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Encouragement for Today - Apr. 28, 2008

  • 2008 Apr 28
  • COMMENTS

 

 

April 28, 2008

 

What Can I Bring?

Amy Carroll

 

  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16(NIV)

       

Devotion:

All good southern girls know that when you get an invitation to dinner at someone’s house, your affirmative response should be followed by, “And what can I bring?” (said in your kindest southern drawl). Even though your hostess might be graciously providing all of the fare, it’s just polite to ask.

 

So many times that’s not our approach to church attendance. Instead of contemplating what we can bring to the gathering, we are mostly focused on what we will get from the service. We arrive empty-handed, and often leave feeling disappointed if the music didn’t suit our tastes or the sermon didn’t move our souls.

 

Scripture tells us that we’ve got it all wrong. I truly believe that by coming to church with our hands full of gifts for others, we will leave more filled up than ever before. Let’s take a look at how we can contribute according to Colossians 3:16.

 

Teaching—Teaching requires you to be very well-versed in your subject. What a challenge for us! To come to church with something to teach, I have to study God’s Word all week. When I’ve learned personal lessons from His Word, then I have something to share.

 

Admonishing—The definition I believe most closely fits this usage is “to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement.” How can we prepare to admonish? I think prayer is key here. Often as I pray for someone, God gives me ways to encourage them or places to direct them in His Word. When we spend time listening and conversing with God during the week, He prepares us to give the gift of admonishment at church.

 

Singing—Some of you may be thinking that your singing wouldn’t be considered a gift to the church. If so, look at the phrase at the end of this verse, “with gratitude in your heart to God.” Gratitude and thanksgiving are definitely a gift in the body of Christ. If we come in with a heart that has been counting our blessings all week, we are ready to sing to Jesus. Plus, for all of us “joyful noise” folks, robust congregational singing really is a heart-lifter.

 

I’m challenging myself this week to get over my “what have you done for me lately?” view of the church. Instead, I’m going to treat Sunday morning as a spiritual potluck, and I’m working on taking something tasty to share!

 

Lord, help me to take something to share to church this week. Help me to focus on what I can do for others instead of what I can get for myself. I trust You to fill me up! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

 

Today’s P31 Radio Show

 

Welcome to Community, by Brian T. Anderson & Glynnis Whitwer

 

Visit Amy Carroll’s blog

 

Application Steps: 

Spend time reading scripture and praying this week. Ask God to fill you.

 

Ask God in your prayer time for opportunities to teach, admonish or show gratitude.

 

Reflections: 

What can I offer those in my church?

 

Have I been too preoccupied with what I receive to focus on giving?

 

Power Verses:

Luke 6:38, “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (NIV)

 

2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (NIV)

 

 

© 2008 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

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