Posted by: pastortomvabeach | April 24, 2018

Thought for the Week April 29, 2018

A colleague of mine related a situation that happened with a member of the church he leads. A young lady caught him one Sunday morning and told him that she felt like she was in a very dry place spiritually. She wasn’t sensing God’s presence and had lost her enthusiasm about prayer, worship, and Bible study. She wanted to know how to get out of the “desert” place she was in.

He gave her what I considered to be some very wise advice. He encouraged her to ask the Lord to begin to make her aware of all of the opportunities that are all around her every day to minister to others and love them like Jesus did. His advice was also to tell the Lord that, when He showed her an opportunity, she would act on it.

This young lady accepted the challenge and prayed earnestly for such opportunities to show up. Almost immediately, she began to notice people whom she could serve. It might be someone in the check out line at the grocery store who mentions they have a headache or someone at work with their arms full who drops something and doesn’t notice or a neighbor who has a sick child or a family member stressing out over school assignments. It began to run the gamut from people she knew well all the way to complete strangers.

About two weeks after she had spoken with the pastor, she approached him after service beaming with a skip in her step. She said she had never sensed the nearness of the Holy Spirit as much as she had in the last couple of weeks. She told him that God had answered her prayer so powerfully that she would get up each day wondering in joyful anticipation what situation or what person God was going to bring across her path that day. It was as if she could almost hear Him saying, “Over there, that person needs you to serve them.” It had revolutionized her spiritual life. Prayer was exciting, the Bible was coming alive again, and she loved to worship to give thanks.

Last Sunday, I challenged everyone to test what it would be like to look for opportunities to serve others for six weeks. I confess that I got the idea from my colleague’s story. But I believe it will work. If we will follow Jesus’ model with reckless abandon, if we will sincerely watch for opportunities He places before us no matter how insignificant they may be, If we will earnestly decide that when they opportunities come, we will act, then God will surely make a way for us to serve.

I believe that if we do that, we will become much more aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence and of the very real needs of people all around us. People we have never noticed before will suddenly be come visible. Situations that fit our gift mix and make a difference for those in need will pop up out of nowhere. And your spiritual alertness will go through the roof.

So the only question is, will you do it? Paul wrote in Galatians 5:13-14, You were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” What would happen if we began to actively look for opportunities to “serve one another” and “love our neighbors as ourselves”? Is it possible we might get a chance to tell more people what Jesus has done for us? I think that might happen. What about you? Just a thought.


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