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Feeding the Birds

Daily Devotional for June 27, 2022

Read: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

  using  
Bible version changes do not affect the Key audio or "Today's Key Verse," below.

"Grandma, why do you have so many different kinds of bird feeders?" Kenneth asked as he and his grandmother filled the bird feeders in her yard. "Wouldn't one be enough?"

"Well, Ken, if every bird were the same, one kind of bird feeder would be enough. But God, in His wisdom and creativity, made all kinds of birds for us to enjoy, and He created them with different needs and preferences. Finches, for instance, usually like to perch on bags filled with black thistle seed. Bluebirds like to feed from trays or dishes. And hummingbirds like the sweet sugar nectar we fill their feeders with."

"Wow," said Kenneth. "That's really cool!" He went to his school library the next day to check out some books on birds.

Later that week, Kenneth and his grandmother discussed the pastor's sermon on their way home from church. "What did he mean when he said we need to tailor the gospel to meet our neighbor's needs?" Kenneth asked.

"Well, remember when we were filling the bird feeders and talked about each bird's needs?" asked Grandma. "Sharing the gospel with our friends is a lot like feeding birds--you can't just throw out one kind of seed and assume that's what all of them can eat. Just like you need to learn how God created each bird and what they like to eat, you have to listen and learn what's important to your friends--such as what they like to do or what their fears and hurts are. Are all your friends the same?"

"No," Ken said. "Some do sports, and some like band or theater. Some have divorced parents, or someone in their family is really sick and in the hospital."

"Exactly," said Grandma. "You can share the good news of Jesus, which never changes, by taking an interest in the things your friends like or where they are hurting. Remember how Jesus often taught in parables? He shared God's truth through stories about farmers, housewives, and shepherds, because that was what people knew."

"I get it!" Kenneth said. "Tomorrow I'm going to tell my friend who's feeling lonely that Jesus wants to be his friend forever."

"Good for you, Ken! Now let's go fill some bird feeders."

-Joni Spears

HOW ABOUT YOU?
How can you share the gospel with your friends? Even though the good news of Jesus never changes, the way you share it might. Do you have a friend who likes sports? Tell them Jesus is the best coach they could ever have. Do you know someone who’s going through a hard time? Let them know Jesus cares simply by listening to them and pointing them to the hope He offers. When you know what people need, you can share Jesus in a way that speaks to them.

TODAY'S KEY VERSE: 1 Corinthians 9:22 (KJV)
I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. (NIV)

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