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Service with Love

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Read Matthew 25:31-46

View the July-August, 2014 Issue

The king will say, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

- Matthew 25:35 (NRSV)

Lately, our church has been preparing hot meals for people who are hungry or homeless. But this is not the first time we have had a ministry to poor people. In the past, when we did not have our own building, the young people collected bags of food and distributed them. We went around the neighboring areas and sought out those who needed food. Now we have our own building where we can invite people in and feed them with hot soup, sandwiches, and tea. On the first night, only one man came. Part of me was disappointed; we had prepared a meal for 20 people. However, I noticed a difference between the church and a business project: numbers are not as important as the quality of the achieved result. But what is the point in having large numbers of guests if I didn’t even know how to talk to our one guest or conduct myself around him? I know that Jesus would have done things differently. Jesus calls us to feed those who are hungry and welcome strangers as if we are welcoming him. Jesus would have found the right words that night. I know that with a tiny bit of faith and courage we can follow Jesus’ example.

The Author

Anton Kuzmin (Saint Petersburg, Russia)

Thought for the Day

When we welcome others we are welcoming God.

Prayer

Dear God of compassion, help us offer hospitality to our neighbor without fear or hesitation. Amen.

Prayer focusThose who are homeless

Link to This Devotional

53 Comments

Comment by Sarah of Berwyn, IL

Good morning, everyone! Thank you, Anton, for your devotional this morning. I have always been very supportive of ministries to feed the poor and homeless, even though today some areas and communities are trying to prohibit these activities because they don’t want the homeless in their neighborhoods. And I agree that when we provide these acts of service we should talk to and engage these folks in conversation, make them feel welcome and loved. Though I truly believe that, that would be the hard part for me, as I am not an outgoing person. I know I need that faith and courage you mention, as speaking to others is very difficult for me.
CURT - I am praying for your family and the situation you are facing with one extended family member being controlling and manipulative. I pray the Lord will give you wisdom to know the best way to handle the situation, and that He will give you the best words to speak with her if necessary. * LILY of Palmyra, NJ - I am praying for your mother, that the Lord will bring her healing from the eye disease she has, that that He might restore her sight. I am also praying for your brother who struggles with alcoholism, and is the only one available to serve as medical POA for your mother. I pray that your brother will get the help he needs, and that the Lord will give him deliverance and victory over the alcohol.
SHEILA of Bryantsville - I am continuing to pray that the Lord will show you what He wishes you to do for Him when you do retire from the post office. I am glad to hear that you don’t have the intense pressure anymore that you were feeling about the Sept. 30 retirement date. * DAN - I am praying for your friend, Jackie’s granddaughter, Jonna, who is taking the Bar Exam today. I pray that the Lord will be with her throughout the exam, bringing to her mind everything she has learned and studied. I pray that He will give her concentration, and banish all demons who will try to distract and pester her mind. I pray that the Lord gives her peace and that she will get an excellent score.
JANET of Johnstown, PA - I am praying for your upcoming ALS walk this Saturday. I pray that you will get many donations and volunteers for the walk. I am also praying that you will have a nice day for this event. * JK - I am praying for Madison and Jordan, the daughters of John, who has lung cancer and recent brain surgery. I pray that the Lord will meet the needs of these two girls. And I continue to pray for John’s healing.
DENISE of Haskins, OH - I am lifting you in prayer as you go through the unwanted divorce. I pray that the Lord will bring healing and peace to your battered emotions throughout this. I am also praying that He will provide financially for you and your two children. I completely understand what you are going through as a few years ago I, also, went through an unwanted divorce when my husband ran off with a married woman. He left me and my children without any support, and then soon after I lost my job. If it wasn’t for the Lord, I don’t know where I would be today!
BRIAN of Amarillo - I am praying for your brother-in-law, Vernon, who was found at a truck stop, unresponsive, having had a heart attack and also pneumonia. I pray that the Lord will bring him complete healing and recovery. I am also praying for his wife and family, as he is in a hospital 4 hours away. I pray that his condition will improve enough that he might be able to be transported to a closer hospital. I pray the Lord will uphold his wife and give her the strength she needs throughout this. * CHERIE of Inverness - I am praising the Lord with you that your husband, Ron’s condition is improving, and that his white cell count has gone down. I am continuing to pray that the Lord will keep His healing hand upon Ron, and that he will continue to improve, and that they can remove the catheter.
LEAH - I am praying for the Wall, West, Lopez and Flynn families. I pray that the Lord will watch over each of their family members, and provide for all of their needs. I pray you had a safe flight last night, and that you had a wonderful visit with your family. * SIMONE of Dania, FL - I am praying for you and your daughter, that the Lord will provide for all of your needs each day. I pray that He will lift your depression, and give you an extra measure of joy each day. And I pray that the Lord will give you strength for the packing and upcoming move.
Have a blessed day, everyone!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 12:20AM CDT
Comment by Dan of Summerfield, NC

