August 2 - Lifetime Investments

By Clancy P. Hayes

Today's Scripture: Romans 15:13-16:7

Central Thought: You owe a debt of encouragement.

    God has placed many important influences in my life. Bert Skinner helped me to find self-worth. Pastor Browne challenged me to grow in Christ. Scott Garland guided me through my teenage years. Without these men my life would have never been as complete, nor would I have the relationship with Christ I now enjoy. I owe them more than I can ever repay.

    The apostle Paul reminded the Romans of the investment the Jewish believers had made in them. He encouraged them to be thankful and to return the investment as they were able: 'For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews' spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings” (Romans 15:27, NIV).

    Who were the influencers that made a difference in your spiritual development? Consider where you would be today if they had not invested in you. You probably don't need to send these people material blessings, but take a few seconds to thank God for them. If they are still living, take a few minutes and write a letter of encouragement to them and return a portion of the investment they made in you.

    Another way to return the investment is to invest in others. Whom do you know today that needs a word of encouragement? Take the time to give as a way of saying thank you to all those who invested in you.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, use me to bless the life of someone today.

Today's Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 32:1-33:13; Romans 15:13-16:7; Psalm 25:16-22; Proverbs 20:16-18