Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas.
Thus read the words of Acts 11:29-30, emphasis mine.
Good intentions are nice, but their real value rests in their implementation.
How often do you have a nice thought that begins with the words, I should . . . ?
How often do those same words fall by the wayside as we get caught up in any number of day to day happenings of life, and all the good intentions we thought of carrying out fail to be completed?
It’s easy to unintentionally allow our intentions to get swept away in the urgency of the moment or caught up in the mundane tasks set before us.
I’m thankful that did not happen with the disciples who determined to send relief to their countrymen suffering at the hands of a famine, or a whole lot of people would have suffered even more.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who lamented that each year she determines to live with intention, but somehow unintentionally loses it with the passing of days. As I read the message hidden in Acts 11, I can’t help but wonder if part of the reason we seem to fall prey to the same malady as my friend is that perhaps we are thinking too large. Wanting to do something grand, we dream beyond our own abilities and long to make dynamic impact upon the masses instead of intentionally loving the one person before us in the moment.
I admit to
sometimes often yearning to do something other than what is placed right before me. Sometimes my daily maneuvers can seem like duties rather than passionate answers to someone’s prayer. The responsibilities facing me can be so tedious. So monotonous. So unimportant. So small.
But WHAT IF that conversation you took time to have with the elderly gentleman in the fast food restaurant was just the thing God was wanting you to do today?
WHAT IF your daughter really was needing that black shirt you just ran through the laundry?
WHAT IF the missionary to whom you sent what seemed to be a pittance of what you would desire to share was just the exact amount needed to provide for a particular care? (Sometimes a gift of $4.40 can seem even more miraculous than the larger increment of $100 if the exact amount needed was $4.40. True story.)
Don’t allow your intentionality to be distracted by the tyranny of the urgent or the tendency to compare your gift or ministry with that of another. Listen to the voice of God directing you to serve, and to give, and to speak as He has granted you the ability.
Take a lesson from the disciples in Acts and DO what He is calling you to do – send relief and encouragement and care into the lives of the people around you.
Do it as you are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Do it without overthinking it.
Do it with a determination to use what God has given you to be a blessing to others.
No matter how small the blessing may seem.
Follow through on those promptings God places on your heart, and don’t let them get lost in the land of good intentions.