Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Daily Devo - Tuesday, 06/30/2009

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you,
because your faith is proclaimed in all the world."
Romans 1:8 (ESV)

For several years I lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Christians within the Western Michigan area sometimes refer to it as "little Jerusalem" because of its numerous churches. Though no place can beat our current hometown, my family enjoyed our time in Grand Rapids. Its generational godly heritage has provided many blessings. Christian bookstores, book publishers, and religious radio stations abound.

Long before I met my wife, and long before she came to the United States, she had heard about Grand Rapids. As a child living in the remote areas of North East India, she would save money to purchase coveted Christian books. Those books she could not afford to buy were borrowed from pastors and friends. She began to notice something similar in many of the books; many of them said "Printed in Grand Rapids, Michigan". To those of us in the States, we understand that Grand Rapids is home to a number of Christian publishing companies (Baker, Zondervan, Kregels, & Eerdmans; not to mention the publishing ministry of Radio Bible Class). This little girl from India dreamed of what Grand Rapids must be like. In her cultural context, there were few Christians around. But in her hand was proof that there was a place where Christianity was the norm. She once told me that she used to think that "Grand Rapids must be something like heaven."

It certainly is no heaven, and many years later--as we made a home in that city for over 15 years--she discovered its sins and flaws. But what is remarkable is the way God has blessed those who stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ--whether a person, a congregation, or an entire city.

What an honor it is to have a reputation for godliness. Pray that you may have such a reputation.


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