Day 8: We’re Commissioned To Reach Out Together – By Being Intentional

Point to Ponder: Make the most of every opportunity to share
Verse to Remember: “Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity.” — Colossians 4:5 (NCV)
Question to Consider: Will anybody be in heaven because of you?
[Read More] thoughts on Day 8 of Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Community.

[Actually written a day later, though I did study it on the 18th]

“Love cares”

The first two words of today’s devotional are about as obvious as one could imagine, but somehow they seemed to capture the essence of the impact Rick is trying to produce through this campaign. As I was explaining to a friend, “40 Days” isn’t meant to be studied so much as lived — a distinction often lost on his critics.

Which, in many ways, is the gist of today’s lesson. It ultimately doesn’t matter (to others) what our reasons, or even emotions, are for loving: the question is, what are our intentions* Is it our goal “to become aware, to care and to share with the people God has placed” in our lives? Do our abstract thoughts and inner feelings pour out in genuine love that actually blesses other people? I believe Rick is right: “the starting point is to become intentional about it” (emphasis his). That’s not the end, but that’s where love starts becoming an other-directed reality.

I also appreciated his focus on combining intentionality with sensitivity:

* Be wise
* Always kind
* and pleasant
as well as on supplementing intention with preparation. There’s certainly a lot more to do, but right now I need to make sure there isn’t anything less in myself.

Prayer: God, please redeem my intentions. So much of my life is focused on myself, and my perceptions of what I can do. Help me to choose to care. Help me to believe that I can actually be a spiritual blessing to the people around me. May these 40 Days not be a time of intellectual cogitation, but of volitional transformation. God, I want to be a man who cares about others the way you care for them; the way you care for me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.