Today’s meditation is from Rick Warren’s June 4 & 6, 2017 blogs at http://www.pastorrick.com
Every day God gives you little opportunities to show kindness to people around you. As he does, he’s watching to see if you’re going to be self-centered or if you’ll notice the people who need a word of encouragement or a pat on the back or an errand done for them or some other practical means of help.
The Bible says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” You won’t always have an opportunity to help. So when you do, take the Nike approach: Just do it! You probably have people in your life that you’ve thought about helping. You have the best intentions, but so far, you’ve done nothing. Why? You didn’t act immediately.
We make excuses. One of the most prominent: “I’ll do it when things settle down.” Guess what? Things never will. If you’re going to do any good in your life, the time is now. The Bible says, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 TLB).
Do good now because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. Jesus says, “All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, for there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end” (John 9:4 TLB).
God has assigned tasks for all of us to do in our lives; and our lives are ticking away. Don’t wait for perfect conditions. Every day, look for the opportunities God gives you to help and encourage others.
God’s Solution for Loneliness:
First, focus on the needs of others. We can choose to turn our eyes toward other people, instead of staying focused on ourselves. And we can look for specific ways to serve them.
Second, focus on your purpose. Even when the apostle Paul was isolated in a prison, he never stopped living out his purpose. He kept telling others about Jesus.
Third, focus on supporting others. Instead of thinking, “I’m so lonely,” say, “Father, help me be a friend to people who need a friend. Help me to help lonely people.” That’s an effective antidote for your own loneliness.
Proverbs 3:27 — Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. (ESV)
Ecclesiastes 11:4 — If you wait for perfect weather, you will never plant your seeds. If you are afraid that every cloud will bring rain, you will never harvest your crops. (ERV)
John 9:4 — (Jesus said), “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (NIV)
Allow me to serve others with a joyful heart;
Never keeping score;
Never expecting to receive.
Allow me to give of myself,
To give of my talents and of my goods,
To give of my time and of my energy,
To give of my heart and of my soul.
Help me understand the needs of others,
You have been so gracious to me,
Never gloating over my defeats,
Even when I have been so wrong.
Father, keep a condemning spirit
Far from my heart and further from my lips.
Allow me to serve others as You serve,
With gentleness, compassion, and tenderness,
Never diminishing the worth of another,
Choosing to extend mercy to the brokenhearted,
Like You have repeatedly shown it to me. Amen.
–by Jack Watts, at http://www.pushingjesus.wordpress.com
Here is what one woman did to help her husband. The two of the them were sitting in the living room, and the man said to his wife: “I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.” So she promptly got up, unplugged his large-screen TV, and threw out his beer.