Friends, all around us are hurting people who need our love and encouragement. Don't miss the miracle of the moment. Don't be too busy, or insensitive to the needs of those around you. Be willing to be inconvenienced. Be sensitive and pay attention to those around you, your friends, your coworkers and your relatives. Listen to what they're saying. We shouldn't miss opportunities to do good whenever situations come across our paths to bless people.
Jesus said. "When you do it to the least of one of these, it's like you're doing it unto Me," (see Matthew 25:40). Proverbs 19:17 says, "He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his good deed." When you give to those in need, you are lending to God. And God knows how to pay you back–with interest! You may not be able to give money, but you can baby sit that single mom's children. Why don't you give her a break one night? Tell her, "You go do something special for yourself. Here's a gift certificate. You go up to the mall. You go get your nails done. Our family is going to keep your children tonight."
If you see one of your friends wearing the same clothes all the time, why don't you step up to the plate and say "Let me buy you a new suit or two." Or, "Take this gift certificate and go get yourself some new clothes."
Maybe you and your family go out to eat every Sunday after church. Why don't you take a single parent family along with you? Or better yet, be a mentor to one of those young children. That doesn't take a lot of money. It just takes time and love. That just takes somebody that cares, somebody that's willing to make a difference.
I heard a story about a young boy that lived in the inner city. He was about eight years old and was very poor. One cold day, he was looking in the window of a local store admiring a pair of tennis shoes. As he stood there, cold and barefooted, a lady came along and asked,
"Young man, what are you doing staring so intently in this window?"
Shyly he said, "Well, I was just sort of praying and asking God if He'd give me a new pair of tennis shoes."
Without hesitation, the lady took him into the store and very gently and lovingly washed off his cold dirty feet. She put a brand new pair of socks on his feet. Then she told him to pick out three new pairs of tennis shoes.
The boy couldn't believe it. He was so excited! He had never owned a new pair of shoes. He'd always just worn old hand–me–downs. After she had paid for the purchase, the woman handed the shoes to the child.
"Enjoy your shoes, son," she said.
The little boy looked at her in amazement. Nobody had ever taken that kind of interest in him.
As serious as could be, with tears running down his cheeks, he said,
"Lady can I ask you a question? Are you God's wife?"
Friend, you are never more like God than when you give. You're never more like God than when you take time for people, than when you do something to bless someone else.
And not just in the big things. Learn to be good to people in your everyday life. When you stop to get a cup of coffee at work, bring your coworker back a cup, too. When traffic backs up on the freeway, let that car into the lane in front of you. At the grocery store, when you have a bunch of groceries and somebody behind you has just a few, let them go ahead of you. Or how about in the parking lot, when you pull up to that last front row parking space at the same time as another car? Why don't you back up and let them have that space?
Do you want another simple way of blessing someone? When you're at a restaurant, be a good tipper. Don't leave that server a dollar bill when you just spent thirty dollars to eat.
"Well, I shared my testimony," one person said. "I invited our waitress to church."
That's fine, but don't cancel your testimony by your miserly tip. God's people believe in being good to people. We believe in showing God's kindness wherever we go.
When I tip people, I tell Victoria, "We're going to sow a seed into that person's life. Here's an opportunity to bless someone with our words and our money." When I leave that place, I want that server to be able to say, "That couple sure is generous. They are good to people."
Love is seen in our actions. This world does not need to hear another sermon nearly as much as it needs to see us being good to people.