42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer… 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42, 46-47)
Our 2019-20 Ministry Year Theme is “Everyday Blessings.” This year, we hope to take inspiration from the example of the early followers of Jesus, following the helpful acronym, BLESS, as we seek to be a blessing to others, especially to those who aren’t currently enjoying a relationship with Jesus.
B - Begin with prayer. L - Listen. E - Eat. S - Serve. S – Share your faith in Jesus.
This month’s focus: S - Serve.
47 The Lord added to their daily numbers those who were being saved. There is a natural order in these steps of being a blessing to others.
If we rush to “share” or even to “serve” without first praying and listening, we take a risk. We risk not understanding the unique needs and personality of our loved one or acquaintance. We risk turning others into pet “projects,” rather than people. We risk spending more time doing things for Jesus, rather than being with and listening to Jesus. If we desire to share Jesus with others, we first need to allow him to provide the opportunity to share effectively.
If we are patient to develop a closer relationship with the person that we desire to share our faith with, we learn how to best to care for them. If we “Begin with Prayer, Listen to them, and spend time Eating with them” we come to know how to serve them best. In fact, the opportunities begin to present themselves. Many times, serving others can become the simple actions of speaking a kind word, expressing a kind gesture, or lending a listening ear, even in the midst of our busy schedules.
When we take the time to be patient, we are able to notice the big and little things that lead to the specific ways we can serve others. Here is an interesting account of what a future pastor learned in his training.
During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely,” said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘hello.’” I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.
May God continue to open your eyes to the needs of others, so that you may be “equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17), as you seek to BLESS others with His love.
God’s Peace, Pastor Kurt Ebert
- What are you already doing connected with these actions that causes you to celebrate?
- What would keep you from starting to BLESS others? How can you overcome that reluctance/challenge?