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More Thoughts From Bob Goff

Dear Friends,

This week's "thought" has to do with follow-through. Something many people struggle with! We are often good at dreaming, but fall short of doing. We can be well-intentioned, but as time passes we can be tempted to simply let things slide. After all, doing takes more effort, involves more time, means taking more risks, and leads to greater sacrifices. It's more costly. Yet, on the brighter side, it 's also more satisfying, leads to greater growth, and brings more glory to God.

The author, Bob Goff, is right. We will never be remembered for what we simply planned to do! In fact, chances are people will never even know we ever planned to do things if we don't follow through! This entry is found in Goff's book, "Live in Grace. Walk in Love." Enjoy.

No One Is Remembered For What They Just Planned To
"Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." - James 1:22

Have you ever settled into bed at the end of a long day only to realize you forgot a family member’s birthday? We’ve all experienced making the call of shame the next day, the apologies, and reassurance that we meant to call and that something special (very special) is on the way. We’ve all been told, “It’s the thought that counts!” But there’s a difference between hearing that someone meant to send flowers, and the excitement of hearing the knock on the front door. There’s a difference between a kind text message (which is good), and a friend who’s actually beside us when we get the phone call from the doctor with bad news (which is better).

It’s so much easier to love people with our intentions than to love them in real life. It’s exciting to scheme ways to make the world a little more beautiful. We can Google the details of our plans and tell our friends what we dreamed up. We can blog about it to raise awareness, or have a Kickstarter campaign to raise money. Often, though, this is just brain candy. While it makes us feel good, it doesn’t do much to move the needle in people’s lives. No one is remembered for what they just planned to do.

Just like great characters in films are remembered by what they do and not by what they merely think about, we’re known for our actions. The power of love is in the sacrifice and commitment it requires. Sacrifice and commitment always travel with love and action. Love looks like showing up with hands to help even when we don’t know what to do. Love looks like stopping by even if we don’t know what to say. Simply put, love doesn’t just think about it; love does it. Who have you been “planning” to demonstrate love to? What can you do today to follow through on that plan?"

The goal, of course, is not to be remembered. Our goal as believers is to live a life of love. A life of faithful, caring, God-honoring, obedience. Whether we are ever remembered, or get recognition for things that we do, should never be the driving force behind our actions! After all, as Paul notes, deeds done without love - even deeds like giving all we have to the poor, or sacrificing ourselves - count for little, even nothing, if they are not done out of love (I Cor. 13:1-3).

We are to carry out our deeds of love in life because that's what love does! Love doesn't settle for simply feeling feelings, it knows it must do something. It isn't content to simply "feel" compassion, for it knows that nothing short of compassionate deeds are called for. "If anyone has material possessions, and sees a brother in need, but has no pity on him (that is, doesn't actually help him) how can the love of God be in him? Dear friends, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth." I John 3:17-18. Life is short. And plans not followed through on can leave us with regrets. Deeds speak much louder than words, and build people up far more than wonderful and grandiose plans not carried out.

So I ask you to pause right now and think: What will you do for someone THIS WEEK? What person will you go to, what gift will you bring, what words will you share, what time will you spend listening and caring in person? What loving deed(s) will you do? Not simply plan to do, but actually do. Not simply talk about, but follow through on? Who could use your help, be encouraged by a visit, surprised by a gift, or feel loved simply because you went out of your way to make them feel special by something you did for them?

Many blessings on your creative endeavors in that regard, Pastor Jeff


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