Anton, thank you for this devotion and for your heart for the poor. A friend of mine with whom I worked in the lab had been part of the Hungarian uprising in the '50's'. He had actually been born in a part of Hungary which had subsequently been annexed to Russia. One summer, he and his wife returned. When they crossed over the border into Russia to visit where he had been born, the poverty was so remarkable, they couldn't continue. I pray the conditions have improved over the last 15 years.
*
It might seem reasonable to say this scripture was instrumental in my call to serve God with the sick, the homeless and the incarcerated; but it largely took form through the direction of people God put in my path. Less than 3 months after we arrived in NC, a man from our new church called me to help him serve a meal at the shelter; he was short that night. Over the years my hunger grew from providing them with physical food, to a need to provide spiritual food as well. A year later, God called me to prison and began his discipleship with me through inmates. This expanded with my desire to become a Community Volunteer; wanting to address their practical needs in addition to their spiritual needs. Almost 10 years later, a Stephen Minister brother at the shelter, directed me to Hospital Chaplaincy to care for the sick. This started with attention to spiritual needs, but when I hungered for relationships, I was called me to do a worship service at a skilled nursing facility. Reading the scripture (verses 31-46), God calls us to people in crisis wherever they are, with whatever needs they have. There are two basic needs in each of these three groups, and for all of us: To know we are person of value to God, and a Hope/ expectation we have a divine Purpose each day when we awake. Regardless of where we are, and in what condition we are (especially those residing in the shelters and prisons), God has a mission for each of us which will bear Him fruit for His Kingdom. Praise God!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 04:57AM CDT
Comment by Dan of Summerfield, NC

Prayers particularly for the 42 men whom God has selected for our Kairos ministry which begins a week from now; for an opening of their Spirit to His love, which I pray they will experience through our team.
*
Prayers also for the men and women at our shelter, who are experiencing unrest in the dorm area; particularly in the women's dorm. It has been so hateful, it is driving some of them back to the street. This is likely occurring because the need for jobs and housing is so great, but availability is so small. Our residents are becoming frightened. They need God's comfort, peace and direction.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 05:06AM CDT
Comment by Kathy of Reading, PA

Good Morning UR family, Anton, thank you for your devotional this morning. I pray for all who are homeless and hungry. I don't understand the world today. Why are some so rich and others so poor? I get my Grandsons back today. They were visiting my younger son and cousins in PA they haven't seen in years. We plan on going to Crystal Cave this week and packing a picnic lunch! I really miss them and am looking forward to some "life" back in my apartment. My prayers today are for all spoken and unspoken needs. Praying for those dealing with the day to day struggles of life. Have a great day to all!!!!
t

Posted July 29, 2014 at 05:11AM CDT
Comment by Susan of Plymouth, MN

Good morning, all! Thank you, Anton. You made a good point. I wonder whether that one person came more of of physical hunger or emotional hunger. I wonder of we give people what they need, or only what we'd predetermined to give.
Have a blessed day!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 05:14AM CDT
Comment by JK

Good morning UR family. Anton your message is timeless as there have always been those far less fortunate. I pray we have a servant's heart and compassion toward all and that world hunger would no longer be an issue. I don't know the answer for that, but your ministry is taking the steps along with others. I pray the ripple effect will spread like a tidal wave. Blessings to each of you as you go about your day. Raynard I hope the birthday celebration was memorable!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 05:17AM CDT
Comment by Don of Ozark, MO

