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A woman was driving to work when she saw two homeless men lounging on the sidewalk. She stopped at the curb, where the homeless men had stationed their two worn shopping carts.

As she lowered the window on the passenger’s side, one of the men got up and walked toward her car. The other man continued sitting, looking at her with listless eyes.

Sir, would you like a sandwich?” she asked. She smiled and held out the sandwich to him. His eyes, which were set on a wrinkled, sun-scorched face lit up. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” he mumbled excitedly as he reached out and accepted the simple gift. “God bless you,” the woman said as she departed.

The woman made the offer to both men, without any partiality. In the same way, God’s grace and blessings are offered without discrimination or favoritism, for His love is free for all. But one homeless man received the gift, the other one did not. What marked the difference?

One arose.

When Elijah was fleeing from Jezebel, he fell exhausted under a tree. An angel brought him food, commanding him to "arise and eat" (1 Kings 19:5). When Jonah was in the middle of the storm, the captain said to him, "Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish" (Jonah 1:6). When Jesus healed the paralytic, he said, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” (Mark 2:11). When the three disciples fell asleep in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus rebuked them, “Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation" (Luke 22:46). When Paul was being converted, Ananias urged him, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

We must rise. We need to show our willingness to learn from God and our desire to receive His blessings by taking action.

These actions can be small adjustments in our daily lives, or life-altering transformations to our lifestyle. We can rise to prayer with a sincere heart. We can rise to fellowship with other brothers and sisters at spiritual events, such as Sabbath, Spiritual Convocations, or National Youth Theological Seminar. We can rise to an opportunity by sharing a moving passage, a joyful hymn or a word of comfort.

How will you rise today?


            Questions for Reflection:

 What is one thing that deters you from arising today?

What is one way you can help a close friend to rise up today?

Author: Liliana Chan