January 11, 2018

Acts 11:28–30 (NLT) — 28 One of them named Agabus stood up in one of the meetings and predicted by the Spirit that a great famine was coming upon the entire Roman world. (This was fulfilled during the reign of Claudius.) 29 So the believers in Antioch decided to send relief to the brothers and sisters in Judea, everyone giving as much as they could. 30 This they did, entrusting their gifts to Barnabas and Saul to take to the elders of the church in Jerusalem.

Towards the end of 1999 it was predicted that we would have a y2k disaster on our hands. Most everything in our country is run by computers and at the time it was thought that when the calendar turned to 2000 out computers would malfunction and most everything would come to a standstill. This is because computer memory space was pricey then and memory was saved by using two digits for the date instead four. For example, a date representing 1995 would be saved as “95.” Therefore, when the year changed to 2000, the disaster that was anticipated by so many was that the computers would not be able to tell if “00” meant 2000 or 1900.

In anticipation of this disaster people started storing water, food and buying generators etc. It is estimated that the United States spent around 150 billion dollars to upgrade their computers. Well as it turns out there were only a few minor glitches and life went on as usual.

Man may not always be right in his predictions but God is always right in his. The Holy Spirit told Agabus about a famine that was going to com upon the entire Roman world. Well it did. It started in about 41A.D and the worst of it lasted for about 4 years. Many people died because they did not have the money needed to purchase food. However when the prophecy came forth from Agabus the believers immediately gave money to Barnabas and Paul to take to the believers in Jerusalem. Our verses say, “They decided to send relief.”

Those were the words that got my attention. As Christians we have been called to be a blessing. We are all relief workers. When the hurricane hit Houston, Texas last year many churches and organizations sent relief workers with care packages for the people. I believe we do a good job  of giving relief when we know about it. In fact if you look at the billboard by the Service Food grocery store here in town most every week there is posted some kind of fundraiser for a person or a family in need.

I believe a lot of needs go unnoticed because they are not posted. Sometimes we need to ask questions to find out where we can send relief. Sometimes we need to just open our eyes and look for the needy. Cleo saw someone the other day at the self check out at Walmart starting to purchase a pair of shoes. The person didn’t look like they had much so she asked if she could purchase the shoes. The person was extremely grateful. Cleo sent relief.

Cleo has a knack for spotting people who need relief. Well maybe she has the knack because she asks the Holy Spirit to lead her to people that need relief. The Holy Spirit must love her asking because weekly Cleo tells me stories of this young boy needing a jacket, this mom needing a gloves, this family needing school supplies, a lady needing help organizing her office, a neighbor needing her cats fed while she is away, another neighbor needing help painting a room in her house, and she is always watching our daughter in law Sarah to make sure that she has all the help she needs with the our three granddaughters. Sometimes Sarah needs time to clean house and grocery shop so Cleo sends relief.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is asking us to search to see where we might send relief. Do you know someone who could use some groceries, a helping hand, a listening ear, a prayer, a ride to the store or church, a visit, or a word of encouragement? We can be the answer to the glitches in people’s lives. Let’s be like the Christians in Antioch and determine or decide that we will be active Relief Workers. After all Jesus got up everyday and put on his sandals and went out and did relief work. 

1 Peter 3:8–9 (NLT) — 8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.

We can determine not to have any Y2K glitches in our neighborhood.

Be Inspired Hilltop!