It is a great thing to be our brother's keeper. It seems to me that in this day and age with all of the technology and all the connections that social media creates, people are still lonelier than ever before because they are not receiving the love and affirmation that each of our hearts seeks after. What I have found to be true is that when I take an interest in someone else and what they are going through, my simple interactions with them helps to ease their burden, encourage their hearts and lets them know that someone cares for their well-being. I believe that is what life is all about. Loving and caring for others as we would wish would be done to us in our time of need. The Lord Jesus says the two most important commandments are first to love God with all of our heart, mind and soul and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves. These are the foundations of our faith in the Lord and if either is lacking then we need to reevaluate how we are spending our days. (Romans 12:9-21) (Matthew 22:37-40)
I can attest to the fact that true joy and contentment can only come when we surrender our hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ. No possession, no relationship, no exterior thing can fill the void within our hearts because that part is set aside only for the Lord to fill. God created that void for Himself to dwell in because He wishes to be in our life, to lead us onto the best path and to guide our steps so that we may fulfill our destiny and become all that God created us to be before we were even formed in our mother’s womb. The Bible says God knew us before we ever existed on this earth and He wishes for us to realize that this pure love is offered to all without motive or pretense. We just have to surrender our will and allow God’s will to take the lead in our life. When we do we will stop living selfishly, we will wish to see others become better and with our whole heart we will strive to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. (1 John 3:16-18) (Luke 6:30-36)
May we always keep at the forefront of our thoughts to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. When we do these two simple things we will set an order in our life that will dictate how we act, how we interact and how we will do our absolute best to see others become better, rise higher and believe in themselves again to be all that God has created them to be. A legacy lived in love will be a legacy that will live on far longer than our mortal bodies on this earth. (1 Peter 3:8-12) (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to be your brothers and sisters keeper so that you may help to elevate their life to greater heights.
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
It was overcast and dreary. One of those days when you'd like to stay in bed and watch old movies all day. I was searching for something. But I'm always searching. I'm like a scavenger looking for stuff that no one else sees.
I headed out to the nearby state park figuring that I could get away from the busy world and focus on the real stuff that life is made of. When my Dad was alive he often headed to this park just to sit and watch people. My parents made me a “people watcher.” A big treat for me was to head to the local drug store with them and have an ice cream soda and then sit in the car in front of the shopping center and just watch people walk by.
But I went to the park this time to get away from people. I just wanted to listen to what was going on inside me. I walked down to the edge of the lake and stood inside this covered pavilion where a few old picnic tables sat waiting for the summer folk. The squirrels ran from tree to tree scampering about filled with excitement.
Off along the shoreline, at a point that seemed too narrow to venture on to, I could see a woman. She sat quietly with little movement. I assumed like me, she was in retreat from the world. A light rain began to fall and speckled the calmness of the water interrupting my glassy stare at the reflection of the gray clouds. It reminded me that life is often interrupted just when things are calm and we get too settled into it. I guess as I look back at it all, those times offered challenges for growth. Although at the time, I saw no real value at all.
Having been lost in thought for a few minutes, I didn't notice that the woman had moved away from her perch at the lake's edge. I scanned the area and found her sitting close by on a fallen tree trunk under one of the many tall pines. The rain for now had ended.
“What is it they say about rainy days and Mondays?” she said as she sat with her head bowed down.
“Always get me down!” I yelled over to her in reply. Words from a song I had tucked away in my memory.
“Well as my Daddy always said, this is "The one that got away.” she said as she lifted and turned her head toward me.
“Your father was a fisherman?” I asked.
“Yes, everywhere he went.” she said.
“My Uncle Al carried fishing equipment in his trunk and would pull over whenever he found a lake or creek. He had a license in about four states including New Jersey, where he lived.” I told her.
“No, my Daddy didn't fish in lakes and streams. He was what the Bible called a “Fisher of Men.” He was a preacher.” She seemed to hold her head high and proud as she spoke about him.
“He always considered a day lost when he could not make a difference in someone’s life. He called it "The one that got away.”
“So, you're feeling like you lost this one?” I asked.
“I'm afraid I've lost a whole bunch of them.” she said as she turned her back to the lake. “I can't seem to get back to the way I was before. I was always upbeat and motivated. I think I often overwhelmed people with my positive spirit. It concerned me at first until one day my co-workers said they depended on me to be that way. It seems a lot of people did.”
“So, what happened?” I asked not expecting a straight answer. It really wasn't any of my business.
“My husband's business all but collapsed. He made some poor choices and everything we had seemed to vanish.” she said as she walked closer to me.
“Forgive me for asking such a personal question. But was your love for each other a part of the business?”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“This road to self destruction that you seem to be on leads me to believe that you've forgotten that your love for each other is far more valuable than the business or mistakes made. It appears to me that, like this lake, everything was smooth and wonderful until it rained.” I said. “You can either look at the business failure as something that has taken away from your relationship or like the rain on the lake, added to it.”
She had tears in her eyes as she stood there looking so helpless and lost.
“But it was a side of him I never saw. He made reckless choices. Our life isn't the same because of it” she said.
“This isn't the one that got away” I said. “You're throwing this one back because it's the wrong size. Like the fisherman you toss it back...it's too small.”
“As a fisher of men, your Daddy went after the big and the little challenges. Those days when one seemed to have gotten away he found strength in the love he had in his life. The love of his family and the love for God. He would not permit defeat and poor judgment to ever diminish that love. Love is always the answer" I continued. “Here's a better song. 'Love. Love will keep us together.'”
“Don't tell me. You're a preacher” she said.
“No. But I was told that I am a 'fisher of men.” I replied.
“Well, I believe my Daddy sent you here. Good catch!” she said as she smiled. “What bait do you use?”
“A little caring, a bit of trust, and a lot of faith” I replied.
“Well, I'm a believer” she said.
“So am I. 'I believe in You!'”
By Bob Perks
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Romans 12:10-16 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another...”
Galatians 6:9-10 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
John 14:27 Jesus declares “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
1 John 4:7-11 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today’s Selected Poem: THE CHOICES WE MAKE
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem139.htm
Today’s Selected Testimony: A BETTER WAY
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony22.htm
In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry