We Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14. It’s a day set aside particularly for sweethearts and husbands and wives to affirm their affections for each other with flowers, jewelry, an evening out at a favorite restaurant or other expressions of love. It’s not limited to these two groups of individuals: school children exchange cards and Valentine’s Day parties are common. It’s a day when anyone can show special love for the people in their lives. As Christians we are commanded to love, not just our families or friends, but even our enemies. One of the greatest things that we can do to show our love for Jesus is to demonstrate love to others.
In I Timothy 6:18, we read these words: Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good deeds and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. (NLT) Paul is writing to Timothy, his son in the faith, and instructing him on what he should be teaching to the church in Ephesus. Someone, upon reading this verse, remarked that it is telling us to enjoy being a blessing to others for in so doing we are laying up eternal riches that will far exceed any sacrifice we may make down here.
As I contemplated this verse in reference to widows and, always seeking to inform my writings with biblical examples, I thought of Dorcus, whose story is recorded in Acts 9:36-42. She was a follower of Jesus and was known for her good deeds, especially to widows. As you know, widows were often left destitute with no means of support, dependent on the largess of the
local community or synagogue. Joppa, the town where she lived, was a seaport town which housed many widows and their families as the small wooden boats popular in that day weren’t particularly seaworthy, especially if a storm caught them far away from shore, and many sailors perished at sea. Dorcus was a woman who knew her talents and she shared that gift to minister to the needy in Joppa. Her main tool was a sewing needle. This was many years before even the crudest sewing machine was invented. It was tedious work, yet day in and day out she ministered to the needs of the destitute, demonstrating her love for God and for them with each stitch.
God created each of us with abilities that are imbedded in our DNA. Out of these various talents can come good works that we can use to help and bless others. You see, whatever you can do, God wants you to use it to be His channel of grace to others. A nurse in our church volunteered to assist me in hospital visits because she knew I hesitated because of my lack of medical information. She regularly assisted the wife of an ALS patient in our church, helping her move him and change his bedding, etc. She’s retired and was under no obligation
to do either, but her love for Christ and others was her motivation. She’s storing up treasures in Heaven by so doing. Dotti Ackerman, founder of Friends Needing Friends, has a gift of organization and a heart to help widows. Twelve years ago when she relocated to Florida from New Jersey she started a new chapter. So, happy 11th anniversary to the Florida chapter. You are a blessing to many with your talents and abilities, not the least of which are your other team members there in Florida. Sometimes just a warm greeting and sweet smile is all it takes to make someone’s day brighter. And never forget that all of us love a genuine compliment now and then. They can serve to encourage us and lift our spirits. It only cost a few extra seconds of your time which we can all afford.
What talents do you possess? Where do you see a need in your community, church, or family? What can you do to meet those needs? Both Dorcas’s and Dotti’s legacies to each of us is one of not just possessing a skill, but using it to bless others, all the while being Christ’s hands extended. So, think about how you can demonstrate Christ’s love to someone and then go and do it. You will be storing up treasures for yourself in Heaven.
Message by Shari Hervold Friends Needing Friends International Widow Ministry
Do you know Jesus...Here's how:
Admit your sins have separated you from God (Psalm 14:1-3: Rom 3:23)
Believe that God did something about your sins through Jesus Christ. (The final Pascal Lamb/Messiah) (Lev. 17:10: Heb 9:19-22.)
Commit - yourself to His righteous by confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior. (Isa 53:5: Col. 1:22) and do it today! (Isa 49:8: 2 Cor 6:2)
Father in Heaven, I'm sorry for the things I've done that are wrong: I am a sinner: forgive me. Thank you for loving me and sending your Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for my sin. Holy Spirit, come into my heart: Jesus be my Lord and Savior. I give You my life. Amen
Special Music by Don Moen. One hour Playlist with Lyrics.
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