But the Lord watches over those who fear Him, those who rely on His unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in You alone. (Psalm 33:18-22 NLT)
Reverence God – Worship Him in spirit and in truth. Love Him with all you have and are. Thank and praise Him for all of His goodness towards you and His great plans for your life, which includes salvation unto eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Give Him first place in your heart and mind, and let your mouth be filled with His praises as you make an effort not to complain. Pray to Him for wisdom, guidance, strength, and relief for others as well as yourself. Trust in Him at all times and lead others to do the same. Learn His word and hide it in your heart that you might not sin against Him. Be filled constantly with His Holy Spirit and yield to His leading. Lift up the name of Jesus; trumpet His redemptive work. Seek your place in the body of Christ and serve the Lord faithfully.
Educate to Eradicate Waste – Learn to do well. Learn so you can do better, making the most of what you have. Develop new skills that will enhance your life. Learn to make fewer but more meaningful trips using that more expensive gas. Learn to turn your leftovers into new meals whenever possible. Learn to resist impulse buying of stuff you don’t really need and are not going to use. Waste not, want not. Learn to use portion control by learning and exercising self-control. Learn to cut back on nonessential habits or hobbies, which drain your precious and more limited resources. Learn to yield not to temptation from peer pressure, if you don’t have it to spend, you will not spend what you need for something more important, and you are to learn not to feel bad about it. Learn to budget and stick to it. Take advantage of courses or seminars in your community that can help you do more in life and get more out of life.
Sow into Others – Look for people who need help and help them as God makes opportunity and gives resources. A listening ear can go a long way. You may be short on money to give, but can lend a hand to an elderly person or other people in distress. Sound advice and/or encouraging words many times are found to be more helpful than a fistful of dollars. Join with others and really show the unity in community. Carpool to work or to the grocery store. Some families band together to eat-as in sharing materials for meals, cooking, and cleaning duties amongst themselves. Shared gardening can bring people closer together and cut costs by laboring together to produce food to be shared, sold for profit, and/or given as aid to the less fortunate. Businesses and other community entities can collaborate on some joint ventures for greater efficiency and effectiveness. To keep down confusion, discussions should be held upfront regarding expectations and limitations amongst all parties.
Observe the Signs – Tough times increase stress in our loved ones and in us. Stress leads to poor decision making and can lead to unhealthy habits which can be hard to overcome. Poor decision-making can make for increased stress. Increased stress seeks an outlet and sometimes we hold it in to the hurt of our emotional or physical health and/or sometimes we let it out in a way that hurts others who in turn hurt us. Keep yourself as best you can. Have a trusted love one or friend to confide in. Keep yourself physically by eating as healthy as you can, getting some physical exercise, and making time to rest. Have a lot of talks with Jesus, He can heal, help, and give you hope.
Love is the Essential – Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever. Serve one another in love. Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments against adultery and murder and stealing and coveting—and any other commandment—are all summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God’s requirements. Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 1 Cor 13:4-8; Gal 5:13; Rom 13:8-10; Rom 12:9-10 (NLT)
Value Life – Appreciate yourself and others as the very blessed creation of God-made in His image and likeness. Be glad about the blessings that you have received from God-your life, family, and possessions-however little or much they may be- be grateful. Acknowledge the good in others and seek their wellbeing, for if you do, God will bless you accordingly. Remember that God, who is divine, exalted, flawless, and glorious without end, invested Himself in you. You may not think much of yourself, and you should have a humble estimation of who you are and what you can do, but God thought about you and so He formed you and brought you forth from your mother’s womb. In His eyes, you are somebody, treasure that!!!
Enjoy the Moment – Enjoy your time in this life for however sweet your times may be. There is a bright side to every dark situation, if we choose to believe it. No matter what happens believers have faith, that God is working things out for their good. Some situations we live through, certainly don’t feel good to us, but somewhere in it, there is good for us. A songwriter said it best, “We’ll understand it better by and by.” Decide to rejoice in each day no matter what you have going on just as the Psalmist did, when He said, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Look ever to Jesus, Love deeply, Live well, and Laugh, when the moment is right.
With the love of Christ towards you,
Larry D. Reed, Sr.
Servant of the Lasting, Living, Loving God