Daily Devotional

For Jun 30, 2015 ← Return

Looking Unto Jesus

Average reading time is about 1 and a half minutes
AN AMAZING FACT:  Abolition of the slave trade in England was delayed for more than 10 years because five pro-abolitionist parliamentarians were at the opera when the vote was being taken.

William Wilberforce had been working tirelessly for years toward one goal: the abolition of the slave trade in England. In 1796, he felt as if the tide had finally turned in his favor. When he brought the bill before parliament, as he did every year of his political career, he nervously awaited the vote.

Sadly, the pro-abolition side fell short by four votes. Lamenting later in his diary, Wilberforce wrote, “Enough at the Opera to have carried it.” It turns out those parliamentarians were attending the opening night of the comic opera I Dui Gobi (The Two Hunchbacks). Unfortunately, it would not be until 1807 that the bill finally passed. During that time, hundreds of thousands of slaves lost their lives.

It is no wonder that David wrote in the book of Psalms, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes” (Psalm 101:3). The Hebrew word for “wicked” is actually a little less extreme than this, however. It literally means “worthless,” or that which doesn’t have any real value. Yet how many times do we, like those parliamentarians, set worthless things before our eyes when people all around us are hurting, dying, and desperately needing our help? How many times do we turn on the TV or watch a movie when there are much bigger issues going on that God wants to involve us in?

God graciously invites us to look “unto Jesus” instead. (See Hebrews 12:2). It is there that we will find all that is lovely and, in response, we will seek to live as He lived.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
- Philippians 4:8

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