For Scripture Sunday:
The Sixty Second Challenge
Show Kindness to Others Every Day
“We interact with strangers all the time. Do they see a light shining when they see us?
It's important to God that we are kind, gentle, forgiving and patient at all times. This way we are always ready to have a positive effect on others and be outstanding representatives of God and His way of life.
“‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” (Matthew 25:37-40; New Living Translation).
Take the Sixty Second Challenge—dare yourself to be kind and positive to brighten someone’s day.
Think about the countless people you see throughout your day-to-day life. You don’t know where they’re from, what they’re going through, or in many cases, even their name. Try brainstorming a list of examples. Here’s some to start:
• Check-out clerks
• Gas station attendants
• Food service and retail workers
• Custodial staff
• Other people driving on the road
• Receptionists and secretaries
• Maintenance workers
• Joggers, walkers and bikers
• Post officers and delivery workers
As you continue this list, remember God’s instruction to be a light to others (Matthew 5:14-16). You and I probably only interact with these individuals for a minute at most. What kind of positive—or negative—impressions could someone get from us in those short 60 seconds?
This is why it’s so important to God that we are kind, gentle, forgiving and patient at all times. This way we are always ready to have a positive effect on others and be outstanding representatives of God and His way of life.
This might seem like a tiny or unimportant effort, but remember what God says about things that seem that way: “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities” (Luke 16:10, NLT). God expects you to be faithful in all aspects of your life. By showing kindness to others, you are sharing your faith.
How can we share our faith in this way? Let’s write another list together—please add your own ideas for this in the comments!
• Give appropriate eye contact
• Wave or shake hands where acceptable
• Say “please” when asking for something
• Forgive or overlook a mistake they might have made
• Greet them and ask how they are doing
• Hold the door for them or let them go through before you
• Offer to help them carry something
• Tell them “thank you”
• Strike up a positive, casual conversation
• Wish them a good day
Take the Sixty Second Challenge—dare yourself to be kind and positive to brighten someone’s day. Challenge yourself to do this to every new person you see or interact with that day. Take the actions above and apply them to the people we listed earlier. Wave to the mailman. Thank the janitor. Ask the cashier how she’s doing. You might not even have a full minute with any of these people, but see how much of an influence you can have with the time you’re given.
By reaching out to others in kindness, we are lights in a dark world. There’s no telling what that other person was going through during the rest of their day. But for just 60 seconds, you can be a light to them—and that can make all the difference.
Other verses to consider when going out of our way to be kind to others
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).
“A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself” (Proverbs11:17; English Standard Version).
Power of Words
Do you realize the power you have in the things you say?
YouTube video: https://youtu.be/yZhTCijiooY
[Steve Myers] “How powerful are the words that we use? I was thinking about this the other day and remembered the story of creation. Do you remember the story of creation? If you go back to the beginning of the book of Genesis, when God created things, it tells us that He spoke. In fact, I was reading an article about that Hebrew word for “spoke”, and it seemed to indicate that every time someone speaks in the Old Testament – whether it’s God, or whether someone’s speaking to another person – that they use the word “spoke”, and then they quote whatever that person said. And so it becomes a very interesting concept to think that this physical world came into existence by the word, by the spoken word. In fact, Christ, before He became Christ, was known as the “Logos”, “the Word”. And so each day of creation, God spoke, and another part of the world came into existence.
Think of the power of words. It created this world, this universe. And it also impacts us. It impacts our relationships. God’s word had the power to bring about the creation. Our words can also be creative. But they can also be destructive. And so we have to be careful about the power of words.
In fact, the Proverbs say a lot about the things that we say. Notice this particular passage in Proverbs 18:24. I’m sorry, verse 21. Proverbs 18:21. Here’s what it says about the power of our words. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” In other words, there’s consequences that come because of the things that we say, and the way we relate to people and the way we express those things. God’s expression in creation was that He brought things into existence. His creative powers were expressed through the word. And we can do that very same thing. Or on the other hand, the negative side of things, has difficult consequences.
In fact, just a couple of pages before this, in Proverbs 16, we read in verse 24 – now we have verse 24, there. In Proverbs 16:24, it says something that is very powerful. It says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones”. You see, that’s God’s intent when He speaks to us. His intent is for the best. It’s a positive, powerful thing.