Good morning my friends. Anton, we thank you for your devotional contribution and we welcome you to the UR family. Many of those who come to the soup and bread lines are there due to unfortunate circumstances such as poor health or the loss of employment and a place to stay. We need not look down on those people. They should be shown the same kindness and consideration that we extend to those around us who are more affluent. Some of them would appreciate having someone to talk with as well. We should be showing love for them as God shows His love for us. We should be treating those around us as we would want to be treated by them. Sarah, I know that you have had a difficult time over the past several years but I also know that you have been busy trying to help, encourage and pray for those around you. Your efforts are most appreciated by all of us and we love you. Brian, I pray for your brother-in-law and his family that he will soon be able to be moved to a closer medical facility and that the Lord will place His healing hand upon him. Cherie, praise the Lord that Ron's health is improving. Denise, I pray for you as you as you go through the process of divorce. Janet, I pray that your walk for ALS goes well this Saturday. May we all be blessed today and in the future and do all that we can to show our love for others. Praise the Lord!!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 05:20AM CDT
Comment by Terry of Fredericksburg, VA

Good morning UR Family. Thank you Anton for today's devotional. Prayers for spoken and unspoken requests. Praying for everyone mentioned in the UR today. Everyone have a blessed day.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 05:35AM CDT
Comment by Raynard of newark, DE

Good Morning U.R Family. Thank you Anton for your devotional. Even though yesterday was my birthday, I was looking back and reflecting with my wife" life before her". I was sleeping in my company truck at a public rest stop and 2 truck stops after " having too much pride to ask for help"..God is the master builder and " there were no recalls" or directions in a language he didnt understand" I digress.. My wife and I went over to NJ to pick up my 2 youngest adult daughters. We went out to lunch and then over to her aunt and uncle 's house. We took pictures and shared family history together. Now I might be the one " to teach them both how to drive with confidence after getting their permits. My wife's uncle has been in the hospital over a week with a infection in his foot and being moved to rehab. We have to now go forth will the plan to have him and his wife move to a assisted living facility and sell their house.( is it 1-800 Got Junk or 1-800 PODS? I digress) Prayers going out to each and every spoken and unspoken request. Be encouraged and blessed everyone and have a great day. BTW, my daughters gave me a cookbook for my birthday...

Posted July 29, 2014 at 05:36AM CDT
Comment by Francis of Hideaway, TX

Dan of Summerfield. Thanks for your testimony and your service to our Lord.

Anton. It is such a pleasure and privilege to hear from a Christian brother in St. Petersburg. The bonds of Christ are much stronger than the disagreements between our two nations. May you and your church receive a continuing full measure of God's blessings. Does your church have needs?

Sarah. Continuing prayers for your needs.

Kathy. Enjoy your grandchildren.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 05:37AM CDT
Comment by Edd of Ocala, FL

Good morning all it's going to be a great day. It's my wife and I's turn to go help with the baby and mother while dad works, Yeah! Praise the Lord!!! Everyone I think we should all pray for Dan's group who are developing Kairos group. Anton, thanks for the scripture and your devotional that reminds us feeding isn't all those in need desire. Treating them like everyone else by communicating and accepting them are just as important. I know a basketball coach that takes meals to homeless under an overpass near his home and he spends time talking to them and some of the stories he tells us are really interesting. He even takes food from our church that is left over to them and he isn't even a member of our church. Praying all the UR Family find just one person to help today as we travel through this place we call home. Praying all the UR Family feel God's love and healing today. God is Love!!! Edd of Ocala, FL.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 05:39AM CDT
Comment by Lydia of Cumming, GA

Thanks, Anton, for your inspiring devotional. May the Lord open our eyes to see a person's worth regardless of their exterior appearance. And may we be willing to go where he sends us. Praising God for answered prayers, for comfort, for spiritual renewal. Praying for so many needs in our cyber fellowship of believers. Praying for the children of the world. May the Lord's comfort be with each one as we serve Him with gladness.
*****
So send I you to labour unrewarded
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown
To bear rebuke, ot suffer scorn and scoffing
So send I you to toil for Me alone
*****
So send I you to bind the bruised and broken
Over wandering souls to work, to weep, to wake
To bear the burdens of a world a-weary
So send I you to suffer for My sake
*****
So send I you to loneliness and longing
With hart a-hungering for tthe loved and known
Forsaking kin and kindred, friend and dear one
So send I you to know My love alone
********
So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred
To eyes made blind because they will not see
To spend, though it be blood to spend and spare not
So send I you to taste of Calvary
****
"As the Father hath sent me, so send I you"
***
by E. Margaret Clarkson. © Copyright 1964 Singspiration Music (ASCAP)(admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDSEbgqd2u8

