Sunday, February 15, 2015

Giving to Give

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."  (NIV) Galatians 6:9
This past week had many "feel good" things attached to it.  It was the week that our nation called "Random Acts of Kindness" week.  The focus of this week is to encourage people to do little things for people to share goodness and kindness.  I've also seen this going around Facebook as well, doing random acts of kindness for others.  It certainly is a nice thing to focus our actions to helping and assisting others.  Then there was Valentine's Day yesterday, a time for us to reflect on those that we love and let them know how much they mean to us.  All of these things are certainly good and wonderful to participate in - it's important to be kind and share love with others.
There are many people who state that these types of things are "commercialized" and that we shouldn't "participate" in these activities.  My aim here is not to take one position or another.  Personally, I love every opportunity I get to do these types of activities.  My aim this week is to challenge us - to challenge us to do good - regardless of the occasion or holiday.  Take the time to share with others the gifts or talents that we have to make their lives just a little bit brighter, a little bit better. 
I am sure each of us has had the opportunity to "do a little something" for someone - maybe someone close to us that we love very much and surprise them with a treat or a special thought.  Maybe it was a chance to give to a total stranger who is in need or who needed a bit of a "pick me up".  It is important to do these types of things, to do good.  Why?  Well first of all, because the Bible tells us to, as we see Paul telling us this week in our Bible Verse.  Paul helps us to understand that we might get tired of doing good things, but not to give up, not to stop.  Have you ever been in that position - when you try to do some good things but it takes its toll on you?  Maybe you volunteer at a charitable organization and doing it "one more time" will be a struggle during a long week.  Maybe you help a loved one or visit on a regular basis, but you are tired with all of your other responsibilities.  Maybe it's the outlook that you KNOW you should be doing something, but don't know where to start.
I have had those same feelings.  I struggle with this as I believe I should be DOING more, stretching myself.  Yet, the week is full of long days at work and ensuring I provide warm meals for my family.  That alone exhausts me - and then there are the other things that need to get done.  There are times I have said to myself, "maybe I should stop the weekly Bible Studies, or the Blogging, or  . . . .".  Yet, as Paul says, by continuing forth we will reap a harvest.  The reaping is so rewarding and so full of blessings, that it helps us to move forward, to not give up.  Whether it is a small note of encouragement from one of you, whether it is delving into a Bible verse with our friends and seeing the true joy our Lord provides, the blessings are there and abundant.
This past June, I began a small step in this venture.  I wanted to write a "note a day" to a different person at work - someone who may have needed encouragement, someone who did a great job, someone just because.  I thought - "I'll do this for three months and see what happens".  I ended up doing it until the end of December!!  I wrote over 100 notes.  They weren't long, just a small note card.  But boy, did Jesus provide a harvest for me!!  With each note went a little prayer, of concern, of hope, of thanksgiving.  I know I was blessed much more than those who received the notes.  It opened the door for conversations, for prayers together, for love to be shared, and for hope to be given.  People cried when they got the note, sharing they had never received something like that before.  A hand-written note. 
I stopped this effort in December - and thought back on each person I wrote to.  My life was truly blessed.  Yes, it took time - time I thought I didn't have some days.  Yet, when I read our verse for today, I know it is time to start again - to move my notes past those at work - others who may be in need of a note.  Why?  Because I don't want to grow weary in doing God's will, and the harvest was truly bountiful.  Let's pray together:  Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gifts and talents you have given to us.  May we share them with others to provide the kindness and love you want all your children to feel.  We know that these efforts bring us a large harvest that is only given to us by you.  May we extend the hand of giving to receive your bountiful gifts.  In your gracious name we pray, AMEN

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Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope we can share how God's grace has been life changing and that SIMPLE FAITH, getting back to a life that is rooted in the basics, can truly set us free to achieve so much in our lives.