Thursday, December 13, 2007

Luke 3:11 Part 2

Ok, so here is the rest.

As I was reflecting on these memories from years past, I recalled how excited everyone was to hear the stories Greg would tell when he returned from his trips. We were always amazed at how God worked out the details. Then it occured to me that we should be telling stories like this to each other all year long, not just at Christmas. God is always working out the details. We should have stories to tell, because we should be blessing others all year long. God is ready and willing to lead us to the right person to bless everyday in all of our encounters. I know that often I am just too busy to take time to listen to Him.
In fact, he commands us to bless others in our lifestyle. Having recently been baptized (That's a story for another post) these particular verses stood out to me.

Luke 3:7-11 says;
"John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
10"What should we do then?" the crowd asked.
11John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same."

The commentary on these verses on Bible Gateway says that true repentance is a matter of the heart and results in change in everyday behavior. It also says that John makes it clear that he is not interested in their being baptized merely to participate in a sacred rite, but that the act represents and should point to a new way of responding to God. John preaches that the one who pleases God seeks to serve others.

I would add - not to just serve others at one particular time of year, but everyday.
This is a challenge that I am giving to myself. I certainly have more that one coat and more than enough food (there is much evidence of that in my weight LOL). I want to spend the upcoming year seeking God's direction for people to bless that will allow me to share "Christmas Blessing" stories all year long.

One of the ways I am going to start is by helping with a project a family friend is working on in a school in Kentucky. You may recall some of the children from that school being featured on American Idol this past year on the "Idol Gives Back" show. Needless to say, they have not received all of the help they were promised. When I spoke to the lady working on missions projects for this area this past week, she mentioned that when they visited this area of Kentucky this past November, some of the children there were excited to get a toothbrush because they did not have one.

Yes, there are many less fortunate out there who need someone to listen to God's prompting to share from your abundance. My challenge to myself and anyone reading is to set a goal to bless someone else all year long. This is how the spirit of Christmas can be experienced everyday of the year.


Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

So true.

Interesting that you finished this like this today. God gave me some verses this morning that go along with this.

Have a great weekend!

Carol said...

Great challenge! Great idea!

Marybeth said...

Amy-- our family received our blessing from your family and are so thankful for your willingness to reach out to another family!! Thanks so much-- our "surprise" arrived safely on Saturday. Just wanted you to know that.

DeAnna said...

What a great message! How true it is that we "forget" to bless others during the rest of the year. Thanks for the reminder to have that ever-present in my daily life.