Posted July 29, 2014 at 05:50AM CDT
Comment by George of Virginia Beach, VA

Anton, thank you for the reading. My wife and I used to be very active in the shelter feedings here so thank you for the nudge to do it again. Dragging a little this morning as I just got back at midnight from my trip to Kansas for my family reunion in KC, then a quick trip to see my mother in Salina. It was a blessing as I saw some relatives I had not seen for 40+ years. Please keep my friend Eric in your prayers, he had a heart attack a few days ago and is in the hospital being evaluated to see if surgery or a pace maker is best. Also my SIL Nancy whose dog Buddy died and my SIL Jane is having vertigo right now. Kept up on the readings while gone, thank you Sarah for the recaps. Praises for all needs met, and prayers for all needs spoken or unspoken. Have a blessed day!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 05:56AM CDT
Comment by Curt

Anton, thank you for your devotional. This passage is one of my favorites. I know many of us in this cyber chapel minister to the needy. I know when I first started in our church over 20 years ago I felt very uncomfortable. Not that I felt better than those we welcomed but because I wasn't sure how to act or what to say. In addition to the meal and bag lunch, we began doing things they also wanted to do as friends and our GUESTS. A few people always enjoy a small Bible class. Some like board or card games. Most like Bingo which we play for candy, lotion or socks. May God bless you and your congregation.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 06:08AM CDT
Comment by Sheila of Bryantsville, KY

Anton, I helped a church a few times in Louisville, KY as they provided food for the homeless in their community. Like you, I felt inadequate and found it hard to start a conversation with any of those who showed up. I served to the best of my ability, to the physical needs, but didn't seem to do or say anything toward anyone's emotional or spiritual needs. I felt as though I had 'failed that test' for God. But I have learned from that experience and if given opportunity again, I pray I do better. Of course, most of us around the world are only minus 1 job and a few paychecks from being in the same boat as those who we see as 'homeless' now. 1 thing we need to constantly remind ourselves is, this world in not our home, we are just passing through...
*
We are so blessed to have a relationship with the Loving, Nurturing Father Who has provided all our needs according to His riches in glory.
We are so blessed to know The King Who came conquering and to conquer eternal death so that we could have eternal life.
We are so blessed to 'know' each other even when we live around the other side of the world from some...and doubly blessed with the knowledge that we will all meet One Day, in The Kingdom! Hallelujah!
We are all so blessed to know that when we feel spiritually hungry, not only can we go to The Word to feast upon, but we can come into the cyber chapel and get some 'desert'!
*
Cyber hugs to each and every one who enters the UR cyber chapel. You are welcomed and you are loved.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 06:12AM CDT
Comment by Sheila of Bryantsville, KY

Lydia of Cumming, GA, WOW! Powerful words in that song! Thanks.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 06:18AM CDT
Comment by Gwenn of Columbia City, IN

Thank you Anton for your devotion today and the work that you do. I have not posted for a long time, but this scripture is one of my favorites and reminded me of the following song by Chris Rice. He puts it all in perspective and makes you think - how did I get in a better place than the other guy and what can I do to make his life better so when that day comes, I will be among the sheep and not the goats! Blessings to all of you who have made this your ministry. Have a blessed day!

He shares a room outside with a dozen other guys
And the only roof he knows is that sometimes starry sky
A tattered sleeping bag on a concrete slab is his bed
And it’s too cold to talk tonight
So I just sit with him instead and think

How did I find myself in a better place
I can’t look down on the frown on the other guy’s face
‘Cause when I stoop down low, look him square in the eye
I get a funny feeling, I just might be dealing
With the face of Christ

After sixteen years in a cold, gray prison yard
Somehow his heart is soft, but keeping simple faith is hard
He lays his Bible open on the table next to me
And as I hear his humble prayer
I feel his longing to be free someday

How did I find myself in a better place
I can’t look down on the frown on the other guy’s face
‘Cause when I stoop down low, look him square in the eye
I get a funny feeling, I just might be dealing
With the face of Christ

See you had no choice which day you would be born
Or the color of your skin, or what planet you’d be on
Would your mind be strong, would your eyes be blue or brown
Whether daddy would be rich, or if momma stuck around at all

So if you find yourself in a better place
You can’t look down on the frown on the other guy’s face
You gotta stoop down low, look him square in the eye
And get a funny feeling, ‘cause you might be dealing ...

