Living in Comfort

Although I have read the verse below many times, it spoke louder to me today. Our own comfort is very important to us. We treat ourselves well. We have units to heat or cool our homes so we are not too cold or hot. We have that same luxury in a car. We like our furniture to be comfortable and luxurious. We have dishwashers and robot vacuums and automatic coffee makers to do our work for us. Some of us have drivers or nannies or housecleaners. Nothing is inherently wrong with any of those, BUT can we be more RIGHT in how we use these things?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV

Our ultimate soul comfort comes from God. In affliction, He sends strength for the journey. In confusion, He sends light. In ill health, He sends healing or peace. In distress, He abides with us and helps us navigate our way. He applies any comfort He has to us. He is the “Father of Mercies.” Don’t you love that description of Him?

We think we deserve comfort because we work hard and want to enjoy the fruits of our labor. I do not disagree, but I do think there is more to this life than MY comfort. God comforts us, not just because He has lots to give, but because He cannot help but give. It is in His character. He loves us and wants to give us what we need. That is who He is and He cannot change.

 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17 ESV

How can we apply that verse to who we are and what we have? 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 above says that God comforts us so that we can comfort others with His comfort. If God allows us to be successful or comfortable, I do believe He expects us to share that comfort with others. even those who did nothing to deserve it. We did nothing to deserve God’s comfort, after all, except we asked for it.

I hope I am not stepping on anyone’s toes any harder than I am stepping on my own. I honestly believe that we are supposed to share whatever we have with those that need it, because comfort is meant to be shared. If we have to get a little uncomfortable giving away things we can use, because someone else needs them more, then it is a blessing that we can do so. It IS better to give than receive.

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35 ESV

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8)

Dear God,

Thank You for this reminder this morning that we are meant to share the comfort You give or allow us in this life. Help our hearts to see that we are striving, not just for ourselves, but for others’ comfort. This is an uncomfortable way of thinking, but we know You can help us sort it out to Your glory. We want to reflect Your character and what better way than to give to others out of the blessings You have allowed us. Help us, help me to be okay with being “uncomfortable” if I do nothing. We want to represent You in this world, so please guide our hearts and desires to act out of what we see in Your character. We love You so much! Amen

Love and prayers to all. Have a great Thursday!

Just me. Just His.

Tina

The Gift of Time

When my daughters ask me what I want for Christmas, I can never think of anything I want, so I just say, “I want to spend time with you.” I must be getting old, because my answer sounds like something my Dad used to say to me when I asked him the same thing. I buy him nice presents anyway, and he likes them, but he never LOVES them as much as just being with us. He loves our gift of time.

Our Father in Heaven wants the same thing, togetherness! When we ask Jesus what He wants of us today, He may likely say, “I want your presence. Come be with me for awhile.” To Jesus, our presence is a present. You know how the more you hang out with someone, the better you get to know them? That’s how it is when we spend time with Jesus. We get to know Him better.

Now, He already knows us, knows what we are thinking or getting ready to say, so we don’t have to even talk a lot. We can be still and just bask in His presence. Coming to Him on purpose just because we know that’s what He loves, is a gift to Him.

Something else that might be on Jesus’ gift list is service to the needy. Over and over in the Bible, we are commanded to love others. In the verse below, He makes it clear that we need to love them by taking care of them. Jesus did that, and still does that. He answers needs. He is a giver! We are to be like Him, with His heart for others:

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:35-40

Dear Jesus,

Your birthday is coming up. What an awesome chance for us to give You gifts! We can never repay or earn the gift of eternal life You bought for us with Your blood. We can give others gifts in Your name though. You tell us, by doing that, we are giving them to You! We can do that! Remind us how much others need the gifts of time and love or other physical needs. Fix our eyes on the eternal so we don’t cling to our own material gifts so tightly. Lead us to share them. We love You so much! Amen

GROWwork: In the next few days or week, pick three people to love on by sending a card, buying some groceries or just spending time with them. That may be the biggest need of all, as so many people are lonely, especially on holidays. If we ask Jesus for opportunities, He will send them. Be on the lookout! Imagine that it is Jesus You are serving this week. I will do the same. Giving feels much better than getting but sometimes I forget.

Love and prayers to all of you,

Tina