Love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless — cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything.
(I Peter 4:8-11, The Message)
Sometimes we don’t know where to start and life gets in the way of us sharing our gifts with others. What if our house is a mess? What if we are struggling to make ends meet and are overwhelmed with responsibilities for our own families? What do we have to offer to those around us who are hungry, homeless, lonely, or needy in some other way? How do we recognize them?
I’ve been very aware of the generosity of God’s people in my life recently. After declining for several years with dementia, my mother passed away a couple of weeks ago. At the end of one particularly long day, I came home to discover that someone had prepared a meal for our family (and there were lots of leftovers for additional meals.) Encouraging words, prayer, and stories about Mom have helped us through the process of grieving the loss.
Ask God to help you recognize the gifts that He has given you to share in His name, and to open your eyes to the ways that you can exercise these unique gifts. Here are just a few ideas:
Share a meal or go for a walk with someone who is lonely.
Hang out with families for a couple hours one evening when we host temporarily homeless families at Hope Church with Families Moving Forward June 28-July 4.
Help a missionary family find housing and a car to use for the next couple of months, or host an international student in your home during July and August.
Pray for Muslim neighbors during Ramadan, June 18 – July 17,
Peggy Turnbull, Missions Coordinator