How did I find myself in a better place
I can’t look down on the frown on the other guy’s face
‘Cause when I stoop down low, look him square in the eye
I get a funny feeling, I just might be dealing
With the face of Christ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTV7iasNUE0&list=RDhTV7iasNUE0

Posted July 29, 2014 at 06:49AM CDT
Comment by Donna of San Marcos, TX

Good morning dear family. Up earlier than usual, but in order to have quiet time with the Lord early is good. Anton your devotional reminded me of discussions I have had with others about "numbers." Over the years my actions to follow this scripture have changed. I used to think "more is better" and I certainly would want to help as many as needed help; however, that is not always possible for one person. This scripture to me is more about relationship, by offering someone food or drink, visiting a person in prison, helping one who is sick. The personal is essential in these acts because we responded to the call for help, and words are exchanged. I am all for feeding people hot meals, but sit down and eat with them and converse, yes, difficult at first but it gets easier.

Please pray for the healthcare workers in west Africa who are fighting for their lives after contracting the Ebola virus. There is no cure except for the Great Physician. They put their own lives in peril to serve the sick, and as a community we need to pray for them for healing. The world is watching and we need great witnesses now more than ever. These folks have given their lives, and now they need us to pray. If it be your will, dear Lord, let them heal from this deadly sickness. Bring them comfort and strengthen their bodies so they can fight off the virus. Some have healed, so it is not impossible and with you Lord, all things are possible. We bend to your will, but lift up our brother and sister who are sick. Amen

May God be with you all today and be blessed!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 06:57AM CDT
Comment by Sandra of Summerville, SC

Thanks Anton for your devotional this morning. Our church feeds those who ae in need of food through our food bank. We do need to know how to talk and minister to those who come. I am guilty of this at times and ask God to give me the courage to open up to them more and be aware of their spiritual needs. I pray for all UR members and their families. I pray that God will give me a peace of mind and for all those who are in this need as well.
Have a blessed day in the Lord everyone!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 07:15AM CDT
Comment by Judy of Yalaha, FL

Good Morning,
Anton, God has blessed you with a loving heart. The hard part for me would be the conversation. It's just me, i'm like that in all situations. It was a hard part of being a minister's wife, but God was always there to help.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 07:22AM CDT
Comment by Venedith

A blessed Tuesday URF, praying for all your needs to find our Lords will, praying for your families to be under our Heavenly Father grace and for us to see our neighboors and provide for their necessities. IJN Amen.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 07:25AM CDT
Comment by CARMEN of Caguas, PR

Amen, amen, to all previously expressed, no need to add to such words of wisdom; Sarah, Dan, Kathy, Susan, J K, Don, Terry, Raynard, Francis, Ed, Lydia, George, Curt, Sheyla, Gwen, Donna, and so many others that I'm sure will add even more wisdom during this day.
Please, pray TODAY for my trip from Longwood, to Jacksonville, FL. It's my first driving in highways here in US. Though I trust My Lord, I'm nervous. It's only me driving with my 83 yrs old sister for a 2 hour trip. Thanks for your prayers, Oscar Javier is recuperating and I'll be able to share with him for a couple of days. Haven't seen him since Mother's Day.
Blessings, hugs, prayers, GRATITUDE to all.
PRAISE THE LORD, THANK YOU JESUS, THANKS HOLY SPIRIT.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 07:26AM CDT
Comment by julie of Delray Beach, FL

Good Morning Ur family and Thank you Anton for the devotional. In my area we have been told by the local authorities not to give anything to the homeless that are carrying signs at the stop lights. However I find myself giving anyway. I keep remembering a quote my grandfather used to say"By the grace of God go I."
Praying for all on the list spoken or not. Special prayers for Dan's Kairos group. That all goes well .
Praying for the health workers in Africa that the Lord heal them from Ebola. Pray that there will be a vaccine developed soon to cure it. Have a blessed day UR family.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 07:33AM CDT
Comment by Jayne of Maury City, TN

Anton, thanks for today's devotional. Praying for each name and situation listed and those on our hearts. Praying for our country and the leaders of our country. Praying for a safe and blessed day for everyone!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 07:52AM CDT
Comment by cherie of inverness, FL

I have a praise to shout to the rooftops!! Ron came home yesterday. His white count was down and he is off the catheter so hopefully, he will start to heal from this terrible experience. It is taking a toll on his emotions. From never going to a medical person to being flooded with them is a scary experience. I try to boost him up and tell him he will heal and be back to his old self one day. I don't think he believes that quite yet.

