B Moments, comfort

How Do You Comfort Those in Need?

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Philippians 4:19 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about the best way to bring comfort to another.

Recently, we’ve been studying Job, a man of great character and wealth who was tested by Satan. God told Satan that he could take everything away from Job, but he couldn’t take his life. Because of this, Job lost his possessions, his children, and even his good health. Yet with all of those afflictions, he still would not curse God.

One day, Job’s three friends came to comfort him. When they visited him, they were shocked at his terrible condition. The Scriptures say they sat with him for seven days and seven nights in total silence.

Then the first friend, likely with the best intentions, started to speak. His idea of comforting Job was to give him an explanation as to why he was suffering. He told Job that he was suffering because he had sinned and that he needed to go to God to ask for forgiveness.

The second friend also spoke up and told him that he was in that situation because he had not admitted his sins. Then the third friend said that God was using Job’s suffering to mold him and to train him. While there might be a hint of truth to what Job’s friends said, their ideas were based on the wrong assumptions.

Sometimes when we want to comfort another person, we give them explanations about their lives. However, we don’t know what is really going on; only God knows. It is in these times that we just need to bring comfort in the form of a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a good laugh, and a good prayer.

Here are some comforting words to share with a person who is in need: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, bring comfort the right way.

B Moments, circle

Make Sure You Have the Right Inner Circle

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Proverbs 18:24 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about the value of an inner circle.

Most of us are familiar with the term “inner circle” because we usually have a larger group of acquaintances and associates, and then we also have an inner circle of close friends. Jesus had an inner circle too, even among his disciples.

We recently talked about how Jesus healed Jairus’ daughter, who had become deathly ill. When Jesus entered the room to heal her, he took with him his inner circle, namely Peter, James, and John.

When Jesus ascended to the mountaintop where his appearance changed and his clothes became dazzling white, he was accompanied once again by Peter, James, and John.

As they descended from the mountaintop, Jesus asked them not to say anything about what they had just seen, and the Scriptures say they kept it to themselves—exactly what a good inner circle would do.

This is all a powerful example of the worth of Jesus’ inner circle even within the twelve disciples. He knew who he could share the most intimate part of his journey with, and he also knew who he had to shut out—Judas, the disciple who would ultimately betray him.

Personally, I have not always respected this principle. I have allowed some people into my inner circle, even when my gut told me it was a bad idea, just because I didn’t want them to feel excluded.

If you can relate to letting unworthy people into your inner circle, let us both be taught by these words: “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, have the right inner circle with you.

B Moments, dismiss

Don’t Dismiss Those with Ill Intentions

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 14:1-4 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am encouraging us not to be so quick to dismiss those with ill intentions.

Recently, we talked about practicing towdah, which is praising God for our future blessings. We also talked about how God hears both our spoken and our unspoken prayers. Now, I’m thinking about how, when I feel as though I am in a season of experiencing a shower of God’s blessings, I try to check myself to make sure that I’m being a blessing to others.

However, I think it is fair to say that sometimes it’s not always easy to be a blessing to everyone. I’m reminded of the time when Jesus fed the 5,000 and how the following morning, many of those same people came back to be fed by Jesus again.

When they met with him, he told them that the only reason they wanted to be with him was because he had fed them—not because of who he was. He told them that they shouldn’t be so concerned about perishable things like food but should instead spend their energy seeking eternal life through God.

I thought this was very interesting because sometimes the moment we sense a person is just in our company for what we have or what they think we can do for them, our first inclination may be to distance ourselves from them or to cut them off altogether.

However, Jesus teaches us not to be so quick to dismiss these people. He shows us that he was able to rise above their shortsightedness and to help them to understand God’s glory and the eternal bread of life, despite their initial ill intentions.

The next time you’re inclined to dismiss a person, remember these words: “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions…It is before his own master that he stands or falls…” Romans 14:1-4 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, let’s make sure God gets the glory before we dismiss them.

B Moments, invitation

This Christmas, Invite Others to Christ

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about what the best invitation is to receive this holiday.

As each day goes by, I’m getting more and more into the Christmas spirit. I’m so proud of myself because my Christmas tree is already up, and this is a first for me because it is never up this early. Michigan Avenue in Chicago is already beautifully lit, and the storefronts are prettier than ever.

