March 20

Text: Matthew 10:40-42

"He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.  He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.  And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward." (NASB)

Some of the most meaningful things we do have nothing to do with material gifts.  Too often we wish we had some significant material object that we could give to show appreciation and value.  We too often think, “If I had ‘X’ I would give it to this person to show them how much I appreciate them.”  No one needs something we do not have to show appreciation.  All we need is to give encouragement!

Once, years before my disease, I frequently visited a hospital.  I visited people I had never met.  I spoke to administrators, nurses, and janitors.  I was there so frequently some thought I was a doctor!  Often I wondered about the value of those visits.

Once as I was leaving I passed a weary janitor waiting for a ride.  After asking if she could speak to me, she said a single sentence: “I have been watching you, and you are really a Christian.” 

It has been years.  I do not remember her name.  I have never forgotten what she said.  I doubt she ever knew how much she encouraged a very tired me.  Suddenly, I knew the visits were worth the effort.

You never know whom your efforts impact, but God does.  When you do, your encouraging moments often come from shocking sources.  You never know whom you influence by being a mindful person.

Today, make a conscious effort to be mindful of the people around you.  Frequently say, “Thank you!” and mean it.  Take no one for granted!  Privately encourage and lift spirits.  Notice others and give them an encouragement to remember.  Positive words are the biggest gift we all have to give others!

Suggestion for reflection: Think about the encouragements that touched you.  Why did they touch you?  (Read Mark 9:38-41.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell