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Suppose someone sees a brother or sister in need and is able to help them. If he doesn’t take pity on them, how can the love of God be in him? 1 John 3:17 (NIRV)

We live in difficult times. The rate of divorce is skyrocketing to the point where nearly ¾ of our children live in single-parent or blended families. The ‘American Dream’ of owning a home, which used to be ‘normal’, is fast becoming a luxury. In some major cities entire housing developments sit empty because the families that once played in their streets have been displaced.

Those discouraging facts are just a few of the travesties in our own nation. They don’t begin to talk about the starvation, political unrest, human rights violations and religious persecution seen in nations around the world.

It’s not hard to find someone in need. The hard part is finding a way to help. Most of us have enough struggles of our own to contend with. We feel inadequate or unable to really offer any meaningful help that will make a difference in the world. We can become so focused on the things we can’t do that we forget about the things we can do. We see the world problems and forget about our neighbor or the kid at school that gets picked on all the time. Or the teenager who finds herself pregnant…again.

Max Lucado, in his book “He Still Moves Stones”, tells the story of Leo Tolstoy, a great Russian writer. It seems Tolstoy was walking down the street one day and saw a beggar. Tolstoy was moved to give the man something but upon looking through his pockets found he had nothing to give the man. He reached out and put his hand on the man’s shoulder and said “Brother, I’m so sorry but I have nothing to give you.”

The beggar looked Tolstoy in the eyes. A smile crossed his face and he said, “You have given me more than I asked for, for you have called me brother.”

It doesn’t take a lot to change someone’s life, even if it’s just for a day. It may be a smile, a kind word, an encouragement. It may be choosing not to make a judgment based on the obvious. You can make a difference in your world. It doesn’t take riches or gifts or abilities. It takes love, caring and compassion. It takes realizing that you too have faults and weaknesses and, in God’s eyes, are no different than the person in the physical, spiritual or emotional gutter.

Show the love of Jesus in your world today. Show it to the person you come across who least expects it…and least deserves it. Showing the love of Jesus to others may only be a smile or a word to you, but to them it just may make their day the best day they’ve had in a long time.

PRAYER: Father God, when I look around me at all the bad stuff going on in the world I’m made aware that even in the midst of my own crisis’ I am truly blessed. I struggle with sin. I am in debt so far I may never see the light of day. I’m living under the consequences of my own failure. Still, I have something to give because I have your love within me. Show me someone today who needs your touch. Empower me with your Spirit to touch them with your love. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

 

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