Devotional Readings

Never Wasted

Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days (Ecclesiastes 11:1).

In 1855 a Bible colporteur went to Toulon, France, and sold copies of the New Testament to the soldiers embarking for the Crimean War. One soldier asked him what the book might be. “The Word of God,” he said.

“Let me have it,” was the reply. Then he added with a laugh, “Now it will do very well to light my pipe.”

The colporteur was sorry and thought his efforts wasted. A year later he was working in central France and sought lodging at an inn. The family in charge were in great distress at the death of their son, who had been wounded in the Crimea and had come home to die. “But we have much consolation,” said the mother, “because he was so peaceful and happy.”

“How was that?” asked the colporteur.

“He said he found all his comfort in one little book that he always carried with him.”
The colporteur asked to see it, and was brought a copy of the New Testament. The last twenty pages had been torn out, but on the inside of the cover were these words: “Received at Toulon [with the date]; despised, neglected, read, believed, and found salvation.” The place and date were recognized by the colporteur.

All your acts, words, and thoughts will return to you sometime, somewhere. The great river of time may seem to carry away all the precious fruit of your hard labor, but do not despair or cease to cast your bread upon the rolling waters. Somewhere it will feed the hungry.

Put your heart into the Lord’s service; give your energy, your enthusiasm, your time, your treasure, your love, to Him. “Cast thy bread upon the waters.” God will watch over it, and the day will come when you will find it again on some far shore or near at hand.

MEDITATION PRAYER: “Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord: give me understanding according to thy word” (Psalm 119:169).

from The Promises of God
H.M.S. Richards | Review & Herald (2004)
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