“Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:25
With the rise of smart devices, apps, and social media, we are continually inundated with messages, texts, and pop-ups of what friends are saying, what current event is occurring, or what update has been made to our favorite game. Our connected world appears to be functioning very well. But is it?
To hear Pastor Cindy’s teaching about “unplugging”, check week two of The Beloved Bible Study Session HERE!
How many of us have sat at lunch with friends who are constantly looking at text messages as they appear on their devices? If we are honest, how many of us sit at the park on our phones instead of watching our kids play? Or ride the train into work without once taking out our earbuds, or putting down our favorite book?
But what if we were to intentionally offer another person an hour of our time? Yes, that may seem like a lot, especially in a world that clamors for our attention span to continually shorten so we can fit more in, get more done.
What if, like Jesus, we were to sit with someone and listen long enough that we sense the longing God has for that person to be nearer to Him?
Our world tells us that a quick 10-second “Praying for you!” post on social media or asking someone how they are as you pass them by is a thoughtful gesture of love. We have subtly come to believe that as long as we do something, we were ‘present’, and that is enough. But present doesn’t simply mean ‘in person.’
Present means ‘all-in’, completely available and without distraction.
That is what we seek as we work to cry “Be loved!” to a world that is crushed and lonely.
This week, offer another person one hour of your focused attention. Put your phone away. Put your smart devices away. And listen. Listen to his or her heart cries, to the happy and the sad, and to the voice of God in the moment calling you to minister to that person. Be present and soak up the goodness of God in that moment.
Reflect on how you felt doing this, and how you might continue to encourage this person in the days and weeks to come. Include how you might intentionally carve out times like this at least once a week.
The BE LOVED challenge is about 25 simple acts of love that can change someone’s life forever. To access previous weeks of The BE LOVED challenge go to:
The BE LOVED challenge is a study guide from the YouVersion Bible App. Provided by Laurie Nichols in conjunction with the Billy Graham Center. For more information, please visit: http://www.billygrahamcenter.org
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For more information about The Beloved Movement, Bible Studies, Inspirational Gifts and more go to: thebelovedmovement.com