1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 (NIV)

7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 9 Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

DEVOTION – Ernest D. Brame (North Carolina)

God brought my good friend Dulyn into my life around the time of my father’s death in 1993.  Inside I was an emotional mess.  Dulyn and I were at a business meeting when we had an opportunity to have dinner alone.  He knew my father had died recently.  He looked at me squarely and said, “You’re not handling it well.”  Right in the middle of the restaurant, all the grief  that I had been bottling up inside came out.

Because a friend and mentor loved me enough to care, I was able to begin the healing process and to begin moving on in life without my father.  I loved Dulyn and he knew it.  He was the iron that sharpened me at a vulnerable time in my life.

Probably we have all had Christian mentors in our lives.  Equally important is God’s call to be mentors.  As we appreciate the people around us, let us also remember that God calls us to be Christ for one another.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: To whom is God calling me to reach out?

PRAYER: Dear Father, help us to recognize the opportunity to love and to be loved in your name.  Amen.