Friday, May 28, 2010

What A Wonderful World This Could Be

If you are here from the Proverbs 31 Devotion today, Becoming The Hands and Feet, then welcome! I am so glad you are visiting me today.

I think becoming the hands and feet of Jesus can be one of the hardest things we ever try to do. It sounds easy enough - but is it really?

Let's consider which choice would be the easy choice in the hypothetical situations below:

- a mean girl in high school is bullying your child - do we talk badly about that girl to our children, and demean her importance as a result of her actions, or do we pray with our child and ask for God to intervene, showing my child how He cares about the daily situations in our lives?

- we see a homeless person on the side of the road with a cardboard sign displaying his hand written words "need food" - do we look the other way, assuming he will buy drugs or alcohol with the money we might give them, or give them something knowing that God is glorified through our obedience to Him, regardless of that person's decisions.

- someone we know is disabled and unable to drive - do we take some time to offer to help them run errands, or do we convince ourselves that we are simply too busy for that, and that someone else will probably be there to help them anyway?

- a friend is having financial problems and living on meager earnings - do we offer to bring them meals or help with their bills, or justify that we need to save our money because times are tough for everyone.

- a rude sales clerk treats you as if you were the last person on earth she wanted to help during her work day - do we respond in the same rude way, telling her what she deserves to hear and possibly reporting her to management, or do we smile and respond in kindness, acknowledging her hard work and wishing her a nice evening.

- a co-worker gets the job promotion that you know you deserved - do we scorn them and their success, making sure everyone knows the decision was not fair, or do you congratulate your co-worker, and ask God to guide your paths, opening up the doors that He desires for you to walk through.

So many opportunities - each and every day - present themselves to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Not just big things, but little things too. And with each opportunity, we are faced with a choice. A choice between taking the easy road out, the road that feels good and satisfies our own needs and self centered thoughts, or stepping up to the plate and being willing to act on God's behalf for the people who God put into our path.

As I mentioned in today's Proverbs 31 devotion, being the hands and feet of Jesus may sometimes require sacrifice. The sacrificial offer of her husband's life, that the elderly so freely offered, is still a gift, and a mindset, that honestly, I have a very hard time comprehending. I can only hope to have such a strong faith and selfless disposition one day, that I would not only have such Christ centered thoughts, but that I would be willing to act on them, without a moments hesitation.

Matthew 7:21-23 says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

This verse above is one of many which portrays the importance God places on doing His will, and His will includes loving our "neighbors" enough to be His hands and feet. In fact, I find it so amazingly interesting, that in Mark 12:28-31, one of the teachers asked Jesus which of all of His commandments were most important, and Jesus said 1) to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind, and 2) to love your neighbor as yourself.

Being the hands and feet of Jesus comes second to loving God with all your heart, soul and mind - which makes it crystal clear to us about how He prioritizes doing His work.

I have always loved this poem, written by Edgar Guest:
The hands and feet of Christ.

I’d rather see a sermon
than hear one any day
I’d rather one should walk with me
than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing
than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing
but example’s always clear;
And the best of all the preachers
are those who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action
is what everybody needs.

Spend some time in prayer this week, asking God to bring people into your life, and provide the opportunity for you to be His hands and feet. To be an example to people you know, and maybe even people you do not know, of who Christ really is. Ask God to give you the spiritual vision and the open eyes to see the people whom He puts in your path, and ask that He make it clear to your spirit how you are to be His hands and feet in that situation.

Starting today, do something to further the Kingdom of God. Tell others about Jesus. Share your faith. Share your stories of how Jesus has worked in your life. Help someone in need. Reach out to someone who has not been kind to you. Encourage and pray for those who are suffering. Share the gifts that God has given you, whether tangible or intangible, with the people whom God connects you with.

True Christianity is not just a label we wear, it is a lifestyle we live.

If we all began to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus every day, in our own homes, neighborhoods, communities, states, nations, and even internationally, I can only imagine what a wonderful world this could be.

