Dead Pencils

"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:17).

My children hated pencils without erasers. Being a thrifty homeschool parent, however, I couldn't understand the thought of throwing away perfectly good pencils just because they didn't have an eraser. Purposely, I left these "partial performance pencils" in the supply cabinet; however, each morning when we started to homeschool, I would hear my children rummaging through the pencil can until they found a pencil with at least part of an eraser. Even though I bought new replacement erasers to put on the ends, nothing changed. The substitute erasers would crack or fall off within a few days, and unfortunately, I had to admit my children were right. There was simply no use for a pencil that couldn't write and erase.

Like pencils without erasers, so are Christians who have lost their saltiness. Christ tells us in Matthew 5:13 and 16 that we are the salt of Earth, and we should demonstrate our faith in Christ to the world through acts of love and service. If we don't, we are as useless as salt without taste or pencils without erasers. "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men" (Matthew 5:13).

What about you? Are you known like Dorcas in Acts 9:36b for being "full of good works and almsdeeds?" Even though your days may be full as a homeschooling parent, God still desires for you to share your faith with your hands, as well as your lips. Why not let the Lord use you today to bless someone in need? "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:17-18).

Lord, so many days my energy is gone after homeschooling, and I have nothing left to give to anyone else. Give me the desire to see the needs of others and fill me with Your strength to reach out in love. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Comments(12 comments)

ELISHA H 01/11/2011 05:23:52

Thank you for the reminder!

CLAUDENE S 01/11/2011 08:01:06

Good point!

AMANDA W 01/11/2011 08:27:12

It is challenging to be a homeschool mom with four small children and balance other things outside of that and ministries within the church. This was timely. I was just thinking this morning about how I need to send a lady in our church a care package to let her know she is loved and thought about. She has been deployed to Afganistan for a least a year. In your prayers today remember Melody Moshkowski. Blessings to all.

Linda N 01/11/2011 09:58:16

I too am a busy mom of seven children. I feel like a lot of times my business gets in the way of worship time. My new years resolution was to get into the word more. May we all see more that we can do to encourage and help others. May God bless all of you at AOP and we thank you for the Daily focus. I save all of them in a folder so I can view them again later. God bless you and thank you again. When we have children our lives get a lot busier but we need to remember to always count our blessing, and make the most of our time together. We never know what tomorrow holds for us. God bless. LGN

Jody F 01/11/2011 13:32:56

Thank you so much for today\'s devotion. It seems we as homeschooling moms can never have a day of idleness or we\'ll be twice as far behind tomorrow. I know that God expects me to still have time for Him and to minister to the needs of others. Sometimes we beat ourselves up over not having done some gigantic thing for someone when in fact a kind word, a special note, a small favor or a special prayer would be all it takes to change someones day and make all the difference.

LINDA C 01/11/2012 04:59:10

Jody... you are so right...Sometimes we beat ourselves up over not having done some gigantic thing for someone when in fact a kind word, a special note, a small favor or a special prayer would be all it takes to change someones day and make all the difference. Thank you for the reminder.

PHYLLIS W 01/11/2012 06:42:50

It is ok to not get it all done but not giving back to God is not ok, so I pray while I drive, I read my Bible or devotional while I wait, I go through my prayer list while my girls are doing their home work. I love God so so much that I will not leave Him out of my day!!!!

As for service for God, I find that difficult too, I want to do more, but my service and ministry is also at home so ladies, God know the work we are doing at home and that glorifies Him too!!!!

CHEYENNE H 01/11/2012 09:12:44

Thank you for the reminder! This seems to apply to many areas of our lives, where we seem to accept the untruth that we are given just so much energy or time in the day that we cannot possibly add one more item to our \"busy\" schedules; yet, in fact, we have an example of Christ ministering to one more crowd or one more choice encounter that changes the course of that persons life. May we strive to remain open to the Lord\'s promptings of sacrifice and service. He will bring the energy, peace and rest and more than likely, return it to us \"pressed down, shaken together and running over.\"

LISA A 01/11/2012 11:00:50

I get anxiety that I am not in the community enough and my children are not that social even though they have done karate, are in an homeshchool options program with other kids once a week, were volunteers for kids church for 2 years, they still are home bodies and not very social, (like their father) NOT me. Friends have encourage me telling me that my ministry first starts at home with my children teaching them character, and the Word of God, memorizing scripture etc...we give to charities when we can but I guess I am saying that take courage those of you with many kids, they are your ministry right now! Teach them to have faith and to walk in God\'s Word (you have to do both) and prepare them.Jas 2:22 Do you see that the belief was working with his works, and by the works the belief was perfected? Jas 2:24 You see, then, that a man is declared right by works, and not by belief alone. Jas 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so also the belief is dead without the works.

JESSICA H 01/12/2012 06:26:48

I am new to homeschooling and I have battled the feeling of are we doing enough at church. Other families at church that homeschool are always \"doing\" things at church. We are still trying to figure out what works for our homeschool. Since we brought the kids home they have showed little interest in socializing as well. Thank you for this devotion.

Jessica H.

01/11/2013 06:18:42

Thanks for posting this. We have to remember that what works for one homeschool family may not work for another. I see a lot of us comparing our lives to others. The beauty of it is, God created us all with different gifts. Some people may really \"get out there\" and participate in several activities which minister to others, but they may not be right for others. Think of the times you may have run into an old friend at the store, and didn\'t know how much that person may have needed to bump into you on that day . . . we are ministering each and every day!! God bless!

AIDA G 01/11/2013 13:03:57

That was awesome, Thank you.

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