For the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at “building blocks” for soul growth. This week’s theme: the Building Block of Worship.
As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.
My thoughts (Ben Lamb):
I was elated to receive this Be Still assignment. “Yippee”, thought I. “A passage that doesn’t require a whole bunch of thinking, ‘Huh? What symbolism is going on?'” This is so clear-cut that even I can understand it in quick order!
The writer states some common sense and etiquette: 1) Hang out with people who share your faith and hope; and 2) be nice to the people, especially through the act of encouragement.
So now that the game plan is in place, how can I implement it into my everyday life?
As for hanging out — it’d be impossible to move into 2950 East 55th Place, Indianapolis, Indiana 46220 (Jesus MCC’s address). But, I guess I could get involved with church-related activities instead, and meet up with other people who are Christians, and also network additional friends through them. (This strategy could work for anybody who’s interested in checking-out the Jesus environment.) And what do you know — they get together every week!
About the encouraging others — that’s a bit tougher for me. Sometimes I’m prone to whining even though things are actually going pretty well for me now, especially considering how things have sometimes been in my past (deaths, significant illnesses, job losses, family issues — you know, those “thunderbolts” of life). Sure, nothing’s perfect, but when I think I have it bad, I can easily think of others who have it worse. One positive thing I always need to keep in mind: Jesus paid the ultimate price for me. I’m most grateful for that, and the thought of it encourages me. I can pass that along.
When there aren’t oodles of stupendous things happening in a person’s life, that’s when it’s even more vital to offer encouragement — a smile, a pat on the shoulder, a patient listening ear, or more.
I once took a stress assessment test after a particularly stressful period of my life. (These stressors — over which I had absolutely no control — kept coming my way in a seemingless never-ending nightmare.) The authors of the test stated that a person’s score should never be more than 100 points. My score was 850. If it hadn’t been for the “meeting together to do good works and to encourage” of some very dear friends (and pouring my heart out to God in prayer), I honestly don’t know how I could have gotten through that period of my life.
Thought for the day: Thank you God, for the gifts of friends who are able to meet with us and encourage us. May I be successful in becoming such a friend to others.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.