Today’s Truth

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them

(James 4:17, NIV).

Friend to Friend

I was in a hurry. It was Wednesday, and I had several errands to run before heading to the church where I teach a monthly Bible study for women. My last stop was the grocery store. I wanted to pick up snacks for many of the women who came straight from work to the study. It didn’t take long to fill my cart with drinks, chips, fruit, and a few bags of the oh-so-necessary chocolate treats. Mission accomplished, I headed to the checkout lane.

I suddenly had the thought that I should check out the Christmas decorations. Huh? Where had that thought come from? True, it was only a few weeks until Christmas, but I didn’t even know if the grocery store had Christmas decorations. It did. And they just happened to be at the end of the aisle I was on. “Well, why not?” I thought. I had a few minutes to spare.

I selected a few wooden ornaments that would work well on my Christmas tree and tossed them in the cart. And then my eye caught the display just below the rack of tree ornaments. It was a collection of gift books containing inspirational quotes and Scriptures. I spotted one that looked particularly good and, without even checking the price (which is something I always do), added it to my cart and checked out.

As I loaded the sacks in my car, I wondered what had possessed me to buy that book since I already had several similar books at home. I tucked the book in my purse and headed to the church.

The Bible study went well. I was cleaning up and getting ready to head home when a tearful and obviously upset young woman came rushing in. “Did I miss it?” she asked. When I told her we had just finished, she dropped in a chair and burst into tears. “I tried so hard to get here but had a flat tire. It took them an hour to fix it and then the traffic was awful … and I needed to be here so much!” she wailed. I sat down beside her and said, “I have time. Let’s talk.”

For an hour, this precious young woman poured out her heart and life story of pain along with her desire to get back in church and find God. We talked and prayed. When I encouraged her to start reading the Bible, her eyes filled with tears as she said, “I don’t even have a Bible. I lost mine.” And then I heard His voice, “That’s why I wanted you to buy the book.” I hugged the young woman and said, “I want to show you how much God loves you. He knew you would come here tonight and told me to buy something He wanted you to have.” When I handed her the inspirational book and explained why I had bought it, a smile of wonder and relief spread across her lovely face. “He really does love you and has a plan for your life,” I explained. That young woman made a profession of faith in Christ and has been attending our church ever since that night.

I really do try to live a life of obedience to Christ. I often fail … but I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t listened to His voice that day in the grocery store?

How many times do I miss the opportunity to serve Him by serving others because I am too busy or just don’t care enough?

Oh, I know God is certainly big enough to accomplish His perfect will in many ways. But I want to be part of His process. I want my life to matter.

I have made a new commitment to be ready and available to be used by God whenever and wherever He wants to use me. I have asked God to help me listen for His voice above all others. Each morning, I pray, “Here I am, Lord. Use me!” How about you?

Let’s Pray

Father, please forgive me when I am too busy to see the hurting people in my world. Help me slow down and look for ways to share You and Your love. Use me, Lord. Right now, I make myself available to be your instrument of love and mercy.

In Jesus’ name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Think back over your day. Was there someone who looked like they could use an encouraging word? Would a smile from you have blessed that young woman in the drive through lane? Did the thought occur to you to pay for the groceries of the young couple in front of you at the grocery store? Look for ways to share Jesus with the people who cross your path today.

More from the Girlfriends

I often wonder how different our world would be if we listened for and acted on the instructions God gives us through the Holy Spirit. Today, listen for His voice and look for ways to share His love.

Need help? Mary’s CD, I Need a Friend, will give you practical steps to being a friend and finding ways to share His love. Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website. Connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

4 Responses to “Here I Am, Lord!”

  1. Mandy says:

    What a wonderful devotion and great way to start this morning. I have always been a believer in Jesus and attempted to always be involved with a church, even though we move around a lot, but don’t remember ever attempting to discern God’s nudges until now, after 50…… I guess it is form of spiritual maturity and I know God does not want me to feel guilty for waiting so long to really pay attention, but I struggle with this! Thanks Mary for this inspiration! It brought tears to my eyes this morning! I am so grateful for our Heavenly Fathers love, grace and wisdom!! Thank you Jesus!

  2. Jessica says:

    There were three coworkers that I recall from yesterday. When I look back and remember the day, I am ashamed that I let myself get in the way of going up to them and making sure it was all ok. I let my schedule, pride, and cowardness get in the way. I worried about the what ifs and so on. I saw a friend that could use a hug, but we had an argument the day before. Forgive me Heavenly Father for getting in the way of YOUR path for me. Please helo me and guide me open my heart, ears, and soul to you.

  3. Sandra says:

    As I read Mandy’s response I wanted to tell someone that is exactly how I feel!!!
    I grew up in a christian home, I accepted the Lord as my savior at 12 years old which was the best decision I have ever made and have served Him ever since then. Yet now at the age of 57….I feel there is so much I need to do for the Lord….in the last couple of weeks I have really been searching and asking God….”what is my purpose God? What is it that I am supposed to accomplish? Please give me clear direction…and give me insight, courage and the tools I need to accomplish it”.
    I too will start my day every morning by saying “here I am Lord”.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8