2020.11.18 Daily Devotional

The Upper Room[1] devotional reflection for Wednesday, November 18, 2020 comes to us from Esther MacDonald of Quebec, Canada

Hebrews 10:19-25    19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,  20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,  21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,  25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrew 10:24 (NIV)    Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

I am involved in two ministries at my church.  It’s not a large church, and it sometimes seems like a relatively small number of people do most of the work.  So it is easy to feel underappreciated and unsupported.  I was feeling this way recently and was growing increasingly bitter at the idea that so few seem to care about the church’s ministries.  Then I received a thank-you card expressing gratitude for all my efforts and for my willingness to serve God.  That card changed my attitude.

First, it took my eyes off myself and put them where they belong – on God and God’s sufficiency.  Second, it lifted my lagging spirits.  I faced my next ministry duties with a vigor I hadn’t felt in a while.  And third, it reminded me how vital it is to obey Hebrews 10:24:  “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Spurring one another on can be as easy as an encouraging word after church, an email, a card, or a call.  It can even be anonymous!  A simple, “I’m praying for you and the valuable service you are doing for the kingdom of God” can have huge, positive impact on someone’s life and faith.  I know.

Prayer Focus:  Church Volunteers

Prayer:  Dear Lord, keep us in tune with the needs of our brothers and sisters, and remind us to be generous with our encouragement.  Amen.

Thought for the Day:  A kind word can make a huge difference in God’s kingdom.

 — Esther MacDonald

Friends –

Recently, several members of FUMC’s congregation have offered me special word of thanks and encouragement.  In so many ways, these kind words have made an enormous difference in my spirit, focus, and ability to serve.

So, I wonder who has offered you kind words of encouragement recently?  Have you thanked them?  And, to whom might you offer similar words to encourage others around you?

–Pastor bea