Please keep us in your prayers for the upcoming surgery on the parathyroid that it will be successful and with no infections. I pray for the homeless and lonely of the world and pray the Lord will come and wipe out all of this pain we have. I am looking for another church where I can feel comforted and loved. The church I was going to is so big I felt even lonelier. Pray that I will find one soon.

Thank you all again for your prayers. Love and Light

Posted July 29, 2014 at 07:54AM CDT
Comment by Denise of Haskins, OH

Thank you Sarah for your prayers! It feels good to have someone praying for me that knows exactly where I am coming from! With God's grace and promises I know I will come out of this stronger because of Him. Don't sell yourself short when it comes to the gifts the Lord has given you. Even though you may feel uncomfortable talking to people in person what you do here makes a very big difference in people's lives. Just knowing that you are thinking of me in your daily prayers means a ton to me! I'm sure others feel the same way! Prayers to all for all needs today!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 07:56AM CDT
Comment by Willis of Jackson, TN

Good morning UR Family: "Today is the day the LORD made, let us be glad and rejoice in it." Ps 124:18 Also, let us share it with those less fortunate than us in this world. Today is my day to go to the Soup Kitchen or as Dan calls it "GODs Kitchen". I am praying for all of those beautiful people and for each and every one that transits this loving site. GOD IS LOVE!!!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 08:05AM CDT
Comment by Bob of Salem, MI

Good Morning UR Family,
Thank you Anton and your fellow Christians that stepped up to be the hands and feet and voice of God to those in need. I hope that the program continues.
Thanks to all who come to this site and are God's hands and feet where you live. You have made a loving difference in a persons life.
Prayers for all needs shared and Praises for all the Blessing big and small that we receive throughout this day. GLYASDI

Posted July 29, 2014 at 08:12AM CDT
Comment by kim of locust grove, OK

Father God thank You for opportunities to serve You. Help us be open to Your call. Thank You that Jim got all our hay hauled in yesterday safely. Thank You for the cool weather ahead as I enjoy my last few days before I go back to work. It has been a good summer. Be with the prayers of Your people. Bring healing to those in need and strength for whatever journey is ahead. We ask You for Your grace to guide us. Be Thou our vision. IJN. Amen.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 08:51AM CDT
Comment by Michele of Grove City, PA

Thank you, Anton, for this message. I have never been the best conversationalist in any situation, but as you said, we have to try to emulate our Lord, who spoke gracefully to all. As long as we are trying to follow His lead, He will reach out, take our hands, and guide us.

I have been to Saint Petersburg; what a beautiful city!

God bless.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 08:53AM CDT
Comment by Jonnie

Amen, Willis. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let's rejoice and be glad in it! This is the day for joy and enjoying His love. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 09:30AM CDT
Comment by Yulia

ANTON, thank you for your devotional! I love St. Peter, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And i love what you and your church do for the needy and homeless. Praise the Lord! It's alright that you didn't know how to talk to those guests or how to conduct yourself around them. You'll learn as you continue to minister to such people. The Lord, through the Holy Spirit, will show you. You may just need to ask Him for His sensitivity and guidance in such matters.
     In your prayer, you write, "Dear God of compassion, help us offer hospitality to our neighbor without fear or hesitation." I understand you wrote this devotional 2 years ago when there was no conflict between Russia and Ukraine, when Ukraine was not well known in the world. Things have changed since. If you ever read these comments, i'd ask you and your church to pray for your "neighbor" -- Ukraine, as 230.000 Ukrainians have been relocated due to Russia's intervention and military actions. Thank you! Blessings!
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28509158