And I think that’s something that we can think about. Think about the power of our words. We have a tremendous power in the things that we say because they’re a reflection of what we actually think. So let’s make it our goal to fulfill what it says here in Proverbs 16 – that our words can be pleasant words, our words can be a sweetness, they can be a very good thing, they can be something that are creative and build up rather than tear down. So let’s make that our goal to be a sweetness to others through the power of our words.”
An Amazing Fact: “For the better part of recorded history, Earth was thought to be the stationary center of the universe and the ancient wise men believed there were only 5,119 stars. The constellations were named and filled with colorful legends. Without a telescope the stars seemed to be just twinkling points of light that move across the night sky. Now we know when we look at the heavens that what we once thought were just single stars are often really a gigantic spiral of stars called galaxies.
A galaxy is like a colossal island in space made up of gas, dust, and millions of stars. On clear nights we see the spiral edge of our own galaxy called the Milky Way. Our Sun is just one small star in a pinwheel containing about a hundred billion blazing suns aligned in the form of a disk. And that’s not counting the planets that could be orbiting around these stars. Recent research indicates that there are billions of galaxies in our universe.
A few years ago the Hubble Telescope took a picture of a small spot of sky near the Big Dipper. To give you a better idea of how big this area was, it was about the size of a dime held 75 feet away. In that tiny dot of sky scientists counted over 1,500 galaxies! Take that number times the volume of space in every direction and you would calculate that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies with billions of stars in each galaxy. Wow!
The distance of these galaxies are measured in light years. Keep in mind one light year is the distance you would travel if you could ride a beam of light 186,000 miles per second for 365 days. Our home, the Milky Way, is some 30,000 light-years across. That means you would have to travel the speed of light 30,000 years to cross just our galaxy! And you still wouldn’t have even left our front yard. For example, if you wanted to visit the Andromeda Galaxy you would have to travel over the speed of light for over 2.4 million years.
When we consider the God who made all of this, we can only say, “How Great Thou Art!” It is almost inconceivable that the God who made the infinite cosmos wants to dwell with us. “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:4).
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; Psalms 8:3What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? Psalms 8:4
The helper, Roy, and I have been busy taping and floating the sheetrock patches where we had to add or subtract outlets in the new kitchen and bathroom. Sometimes we had to cut a ‘peep-hole-‘ in a wall to find the wires, so those had to be filled in, too. We framed up and filled in the old closet doorway with sheetrock as there is a new entry to the walk-in closet now, so that had to be taped and floated, too. Then the new wall between the new kitchen and new bathroom had to be textured, sealed and painted. We have one more wall to sheetrock but Roy doesn’t need to be battling big sheets of ‘rock’ right now. One day we spent straightening out the storage areas and packing everything better. We only work in the mornings and my helper is still waiting to have his surgery so he doesn’t really feel very well. He has had to go to the VA hospital each Friday for tests and exams. He should be having his hernia surgery on Friday, but it is his acid reflux that is giving him the most trouble, as he can hardly eat and is losing weight fast. I am so thankful to our Lord that I don’t get sick.
My two foster cats, Nala and Midnight Lee (Midi) are at the SPCA cat habitat at Conroe Petco for a month, hopefully to be adopted. I miss them a lot, but they need to have permanent homes before I am no longer around.
The last two Sabbaths I was asked to ramrod the potluck as the Pastor’s wife was away in San Antionio one weekend, then she had a swollen painful eye on another. The potluck lunches are always fun, and I try to take something different each time. One time it was a Shepherd’s Pie made with lentils instead of meat, and veggies, then covered in the traditional mashed white potatoes. I was surprised how popular that was. Another time it was Shepherd’s Pie made with ground chicken and veggies covered in mashed sweet potatoes.
In our weekly Bible readings at the church we have now got as far as Deut. 21:10-25:19, and Isa. 54:1-10 and 2 Peter 1:15-10. One week the Teaching was about “Belonging to God, Who Shall We Serve” and another was on the subject of “End Time Prophecies” again, as there is so much foretold in the Bible about that time. This time is was about “ISIS Today”.