Jenny stopped by to get food. I felt bad because I couldn’t remember her name. But she graciously dismissed my forgetfulness and explained that she was still without a job. I reassured her that we were glad to again be able to help her and her five children. I’d invited Jenny to our fellowship many times so we could spiritually encourage her but for multiple reasons she had not come. This time I shared with her that she was a remarkable woman and that many people had come to get food from us as a result of her seeing their need and encouraging them to come. I told her that she was highly regarded in the neighborhood and that I was disappointed she had not come to our Saturday evening gatherings, not because she was missing us but rather we were missing her.
Jenny’s face radiated with joy. She declared that she would come on Saturday. That’s when the inspiration hit me, one of those ideas I think angels on special assignment plant in our brains. I shared with her that I had a large sack of cookie dough that we had not put to use. Would she be willing to make cookies we could give out to people coming in for food? Oh man, she loved that idea (as did her 12 year-old daughter). Just a few hours later, she came back with a plate of scrumptious cookies and a request for eggs. This is the kind of supply and demand I love!
Ephesians 4:29--No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.
Paul, in the passage above, teaches us not to rip people with our speech. Then he manifests affirmation. Our Lord wants us to speak so that people are encouraged. This process of building people up should be according to their needs. I think sometimes we encourage or discourage people according to our needs. We have an agenda that is self-seeking. But is this what the Lord is after? He wants our speech to affirm the needs of those listening for their gain!
There are plenty of ways to tear a person down. How much better it is to build up! Jesus constantly does this for us. Though I deserve to be punished for sin, He forgives me and loves me. There are days when I don’t even try to stop good tears from flowing because I am blown away by the vastness of God’s affirmations. How can I not then work to affirm others who just need to be reminded that they are special, like the single mom across the street who is doing her best to take care of her kids, with no work and lots of challenges.
Friend, Jesus left heaven to affirm you. He suffered unjustly to resolve you. He died to give you life and reanimated so your faith could be ignited with hope. Now if you believe this good news, trust Him with your needs and make the time this week to affirm those around you. God be praised for what will happen!
We have greater work to do here than merely securing our own salvation. We are members of the world and Church, and we must labour to do good to many. We are trusted with our Master's talents for His service, in our places to do our best to propagate His truth, and grace, and Church, and to bring home souls, and honour His cause, and edify His flock, and further the salvation of as many as we can. All this is to be done on earth, if we will secure the end of all in heaven.—Richard Baxter
©2006 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)