Posted July 29, 2014 at 09:39AM CDT
Comment by Heidi of Woodstock, IL

Good morning UR family. Thank you Anton for your message.
Enjoyed several ministry's in our Church especially the funeral ministry. Was able to serve people in difficult times. Never thought God would put me in that position, it was very rewarding.
Praying for all your need UR family, find it very uplifting checking the blog later in the day and see if anyone is in need of a prayer. Thank you for letting me join. Have a blessed day.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 09:48AM CDT
Comment by Debbie of Charlotte, NC

Good morning UR family. Yesterday, getting out of my car in grocery store parking lot, I was approached by a young woman with a child asking for money to help feed her 3 children. This is the 4th time in a couple of yrs. people have stopped me asking me for money. I don' usually carry a lot of cash, but I now give them something. Don't know if they are truly hungry or homeless or what their story is, but I leave it between them and God to sort out. What I am sorry for is not witnessing to her about Jesus' love for her and places she could go for help. I echo Julie and Donna's prayers for the 2 Americans sickened with Ebola virus. The lady mission worker, Nancy Writebol, lived across the street from us a few yrs. ago. Didn't know them well as they moved from the neighborhood not long after we moved in to go be missionaries. I am familiar with the Ebola virus from reading the book, The Hot Zone. It is truly a horrific sickness, so please pray for all those affected. Got to go to an appointment so will end here. Praying for all our needs and Raynard, a belated Happy Birthday! Grace and peace to all.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 10:01AM CDT
Comment by Dick - NB, Canada

Thanks Anton for your care and spirit for people. We must feed the hungry but also engage their individual personalities. I try to befriend the pan handlers in our city and talk with them eye to eye. We all know it is by the grace of God we are loved and saved and all needy spiritually. Jesus engaged the weak, sick, lonely, deserted and spiritually lost. He is our example in how to love others. It's great to sign on late and read so many UR contributions. I love how my wife volunteers for Meals on Wheels but more importantly how she has personal conversations with her delivery recipients. Have a blessed day all.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 10:20AM CDT
Comment by Duane of Pomaria, SC

"WOW" Anton Kuzmin (Saint Petersburg, Russia), what hat an inspiring and convictional message. My thoughts as I waked this morning were-Lord how can I do more to serve you. Anton- a very challenging message. Yet; only challenging if we do not allow God’s grace to work in us. For as He said to Paul-“My Grace is sufficient for you.” I pray these words numerous times daily as I struggle with a 40 year illness (fibromyalgia) – chronic pain, chronic fatigue, and chronic depression. For I know that these words and the grace of God delivers me.
And this the same when I ask God to broaden my horizons as in “The Prayer of Jabez” (author Bruce author Bruce Wilkinson). This is an amazing read for all Christian’s. If we ask God to broaden our horizons he will give us the grace we need to succeed in His mission that He is calling us to in this inspiring and convicting devotional by Anton Kuzmin. “As the Father sent Me, so send I you.”
Lydia, I pray God’s blessings on you daily for your contributions to this to this ministry. The songs that you prayerfully research and publish are my alter call during my morning worship. Thanks and God bless you for your service.
PEACE,

Posted July 29, 2014 at 10:22AM CDT
Comment by Marsha of Brownwood, TX

Good morning URF!
I read the devotional early, then went to the pool to swim laps. After breakfast and a few chores I am catching up with the comments.
Thank you Anton for your devotional and your church's ministry to the hungry and homeless. As a Stephen Minister I was taught to listen first. That's probably a good place to start in most encounters. We get focused on what we will say next, then we don't really listen to the person in front of us. I do this too.
Thank you for your prayers! I am remembering that The Lord has already rolled the stone away!
I am praying for each one of you.
Rejoice, taste and see that The Lord is Good!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 10:28AM CDT
Comment by Elias of La Palma, CA

Anton Kuzmin: Thank you for your devotional today. I want to encourage you regarding your feelings that night when you didn't even how to speak or act around your one guest. When we GIVE, as God GIVES to us, no words need be spoken. In other words, imagine yourself saving someone's life in a car accident (and they know it), no words would be necessary because the ACT of LOVE says it all! Love does NOT need language or words for interpretation.
That's why when WE Give To Those Around Us, Without Requiring In Return, we are representing the kind of Love that Jesus is talking about in the scriptures above! That's what the GOODS NEWS is all about. We Inspire and set others FREE, and open the way for unbelievers to KNOW what God is really like!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 11:31AM CDT
Comment by Sheila of Bryantsville, KY

