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What Can I Do?

Daily Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5

Scripture Focus: And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5.14-15)

Devotional Thought: We often wonder, "What can I do for my brother or sister? I'm not smart enough. I don't know the Bible. I'm not a very strong Christian myself. How can I help them?" We feel inadequate. Paul told the Thessalonians some things they could do. We can do these things, too, no matter where we are on our spiritual journey:

• Admonish the idle. Are you busy in the work of the Lord? We admonish by example: There's nothing more admonishing than to see someone else doing what you ought to be doing! We admonish by extension: Ask someone to help you with what you are doing! No one should be idle in the Lord's house!

• Encourage the fainthearted. Times of discouragement come to all of us. When you see somebody feeling faint, it's not the time to say, buck up! We need to let them know that they are not abnormal and that we have been there, too. Kindness will go a long way toward encouraging the fainthearted.

• Help the weak. When somebody is doing a work for the Lord, their 'arms' may grow weary as did Moses' arms when he stood above the battle. Aaron and Hur had to hold up his arms. We can help those who are weak due to sickness or overwork or taking on more than they can handle alone.

• Be patient with all. We are not to judge, but to love. We do not know the story behind everyone's life. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. Let the Lord do his work!

• Seek to do good and not evil. Jesus said it this way: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Are you working for the good of - laboring in prayer for - your brothers and sisters?

Prayer: Lord, help me to take the time to see my brother and sister in need. And then, give me the grace to show them grace as you have shown me. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 28.1-5

1 To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. 2 Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.

3 Do not drag me off with the wicked, with the workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors while evil is in their hearts. 4 Give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their deeds; give to them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward. 5 Because they do not regard the works of the Lord or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and build them up no more.

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