The holidays present ample opportunities to serve in your local community. Whether you work a soup kitchen or rake leaves for the elderly, its no secret that helping others at Christmastime is a hallmark of the season.
It's also no secret that when we shower others with blessings, we are displaying our gratitude for all the blessings bestowed upon us.
Genesis 12:2 says, “I will bless you, and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.”
This week, in addition to my normal study and prayer time, I am committing to 30 minutes a day to settle in let someone come to mind that needs something very specific. I'll take a few minutes to pray and ask for God to lead and guide my thinking about who needs prayer, a call, or a tangible item. Then, I'll be obedient to sit in silence and be thankful for His presence. And I'll make the call, visit, purchase, or action necessary to fulfill my promise.
I have been so blessed in health, career, family, and love and I want to pass it along in as many ways as possible. Sometimes it is with something intentional, like the 7 Days of Gratitude. But every day, I pray that God change my heart so that my intentional behaviors are more natural behaviors.
Here is my commitment:
1) Who is dreading the holidays? What care package can I put together that will be welcoming and not condescending or patronizing? Should it be mailed or hand delivered? What will have the effect that will lead them to Jesus?
2) Who is depressed or sad? Do they need a phone call or a visit? How can I best be a listening ear? What does reaching out look like in order to maintain dignity and respect?
3) Who needs to be invited to church? Will it come up in natural conversation or should I prepare for an all-out evangelistic cold invite? (Lord, we introverts need a special nudge, here). How can I pray for the preacher who will serve so many more than they already do?
4) Who needs a meal or some homemade baked goods? Is anyone suffering in a way that prevents them from the joy of cooking or baking where I can provide surrogate joy for a period?
5) Who would enjoy getting a handwritten letter or card in the mail? What do I need to say? Do they need laughter, transparency, an apology, or encouragement?
6) Who needs to get out of the house? Is it coffee, lunch, a movie, shopping or an overnight? Do they simply need a visitor to eat pizza and play a board game?
7) Lord, let me be open to the possibility of any needs right now. Help me put my needs absolutely last and focus on the suffering, the needy, the cold, the lonely. Point me in the direction of a stranger or friend and let them be my neighbor in Jesus. Open my ears and my eyes to what you desire.
Will you join me for 7 days of gratitude through listening and serving? What specific items will you pray for?