Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Christmas in February

These past six weeks, the ladies in our Bible Study have seen God at work in some amazing ways.  The first week of this Winter Bible Study, we had a lady come for the first time.  Within a few minutes, she shared that she had chosen to be a follower of Jesus just two months earlier and wanted to learn more.  After checking to see if she needed a Bible, she told us that the friend who introduced her to Jesus had given her one.  God began blessing and challenging us through our new friend’s enthusiasm and delight in the Lord.  When our leader called to see if she had any questions about the homework for the week, she found out that our friend had already finished the lessons because she was so eager to be in God’s Word.

The second week, we met in small groups to discuss the homework from the previous week.  Because of our new friend’s response to one of the questions, other questions of interest were asked to her by members of our group.  We found out that, due to unforeseen circumstances, she had moved from another state with just her car, pets, and a few belongings.  She needed to wait until the end of February to get on her feet and move into her apartment so in the meantime she was staying with a friend.  If we had rushed past the initial question, on to the next one, we might have missed an opportunity to learn of our friend’s needs.

As the weeks progressed, one of our Bible Study members mentioned that she was in the process of combining three homes worth of belongings.  She had some furniture and kitchen items and other things she would love to give our friend.  After asking her to make a list of what she needed, others stepped up with things they would donate.  Since the other ladies also wanted to give, we decided to have a surprise shower with additional needed items as well as gift cards.  We knew we would not get everything, but it would definitely give her a head start.  This past week, we could hardly wait to get to Bible Study and surprise our friend with her gifts.  It was like Christmas in February.

Last week, Larry and I met with a friend for an hour after I finished Bible Study.  At the end of the time, Larry asked if I wanted him to check and see if they were still serving lunch at the church.  I usually go home to eat, but due to the later time I welcomed eating there.  At the end of lunch, a lady came and asked Larry if he knew anyone who could use some bedroom furniture that she wanted to give away.  I immediately thought of our friend.  Because we were late in going to eat, we happened to be there at the time that the request was made.  Otherwise, Larry would have eaten earlier and been gone by that time.

With all the furniture and other items being stored, our friend needed help moving to the apartment.  After contacting Deacon Jim, he sent out a request and had four fellow deacons volunteer to go to the places where the furniture was stored and move it.  One deacon even took his young son to help in the process.

What one person could not have easily done, God used a team of his children to joyfully accomplish together.  There were sweet blessings that came from asking additional questions to a response and not rushing just to make sure that all the questions were answered for the lessons for the week.  Even a delayed lunch reaped more than one benefit.  And what a beautiful picture of deacons serving others along with a young boy being taught firsthand the blessing of giving and helping.

“Father, teach us to be quick to see and listen with a heart like yours and then to respond.”

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
Acts 20:35

What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.
I Corinthians 2:12

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 7:12 

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. 
Proverbs 22:6 

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