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Clowning Around

October 24, 2013
by John Stuart   —   Audio controls are below the devotional to listen to this devotional or to hymn music while you read

1 Corinthians 4:10 – We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honoured, we are dishonoured! (NIV)

Every year during the months of December and January, the circus used to put on their winter performances in my hometown of Glasgow, Scotland. It was a great treat, and although our family could not afford it every year, we usually went every second or third year. I was always astounded by the whole spectacle: the colours, the lights, the music, and the incredible acts. It was a wonderful experience, and just thinking about it now still brings a smile to my face.

Like every other boy that I knew who visited the circus, I wanted to be a clown. I wanted to make people laugh by dressing up in silly clothes, putting on outrageous wigs, wearing a white, made-up face with a red button nose that flashed. I remember thinking that if I could be a clown, then my life would be complete, and I would enjoy the sounds of laughter for the rest of my days.

I did become a clown in later years: I fooled around with alcohol and made the gutter my circus ring. You could see me stagger around downtown Glasgow on Friday and Saturday nights and watch my silly antics. I thought it was cool and a lot of fun, but strangely enough, no one was laughing. I was a drunken fool and a real messed-up person. I was completely lost to myself, my family, even my community.

And then God afflicted me and brought me home to Christ. He turned my wayward life around and let me become a preacher — a clown for Christ. He gave me a faith that would make me look foolish in the eyes of the world, but wise in His kingdom. Through it all, I have learned this: God has a great sense of timing, purpose, and, of course, humour!

Questions for personal reflection:

When did I become a Christian? What did God do in my life to make it so?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You for the opportunity to serve and worship You with our lives. Build up our hearts and spirits so that we may become wise in Your ways, even though the world sees us as fools of faith. In Your holy name, we happily pray. Amen.


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Listen while you read: "Thy Way Not Mine O Lord" (Lyrics)

About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful encouragement John.


    I am always so grateful for your devotionals. God bless you.


    Amazing Grace! Thanks for sharing this lovely devotional. I trust it will touch many readers. Blessings in Him.


    Thank you so much for sharing. I am sure that you have brought many people to our Lord.
    (PEI)


    Dear John
    That’s a big Amen Brother!
    Blessings.


    Thank you, John, “a clown for Christ”.
    Your messages and art remain an inspiration to those of us who read and see them.


    Well done! God blessed you with faith and becoming His preacher and all of us with your wisdom and your gift of writing and spreading His Word. I enjoy all of your Devotionals. Please keep writing.


    I liked the prayer about building u our spirit and mind that we would be fools for Christ. This used to be my story. I’v unfortunately become occupied with myself. Lord, forgive me.


    Dear Sir,
    God bless u for sharing the turn around moment in your life.
    His grace is sufficient!
    Thank you.


    Dear John,
    I am always impressed with your honesty and your careful attention to the spirit of the scripture.
    Blessings.


    Dear John Stuart,
    When did I become a Christian? What did God do in my life to make it so?
    Maybe you could write another devotional to answer these questions.
    Whatever, I’m glad Jesus moved you “from the guttermost to the uttermost.” May he keep you, and all of us, growing in relationship with himself according to your prayer.
    Keep writing.


    Good Morning Rev. Stuart:
    Such a sad life turned around by “A Touch of The Master’s Hand”. God blessed you and in doing so has blessed the lives of many because of your faithfulness to Him and His glorious word.
    Thank you so much for always presenting the Gospel to the world and assuring us God can change lives and make one a new person when they claim Him as their Lord and Master of their lives. (Leaving their old life styles behind.).
    Have a blessed week and a wonderful fall and winter season.


    My elder sister’s birthday was in December, so we always had a trip to the circus as her special treat.
    It wasn’t so much fun for me, however, hay fever came on from the straw, my eyes were red and I couldn’t stop sneezing!
    Thanks for the images and for the thought-provoking question.
    At past 70, I am still trying to figure out where I am in God’s circus… an interesting metaphor!
    (BC Canada)


    Dear John; How wonderful to hear you too were delivered from the strongholds of alcohol. I too had the same type of life until HE touched me many years ago. I too had scots parents, though I was born and raised in Ontario Canada. I am writing this to encourage you to share your testimony as this is how we over come him Rev. 12:11; by the blood of the lamb.


    HI John,
    Thanks for the devotional and testimony to God’s grace.
    Give God the praise.


    John for sharing you testimony of victory in Christ.

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