Encouragement for Today - May 22, 2009
May 22, 2009
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” I Peter 4:10 (NIV)
God uses His people as messengers of hope to those in need. Every dark storm I have been through is chronicled by someone God sent to help me through it.
This past year our family experienced extreme hardships: our daughter and her husband’s baby died at birth; six weeks later she was in the hospital hemorrhaging from complications of the birth. We experienced financial stress. A dear friend of ours lost her job, found out she had cancer and needed a place to live, so she moved in with us. We had a fire on our property that burned down barns, fences and animals. We had a flood in our house…and this was not all! I cried out to God for help. He heard my cry and sent helpers.
I can imagine God sounding the alarm in heaven when we pray for His help: the angels standing to attention ready for their ministering orders, and the Holy Spirit quickly nudging people in the path of the needy saint with urgency and direction. The ones who have become accustomed to obeying the Holy Spirit’s leading quickly follow and run to help.
When we were going through our hardships, our help came in various forms through different people. Some sent money, others prepared meals, some helped with the funeral. One friend came and cleaned our bathrooms; others sent notes and cards of encouragement with verses that spoke God’s promises of hope. Friends came and helped remove rubble from the fire, while others sent gift cards to help us get through, and some even helped anonymously. Every act of grace was needed and got us through our darkest of days.
In the Bible, there are many examples of people who helped serve others faithfully. In Acts 6, we read that Stephen, a man who was martyred, was chosen to serve tables! In Acts 9, Dorcas was full of good and charitable deeds. In Exodus 17, Hur held Moses’ arm up and the battle was won. These are just a few of the servants mentioned in the Word who helped others.
God watches the servants’ hearts that follow the call and sacrifice for the needs of others, and He is well pleased. I believe all of Heaven watches and applauds the one who carries out God’s assignments. God commands everyone to serve others, but not everyone moves to action when nudged by Him.
Everyone has different abilities to help with - never underestimate what your ability is. God created you to use your ability for His glory for His people. Many people are going through hardships today. There are people in need living next door to you, working with you, going to church with you. Strangers that you meet and even your own family may be those who need help.
God’s words tell us to be constantly alert for what God wants us to do. It is required that we show love in action - not just in our words, but in deeds and in truth. When we wake in the morning, let’s ask the Lord to help us hear His voice more clearly, to have spiritual eyes to see, and to give us His ability to carry out the mission He has for us this day.
I will be forever grateful for all the grace given to our family this year. After this year, I see the urgency to keep my eyes open to God’s call to helping daily. Can you imagine what the world would look like if we all obeyed the call to serve others daily?
Dear Lord, I want to be faithful when You call me to help someone. Help my spiritual eyes and ears to become more acutely in tune with Your leading. Help me not to be so controlled by my own plans that I miss Your assignments. Thank You Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
by Mary Lance Sisk
Form or join a Gather and Grow Group to love and support those around you.
Ask the Lord daily to show you who He wants you to help.
What are your abilities? If you cook, you may need to prepare a meal.
If you have money, you may be asked to give a financial gift.
If you are a caretaker, you may need to take care of an elderly person, handicapped person or small child.
Are you a doer? You may need to accomplish a “to do” list for a hurting person.
Does God give you His Word to give others? Send cards or letters with verses that He gives for them.
There is a “Grace Epidemic” starting. People are being challenged to purposely show acts of grace. There is a website to track how far-reaching a single act of kindness can be. To be a part, visit Grace Epidemic.
How have I been helped? How can I do the same for others?
Am I prepared to help a stranger God brings to me today, wherever I am, even at the gas station or grocery store?
John 13:35 “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (NKJV)
© 2009 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105