Yet while the commercial side of Christmas has its place, as followers of Christ, it’s important for us to truly celebrate him. When I turn to the Scriptures, I think about the early Christians we read about in the book of Acts.

These early Christians were asked to spread the good news about Christ. They were not trained teachers or preachers; they were ordinary people. Yet the power of Christ was evident in their lives.

There are people who don’t have an intimate relationship with God, but they watch us and study our relationship with Him. They listen to how we go on and on about Him and are inspired when we say that it was nobody but God who did it for us—and they want that.

So, the best invitation this season is to offer someone in need the invitation of Christ. When we do this, we can’t go wrong. I’m asking you today, are your actions an invitation for someone to accept Christ, or to be inspired to go deeper with Him?

As you think about that, remember these words: “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, let your actions be an invitation to Christ.

B Moments, kind

Practice Kindness Under Challenging Conditions

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about how being kind is not always easy.

I had this thought as I was reading in the book of Acts about a Roman officer named Cornelius. Cornelius was a devout man of God, and he led his household in a devout way, too. He gave generously to the poor and to charities, and he worshiped God regularly.

One afternoon, an angel of God appeared before him and said, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have not gone unnoticed.” To put this in context, Cornelius was a Gentile, so the Jewish leaders and Jewish people of the day considered him impure. In other words, God saw Cornelius as a devout man, but society saw him as impure.

Oftentimes, it’s easier to extend acts of kindness to others under good conditions. Imagine the conditions that Cornelius was living under, particularly how society viewed him, yet he was still able to rise above and to extend kindness to the underprivileged. Cornelius made a conscious effort to be kind when it wasn’t easy.

B Moment listeners, as today is the biggest retail day of the year, many shoppers will come across your path and many will not be easy to be kind to. Yet I’m asking that you rise above that and remember that it is God who sees your acts of kindness, and that’s where it will really count.

As you think about that and go about your day, intentionally being kind, remember these words: “For the Lord sees not as man sees…but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, be kind.

B Moments, serve

God Values Your Service to Others

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: 1 John 3:18 (ESV)

Transcription:

Happy Thanksgiving, B Moment listeners!

Today, I am thinking about the option to serve or to be served. As today is Thanksgiving, we give thanks, but we may also spend time being of service to others, particularly those less fortunate than ourselves.

As I look at my own life, quite honestly, I’ve been all over the spectrum with service. I’ve also wanted to be served more when God probably wants me to be of service to others. Yet as I mature spiritually, I feel in my heart the genuine fulfillment that comes over me when I realize I’m meeting the needs of others.

When I turn to the Scriptures, I just need to look at Christ to see how he values serving others. The first instance that comes to mind is when Jesus knelt down and washed the feet of his disciples. And, of course, there is no greater act of service or sacrifice than Christ being crucified for us so that we might have eternal life.

I even notice how Jesus continues on with his pattern of serving others after his resurrection. During this time, Jesus went to the Sea of Galilee and greeted his disciples on the shoreline. As they returned to the shore, he met them with fish frying, and he invited them to breakfast. Jesus literally served breakfast for the disciples on the beach. Imagine that!

If Jesus can serve to that extent, we know how much he values serving others, and we know how he expects us to be of service to our fellow man. As you think about who you will serve today, remember these words: “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, be of service.

B Moments, reaching

God Is Reaching for You

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about how God will send for you.

Recently, I shared a story about a pastor and an assistant pastor who were starting a church. Just a few hours before their first informational meeting was about to start, they discovered they were short several tables and quite a few chairs.

The pastor was worried about appearing unprepared for their first meeting. However, the assistant pastor said, “‘Don’t worry. You continue working on your message for this evening. I’ll stop at home for a moment, and then I‘ll go out to find more tables and chairs.” Before they went their separate ways, they had a quick prayer, something like: God, please send us more tables and chairs.

The assistant pastor drove home, and as he pulled into his driveway, he noticed a U-Haul truck parked next door that was filled with tables and chairs. He couldn’t believe it! He knocked on the door and asked the man if he would be willing to rent him the tables and chairs. The man not only offered them for free, but he helped the pastor set up for the evening and ended up staying for the meeting himself.

After the meeting, the pastor was telling the story about the little miracle of the tables and chairs. The man who provided the tables and chairs overheard him and said, “That’s not the miracle. The miracle is with me. This has been a very low period for me. My wife and I are separated and my daughter is not handling our separation well. I didn’t know where to turn and God knew that, so He sent a pastor to my doorstep to get me. That’s the miracle.”

