Act 40: Deliver

Today’s act counts maybe even more than the last 39, because it’s the launch-pad into leading a generous life. Be bold with generosity today. Shun the it’s-nearly-over apathy. Take a risk. And let open-handed, openly-visible generosity spill over into your future.]

 Choose how you’ll complete today’s act:

Green:
Drop an Easter egg and a card at your neighbour’s door, or all the doors on the street. Our culture might not have many Easter traditions – but let’s make the ones we have wildly generous.

Amber:
Don’t worry about being a little over the top. Go all out. Take someone a breakfast basket, or a fully-prepped meal (with all the Easter trimmings, hot cross buns and all), or a whole week of shopping.

Red:
Stand outside a busy place – or outside your church – and hand out Easter eggs and cards for people going by.

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Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

(James 1:22)
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Your thought for today:

D.L. Moody, the American evangelist and publisher once said, ‘If a man is stealing nuts and bolts from a railway track, and, in order to change him, you send him to college, at the end of his education, he will steal the whole railway track.

Education is good, but we can tend to think education answers everything. Education doesn’t change heart attitudes. We need to put theory into action.  As we were reminded at the very start of our studies during 40acts, James, put it this way. He wrote: ‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.’ James 1:22.

Love is a verb. It is something to do. Just as what we think about can influence what we do, it can work the other way too – our deliberate actions can change the way we think and feel.

When relationships hit rocky times, loving actions can help put those friendships back on track. You might not feel positive towards a colleague, spouse or housemate. But setting your heart to love and serve them in practical ways, even when you don’t feel like it, can change the situation. 40acts has challenged us to make a difference, and that doesn’t have to end now we’ve reached the end of Lent.

I heard a story about a woman working in an open plan office. Everyone grumbled about the state of the shared space. Angry notices appeared regularly about clearing up. Emails arrived repeatedly on the intranet. But nothing changed, until one woman began to make a difference. Every day she spent a couple of minutes clearing up, watering the plants, making the place pleasant for everyone. She didn’t make a song and dance about it, and didn’t complain when she had to tidy up all over again the next day. Gradually her small actions began to change the atmosphere in the office. It became a more cheerful place to work, because she had sown seeds of love instead of inaction and indifference. Indifference – doing nothing – is the opposite of love.

Love is caught not taught. To teach his disciples the way to live, Jesus showed them how to live and how to respond to the needs around them. He fed hungry crowds, hugged people with leprosy, treated women and children with respect, healed all who came to him, and wept when his friend died.

The cross was the ultimate lesson in love.

When Jesus went to the cross, he was motivated by love: God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so we can have life with him eternally. Jesus’ sacrificial action changed everything.

When he puts his Spirit in us, he gives us the power to love as he loves.

This Easter, let’s ask God to fill us with his love.

Let’s go on putting his love into action. Let’s change the world!


Written by Roy Crowne @roycrowne
Roy became HOPE Together Executive Director in March 2010 and was previously the National Director of Youth for Christ in Britain for 12 years.
Roy has written and edited a peer-to-peer evangelistic training course, called ‘The Art of Connecting’.


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