July 21

Encouragement for Today

 

“Summer Vacations”

Sharon Glasgow, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

 

Luke 10: 27, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (NKJV)

 

Devotion:

 

My favorite childhood vacations were trips to our relatives, the Caleys.  They lived in Indiana; we lived in Virginia so the trip was long, but well worth every second of traveling.  The legacies I gleaned from this family have made an eternal difference in my life.

 

We didn’t have enough money to travel so my uncle would always send money for the gas, the food, and a motel if we needed one. He was a farmer and schoolteacher, so he didn’t have a lot of money, but he sacrificed his needs for ours for the sake of our families spending time together.

 

Before we could even get out of the station wagon, everybody was in the car hugging and crying. Uncle Bob was the first to start the sobbing and then we all followed his lead.  He squeezed us all as if he’d never seen us before and then would pull out his handkerchief, wipe his face, and tell us to shape up and get in the house for dinner!

 

It was a modest farmhouse, no air conditioning, three small bedrooms, and a bathroom. The kitchen was small, but despite its size, Aunt Gaye-Lynn knew how to turn out a feast that could have served a royal army.   The smells and sight of food overflowing in bountiful portions was not only a feast for the stomach but also our tender hearts.

 

Who could sleep on those first nights? In the hot attic bedroom, all of us cousins squished together like sardines, giggling and talking for hours.  Daybreak brought bean picking and stringing.  While we were stringing those beans, I remember overhearing Gaye talking to Mom about establishing a godly home and thinking, one day I want to be just like them.

 

Uncle Bob and Aunt Gaye were and are to this day the most influential people in my spiritual life.  What made Uncle Bob special was that he was the in-law.  He married my mom’s sister and she died after their four children were born.  He then married Gaye and wanted his children to keep the family ties, so he did everything in his ability to keep the family traditions flourishing.

 

He taught me unconditional love; we had nothing to offer him, but he treated us as if we were royalty. He used what little money he had to give us summer vacations while forfeiting his own needs. He taught me about family priorities and how important traditions are within the family. He lives out his love for Christ. You can see by the way he lives that he loves God with all of his heart, with all of his soul, with all of his strength and with all of his mind, and he faithfully and passionately loves others as himself.

 

Summer vacations in Indiana were not only memorable, they also created indelible legacies.   What kind of family legacies are you creating by the way you live?

 

My Prayer for Today:

 

Dear Lord, help me to live out the greatest commandment, to love You with all my heart, soul and mind and love others as myself.  May You be glorified through my actions. Help me to see through Your eyes the needs of my family and to follow through on what You reveal to me.  Amen.

 

Application Steps:

 

  1. Loving God with all your heart, soul and mind means daily seeking Him and spending time with Him.
  2. The more time you spend with Him in worship, prayer and His Word, the more His attributes become yours.
  3. He will give you His abilities to love unconditionally and abundantly.

 

Reflection Points:

 

What legacies are you creating for future generations to say about how you lived your life?

 

Are you blessing others with your actions?

 

Do people see Christ living in you?

 

When you do unto others as you would for yourself, blessings follow in your path. Do you see a trail of blessings behind you?

 

Power Verses:

 

Hebrews 13:15, “Therefore by Him lest us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (NKJ)

 

1 John 3:16-18, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and see his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.” (NKJ)

 

Additional Resources:

 

Message of the Month Club

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/resourceMessage.htm

 

The Best of Proverbs 31 Ministry, by Selected Authors

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_bestP31.htm

 

Intimate Moments with God, by Selected Authors

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_intimateMoments.htm