From Our Hearts to Yours
Ananias is a classic example of a man who displayed obedience in the midst of a difficult situation. As a result, he had great influence. The details of his obedience are found right in the middle of the story of Paul’s conversion…
Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight” (Acts 9:10-12). Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name” (Acts 9:13-14).
God’s command to Ananias was, “Go” (verse 15). And Ananias had to decide—to obey, or not to obey? And the rest is history! Ananias went, and Ananias became a man of great influence because he was obedient to God.
His example teaches us to be:
- Available to do what God asks.
- Willing to do what must be done.
- Prepared to obey, no matter what.
- Expectant of the results God is seeking.
You can be another Ananias. All it takes is a desire to faithfully obey the commands of Scripture as they are presented. As you are faithful to follow God’s commands, you will have a powerful and lasting influence and impact.
In The Man Who Makes a Difference, Jim George explores how the Apostle Paul took God’s priorities for life and made them his own. The result? He had a significant impact on everyone around him … and you can, too!
What’s in a name? Plenty! In Bible times, names given to newborns were very significant. Through the names they bestowed, mothers and fathers passed on their expectations, their faith, and even a bit of hard-earned wisdom.
Such is the case of Leah. The lackluster Leah had the misfortune of sharing her husband, Jacob, with her stunning sister, Rachel. The Bible tells us Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah and that Leah was unloved. Both Leah and Rachel were barren for a while, but the Lord eventually opened Leah’s womb, and she conceived and bore a son.
When she held her new baby, Leah christened him “Reuben”—“See, a son!” or “Behold a son!” Leah exclaimed, “The Lord has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me” (Genesis 29:32). The name “Reuben” reveals Leah’s longing for love.
But buried deeper in the naming of her tiny boy was Leah’s joyful surprise at God’s love and compassion. “Reuben” also acknowledges God’s kindness and providence. God had noticed her trouble and looked favorably upon Leah. She treasured that thought so deeply that it was passed on to her son. To Leah, Reuben would always be proof of God’s loving care—a loving care you, too, can enjoy!
In One Minute With The Women of The Bible by Elizabeth George, you’ll learn how God comforted, helped, and provided for the women in the Bible … and you’ll grow more and more aware of His amazing love for you.
Faithful in the little things.
Faithful in the large things.
Faithful in all things.
These three descriptions perfectly describe Phoebe, a woman we meet in Romans 16:1-2. She is a living example of Jesus’ statement that “he who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much” (Luke 16:10).
Phoebe was not one of the leaders of any of the churches in and around Corinth. But she faithfully provided her vital service to the people where she lived and also in her ministry to the apostle Paul. Because of her faithfulness, Phoebe was given the responsibility of hand-delivering a letter—the book of Romans—to the church in Rome! Can you imagine the Bible without the book of Romans?
Are you faithful in the little things—like giving generously of your time and energy to your church? By helping others, you are providing a great service to God and His people. And who knows, one day God may ask you to provide Him with even greater service! Phoebe served faithfully in what was least…and proved faithful also in much.
A woman’s day is full of challenges and opportunities. Let the wisdom of God show you how to thrive through it all in Elizabeth George’s newest book, Proverbs for a Woman’s Day.
Here’s a challenge and a truth. When you decide to work on being more generous, you’ll have no trouble finding opportunities! Just to get you going down this path being a giver, try these ideas for starters:
- Begin at home—Your parents and siblings are first in line for your cheerfulness and help.
- Give to your church—Make it a point whenever you get your allowance, or some birthday money, or some cash from a babysitting or dog walking job, to give some of it the next time you’re at church. And pray as you give for those your giving will help.
- Keep your ear to the ground—Take time to notice people around you who are in need. Sign up to receive your church’s prayer list. Don’t let opportunities to do good to someone pass you by.
- Support a group or person—A few dollars a month from you can support a needy child through a worthy organization. These same dollars can actually provide water to people who are dying of thirst in other parts of the world!
(Just a thought—be sure you check with your parents about your plans to give money or assistance. Let them know how much and who will be the recipients of your giving. They can provide their wisdom and guidance, and they just might want to join you in your efforts.)
- Live out love—When asked what love looks like, the early church father Augustine replied,
Love has hands to help others.
It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want.
It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrow of men.
This is what love looks like.
This kind of love is truly beautiful in God’s eyes!
In Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George provides an engaging and inspirational resource for every mom who wants to lead her daughter to a godly life by example, encouragement, study, and prayer.