Daily D – Romans 12:6-8
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (NIV)
And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. (NLT)
. . . if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face. (The Message)
Whose life do you want to fix? Can you do it cheerfully? Can you do it without irritability? Can you do it without carrying unnecessary weight? Can you do it with joy? If you can, do it. If you can’t, help someone else do it who can.
A man in the community where I grew up was going through a hard time. He had surgery and couldn’t work. There were no government programs to take care of people like that. Instead, people took care of one another. A couple of the men who worked with us boys at church took us along to deliver groceries to this man’s family.
We were welcomed into a small home which quickly became crowded. The wife and kids looked like they were having as hard of a time as the man who had surgery. He came out in his bathrobe and sat at the kitchen table. We presented our gifts of groceries and our leader addressed the man and his family with some kind and gentle words.
After a couple of awkward moments, we said our goodbyes and returned to the church.
For some reason, this memory is in black and white like an old television show.
Today we will deliver gifts and groceries to a family who is likewise going through a tough time. There are several children in the home. I’m pretty sure this will be a day full of color and laughter. There may be a tear or two.
A pastor called a couple of days ago. His small church is struggling. The congregation is aging and dwindling. The pastor is Bivocational and is paying the church’s bills out of his own resources. He is $400 short of paying his own mortgage. He will be evicted tomorrow if he can’t come up with the money.
Two pastors in his area have come to his rescue. One knows of additional resources to help him and his congregation in the months ahead. The pastor would like to open his church facility to another congregation looking for a place to meet. The neighborhood is shifting and he wants those who speak the native language of his new neighbors to join him in serving the community.
Today, one pastor will serve another pastor and one congregation will empower another congregation.
Once upon a time, a young man and his wife who was great with child needed a place. They ended up in just about the last place you would want to be in such a situation. We are not sure if the space was offered gladly or grudgingly, but we know that a string of events soon took place that filled the skies and the rooms and the whole wide world with everlasting joy.
You never know when one act of kindness will lead to salvation and set off a celebration now and forever.
We can turn these black-and-white days into technicolor joy when we serve with gratitude and gladness.
I will use what God has placed in my hand to serve others with responsibility and gladness.
Our Father, you have blessed us so richly. Empower us to serve others who need an act of kindness gladly delivered. Empower us to live in such a giving manner whenever you give us the opportunity to extend your grace, mercy, and love with delight. Amen.
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Psalm 32:7-9 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
Exodus 39:42, 43 So the people of Israel followed all of the Lord’s instructions to Moses. Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them.
Exodus 33:13 “If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”
Exodus 31:1-5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!”