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The Easy Route

Daily Devotional for April 17, 2014

On clean-up day at church, Craig lingered behind while other kids went out to rake and clean the yard. I sure don't feel like helping with that, he thought. As he hesitated, the secretary came from the office with a box of bulletins.

"Is someone going to fold these?" the secretary asked pleasantly.

"I will," Craig said quickly. He began folding the bulletins, but he felt guilty for not helping with the harder work. Soon he finished the job. He glanced at the kids still busy outdoors, then left by a side door, ignoring his guilty conscience.

When Craig got home, his little brother met him at the door. "Hey, Cody, you said you'd help me with some of my work since I spent so much time helping you with your math," said Craig. "I want you to clean out my closet."

Cody shook his head. "I already helped you. I dumped your trash, so I've done enough," he declared triumphantly.

Craig scowled. "The waste basket wasn't even full," he complained.

"Well, taking out the trash was easier," replied Cody, "so that's what I did."

Mom entered the room before Craig could respond. "How did your work at church go?" she asked. "Your teacher asked you kids to rake the lawn, didn't he?Is that done already?"

"I . . . ah . . . I folded bulletins instead," Craig replied. "I got done early."

"You don't think you should go back and help finish raking?" Mom asked. Craig shrugged. "Sounds like you took the easy route," Mom said. She put her arm around Craig's shoulder. "Folding bulletins is serving God, so that's fine," she added, "unless . . . unless raking the yard is what you felt God really wanted you to do."

Craig sighed. "I didn't like it that Cody took the easy route when he dumped my trash," he admitted. "Do you think God feels that way, too?"

"Talk to Him about it. He's very forgiving," said Mom. "And when your class helps next week, why don't you volunteer to help with any and all the jobs?"

Feeling relieved, Craig nodded. "Okay," he agreed.

Cody had been listening to the discussion. "Does that mean I have to clean Craig's closet, too?" he asked with a frown. "No way!"

Mom and Craig laughed together. "Only if you feel guilty," Craig suggested.

Do you choose to serve God only when tasks seem easy or fun? Anything you do for the Lord—even the easy tasks—is a way of serving Him. But don’t just choose the easy route. Be willing to do anything you believe God wants you to do, whether easy or hard. If a job seems too overwhelming, perhaps you can enlist others to help. Then do your work with enthusiasm and cheerfulness. God’s Word encourages you not to be weary of doing good, for you will reap a reward.

TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Romans 12:11 (KJV)
(Be) not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.
*Verse displayed is NKJV

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