Friday, September 11, 2015

Stepping Stone Or Stumbling Block

                           11 Remembrance Clip Art        Lest We Forget

Chuckle: Places to visit: "I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump to get there, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore."

Quote: "Appreciation is thanking, recognition is seeing, and encouragement is bringing hope for the future." --Anonymous

STEPPING STONE OR STUMBLING BLOCK

"Think of (consider) ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24 NLT).

I once read about an elderly lady who said: "As a Christian, you can either be a stepping stone or a stumbling block. It's your choice." As I thought about this passage and this woman's statement, I realized that, at times, I have been both a stumbling block and a stepping stone to others. We are always being one or the other depending upon the one we choose to be.

"Think of" and "consider" are translations of a word that means a kind of rivalry. The thought may be translated, "let us rival one another as we stir up, spur, and encourage one another to love others and do good deeds for them." This is a kind of rivalry which is not contentious or bitter but both constructive and productive. It is a spiritual rivalry which causes us to utilize all our spiritual resources as we encourage and rival one another in love and acts of kindness.

Every day we make choices that influence the lives of those around us. Not making a choice is to choose to be a stumbling block -- there is no neutral ground. We are either encouraging others by our words and actions or we are discouraging others by our words and actions. Just as Jesus said, "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters," we cannot be neutral. There is no such thing as Christian non-responsibility.

Think with me about your life. Do you know fellow believers who need a kind word, a pat on the back, or an understanding ear to listen? Have you chosen to be a stepping stone by spurring other Christians on toward greater faithfulness? When you choose to make a difference, you not only benefit your brothers and sisters but bring great joy to yourself as well. It's been my experience that a serving Christian is a happy Christian.

If we take the time to be sensitive to the needs of others, with the accompanying opportunities for service, we can be stepping stones. Being a stepping stone may be as simple as making a phone call, sending an e-mail, or posting a thoughtful card. Or it may mean making significant personal sacrifices of time, money, and effort to help and encourage other believers. If we choose to do so, you and I can brighten the day of someone and be a stepping stone for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Love, Jerry & Dotse

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