Devotional2 comments

Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; He guides it wherever He pleases.      
      
      I asked my wife why she had stopped teaching preschool because I knew she loved the children. Her response was sad and telling of our times. With a melancholy sigh, she said, “I was no longer allowed to hug the children when they were hurt or upset. How can you teach them if you cannot love them?” A few weeks ago, I heard my friend Joyce say that she had quit working in old age homes because she was not allowed to hug the senior residents who desperately need a hug once in a while.” She went on to say, “This is not a natural way to take care of elderly people or each other.”
      If Satan can affect the needs of what keeps humanity kind and caring, that is where and what he goes after. Lately, the direction of our lives is being determined by a bureaucratic coldness that tries to protect society from abuse, only to have the laws implemented become more abusive than the original problem. We saw a lot of this reactionary blundering over the last few years of restrictions. The key to overcoming the sad feelings in our hearts because of this unnatural way to interact with each other is to keep doing by faith what God asked of us. Col. 3:23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. In other words, “Hug them anyway!”
      The Bible records many accounts of people who did what God asked of them despite the bureaucratic wave of reasoning. Daniel prayed regardless of the laws that changed and made praying illegal. Dan. 6:10 But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. The three Hebrew boys would not worship the image of gold that the lawmakers had deemed an important civic duty. The penalty was death for not complying. Dan. 3:11 That decree also states that those who refuse to obey must be thrown into a blazing furnace. The young men chose to hug God’s laws. In both these cases, God delivered His people. 
      However, being delivered from death is not always the case. Stephen was stoned to death for loving and ministering in the Lord’s name. I find it amazing that when Stephen was being murdered, God allowed him to understand that what he had been preaching and ministering to the people was the truth. God confirmed to Stephen that his revelation of Jesus was in fact the word of deliverance and salvation. Acts. 7:55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. The grace and courage that Stephen needed were in plain sight as he entered his eternity. Stephen had guarded his heart with the revelation that Jesus is Lord. Prov. 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.      
      Peter and the apostles were jailed and whipped for proclaiming, “Jesus Christ is Lord.” Paul was imprisoned for ministering that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way to salvation. Even though the laws prohibited the preaching of Jesus, they preach Him anyway. In comparison, there were laws to the effect that hugging so to speak was no longer legal, but they hugged anyway. While all this was going on in the apostles’ lives, they were instructed by the Holy Spirit to pray for the people who made up these Godless laws. 1Tim. 2:1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. God’s ways are not our ways. The Lord’s way brings everyone to a place of decision. Will we obey God or not?
      We will need to make decisions throughout our life whether or not we are going to do what God asks of us. In some countries, our brothers and sisters in Christ are paying for their obedience to the Lord with their lives. Others are being abused and jailed. They have chosen to reach out through Christ to hug, love, bless, and help whoever needs it regardless of the inventions of oppressive laws. They continue to obey God’s directives because His word is life-giving. We who live in a relatively peaceful environment need to pray for our lawmakers so that God can move their hearts to do the will of the Lord. Prov. 21 :1 The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; He guides it wherever He pleases. May we continue to be a blessing wherever we can by holding fast to the word of truth. Amen!
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2 Comments

  1. I'm a firm believer in loving all good or bad we all come with a story and a background. Some good some bad. Hugging is a natural act of showing we care support and love 🤍

    Reply
  2. Love always. A young boy in my daughter’s 4th grade class lost his mother, and he hugged his teacher every day because he needed affection. Had she turned him away, I can’t imagine the extra pain he would have gone through. Love always matters more. God first.

    Reply

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