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12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tracie, will you will never know how God has used you to speak to me this morning..You see, I have been asked to Lead a Women's Bible Study at my church. I have only been a member there for two months, and I love this "little" church and see the need for a Women's Ministry, AND I love to Lead Women's Bible Studies..the thing is, I am very disabled with Muscular Dystrophy..and life is one big whirl of pain for me..This morning I had gotten up with the same prayer to the Lord..Show me, please Speak to me about what I should do..Then I read your post..I may wear braces..but I can teach from a chair...I may get winded, but that is where I can encourage others to share..The Lord is giving me this wonderful opportunity to share Jesus..This is all about HIM, and not at all about me..I will become the Hands & Feet for Him..and I will rely on HIM for the Strength to accomplish His task..Thank you again for being used by Our Lord.

Kristi said...

Thank you, Tracie, for allowing God to speak through your words. The verse caught my eye first. We have been studying that Phil. 2 passage at church for weeks and it has been on my heart to memorize the first 11 verses with my husband and children. What a passage! Selflessness is something that is not taught very much in our society, even in Christian homes. We are seeing so much selfishness among our children that I feel so compelled to share this and hide it in our hearts. Thank you again for sharing what God gave you - a very special God-moment. I'll pray for your sister and her family.

Kristi

Revealing a Woman's Heart said...

Tracie,
I loved your devotional this morning. What a beautiful story of how God continues to meet us right where we are, using others that would seem so unlikely at first, to bring hope, encouragement, and peace to our difficult trials.

I'll continue to pray for your sweet sister as she waits for God's perfect healing in her life.

Love,
Leah

********Shelly******** said...

What an inspiring story....thank you so much for sharing. God continues to amaze me every day, He is ever present, always speaking....if only we will listen. I pray that I will be His hands and feet today.....

Eileen said...

Thank you so much today for your P31 devotional. I'm learning that becoming the hands and feet of Christ will more than likely take us out of our comfort zone. But it is SO worth it! Thanks again :)

Carmen said...

Tracie, what a sweet words, Thank you. Is so easy to be self-centered, forget out compromise with Our Lord and His word, I don't like a sacrificial life but that is exactly the example He give us. A dear friend who passed away last week from church told me one time,"SUFFERING IS THE FERTILE SOIL INTO WHICH GOD TRANSPLANTS EVERY GROWING CHRISTIAN"
A hug.
Carmen.

Missy said...

I just finished reading Proverbs 31....and the tears are flowing. The woman you describes is exactly the person I want to be. She sounds like an incredible girl.

I hope your sister is better!

Michele said...

I'm convicted. I used to be like that. Sweet and full of spiritual fruit in all situations. But after seven years of living in Los Angeles and three children later, I find myself waspish and defensive more often than long suffering and gentle. I've noticed that this is how most of the believers I know here are too. We have this sense of entitlement and 'self justice' that makes us ugly and unloving.
Thank you for your devotional and your wonderful thoughts. I pray that God will restore that gentle first love and all the fruit of His spirit in my life and theirs.

Jo Ann said...

The warmth of your devotional experience thawed the icicles that were forming deep down inside me. Thank you for sharing, therefore helping me to refocus.

Lori said...

This is the third time I've come back to read this devotional.
This really spoke to me (and the comments too!) and I pray for a new beginning in my heart.

Blessings~

Joyful said...

Oh Tracie, what a precious story you shared. Yesterday I posted a story on my blog about someone who was God's Hands to me...and as I was sharing it J. J. Heller's song came on the radio "Your Hands" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l3CEMWCxSk&feature=related).

So thankful for a friend who touched my life with His hands,
Joy
http://ponderinginhispresence.blogspot.com/2010/05/faiths-journey-to-hope-part-6-most.html

Lois said...

Tracie, when I read your devotion this morning about the scene in the hospital I actually got chills. I read it through twice then came over to read your blog post. What a wonderful message, one I will keep close to my heart all day. Thank you.