Since then, the man has reunited with his wife and daughter and they are doing well. This is a beautiful story and a great reminder that if you are ever too low to reach for God, He will reach for you. As you think about that, remember these words: “…I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that He’s reaching for you.

B Moments, shadows

Your Worth Shines, Even in the Shadows

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Philippians 2:13 (NIV)

Today, I am thinking about how we can serve powerfully in the shadows.

Recently, we talked about how Jesus had twelve disciples, but he had an inner circle within those twelve. While we can quickly recall the names of his inner circle—Peter, James, and John—and perhaps even a few others, we may be challenged to list the names of all twelve disciples.

For example, when I turn to the Scriptures, I see that Andrew is hardly mentioned at all, yet he is one of Christ’s disciples. After studying the Scriptures, I learned that Andrew was the brother of Peter, and, given Peter’s notoriety, one might believe that Andrew lived in the shadow of his brother.

However, Andrew was actually the one to introduce Peter to Christ. His role was, in fact, bringing others to Jesus. In other words, he wasn’t in Christ’s inner circle, but he helped to fill it. Andrew learned how to serve powerfully in the shadows.

In your life, perhaps you find yourself behaving a little differently depending on the setting you’re in. Maybe you are a little more outgoing in your social circle, but tend to be more reserved and in the shadows at the office.

Andrew’s story teaches us that it doesn’t matter. God can still use you in His work and for His goodness no matter what. Andrew shows us that our name doesn’t have to be out front in bright lights for our worth to shine.

The next time we need to be reminded of how God uses those in the shadows to serve, remember these words: “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” Philippians 2:13 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that your worth shines, even in the shadows.

B Moments, precious

Consider Our Precious Little Ones

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Matthew 25:44-45 (NLT)

Today, I am thinking about our precious little ones.

I have been very moved by the recent images at the United States-Mexico border of children being separated from their families, crying and begging from cages for their parents’ return. These images that are flooding our airways have prompted me to remind us of how Christ sees children.

As we know from the Scriptures, it was common for parents to bring their children to Christ for healing. In Mark 10, parents were bringing their children to Jesus when his disciples rebuked them and told them not to bother Jesus.

When Jesus heard this, he was very displeased with his disciples. He said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14 (NIV)

Then, Jesus took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them, and blessed each child one by one.

Sometime thereafter, the disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest in God’s kingdom. Jesus brought a child to stand among them and said, “whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4 (NIV)

It is clear that Christ valued children. In fact, he even wanted his adult children to emulate their humble, innocent faith. So while every country must be governed by its laws, I’m certain there is another solution to this issue without traumatizing our precious little ones.

Let us remember these words: “‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger…and not help you?’ [Jesus responds], ‘…when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’” Matthew 25:44-45 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, let’s see our precious children as Christ sees them.

B Moments, brotherly love

Practice Showing Your Brotherly Love

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 12:10 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about brotherly love.

We’re wrapping up our series on love. We started with the depths of a mother’s love and talked about how some of her sacrifices are obvious while others can go unseen and unspoken. We then discussed how the same is true for God’s love. Sometimes His hand can appear front and center, and other times He shows His love to us behind the scenes.

Now, I am thinking about the term philia, which is the Greek word for brotherly or affectionate love. If we really love God unconditionally, this is how we should show up for His children; we should be sure to show them brotherly love. When I think about this, I think about the dispute between Abraham and his nephew Lot.

Abraham and Lot lived in the same area and were both wealthy men as they had a number of sheep and cattle to manage. In fact, they had so many animals that each outgrew their own pastures, which caused the herdsmen for both men to argue over space.

One day, Abraham went to Lot and told him that they needed to stop arguing because they were family. To that end, he asked Lot to choose whatever portion of land he desired to live on, and Abraham would move his family and cattle to reside somewhere else.

Abraham not only demonstrated brotherly love, but he did it under heated circumstances. Lot, on the other hand, responded in a very selfish way. He chose the most fertile land near the Jordan Valley and made Abraham move to a new area.

Yet in the end, we see that Abraham made the better choice as Lot chose land near Sodom, a city God would ultimately destroy. As we think about brotherly love, let us hold onto these words: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, go show some brotherly love.