Well, OK... so I was informed today that I basically HAVE NO CHOICE IN IT... I HAVE TO RETIRE SEPT 30, 2014. Good news.... I get to receive a $10,000.00 'incentive' check....but won't get it till sometime in December. So, I'm continuing to remind myself that with God still in control, contrary to what the 'world powers' may think... and reminding myself that 'with God all things are possible', and that He will never leave or forsake me, I am rolling with the punches and retiring Sept 30. I have NO idea what I'm going to do, where Rick and I are going to end up, but I do know God is still in control.
Prayers please, and thank you.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 12:05PM CDT
Comment by Pam of TUALATIN, OR

ANTON, thank you for the reminder of the many aspects of faithful hospitality. May we all improve our skills at that! SHEILA in KY, when I read your request the other day, I thought how well you've prepared Rick that he wants to stay put and continue his life close to the home he's known. We all see your ministry, and I'm confident the Lord will open each door in His time according to a plan that will bring glory to Him through your loving service. CARMEN, good to hear from you. You were in my thoughts this morning; what a delight that you'll get to see your son in J'Ville soon. Hoping MONTE is having good travel experiences, but it will be good to have an update soon.
+
For those of you praying for my friend's grand-daughter Zoe, she had surgery yesterday to take her off the bypass system, and seems to be holding her own despite lots of bumps in the road. Please continue to be part of 'Team Zoe' in lifting her, the family, and the medical staff for new strength and mercies each day. I continue to be so thankful for the UR Family and our fellowship of grace and growth. Be blessed!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 01:22PM CDT
Comment by Henry of Alexandria, VA

Thanks to Anton (indeed from St Petersburg, Russia!!) and to others for the devotional, scripture and comments emphasizing the importance of providing service to others with love understanding God has promised that in serving others we are indeed serving Him! What a convicting no VERY convicting devotional message for me as I often walk past those asking for money and things, especially here in the Washington DC area where it seems homeless and people in need are on almost every corner. My excuse in my mind is that there are so many terrific shelters and food kitchens and other sources that these people really don't need to be on the corners and giving to them just helps keep them away from the less dangerous and more helpful places they should be. While I do believe that is at least partly true, I know God does not want us to look away from His people in need -- a REAL struggle almost daily for me. Lord help me to be more compassionate and help me and others to sort out how you want us to help those in need. Joining all in prayers today for Anton family and your ministries, Dan and your many ministries (and your terrific words to us today), George Eric Nancy and Jane, Carmen and family, Denise, Sheila and Rick, Pam Zoe and family, for me and others still seeking employment or better employment (Lord order our steps with your anointing and inspire energize and embolden us to walk those steps, IJN I pray), Kathy Corey and families, dear Sarah, Josie, Julia Jeff and Matt, Cindy Lee Jer and families, those with health relationship and grieving issues, Raynard and families, Edd and families, those serving God and country, those in life's storms of many kinds Flight 370 Malaysian Flight and others that crashed Ukraine Israel Palestine fire and rains and more, and for all other spoken and unspoken praises and requests. God is able and is indeed love. Grace, peace and blessings.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 02:48PM CDT
Comment by julie of Delray Beach, FL

Please pray for my husband. He is having trouble breathing. We are in the ER now. They are trying to rule out heart problems. Pray that it is nothing serious.
Thank you.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 03:38PM CDT
Comment by julie of Delray Beach, FL

Please pray for my husband. He is having trouble breathing. We are in the ER now. They are trying to rule out heart problems. Pray that it is nothing serious.
Thank you.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 03:38PM CDT
Comment by Jimmie of Chester, VA

Thank you for your devotional, Anton. You have given me a great reminder for today, Tuesday.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 03:54PM CDT
Comment by Denise

When we come to the last moment of this lifetime, and we look back across it, the only thing that’s going to matter is “what was the quality of our love?”

Posted July 29, 2014 at 03:58PM CDT
Comment by Yulia

MERRY, thank you for reading about my Amaryllis plant! I wish you could see it. It sits by our dining table, so i stare at it a lot -- it is just so gorgeous! Thank you for your greetings to Jesse. We were at the outdoor pool today. It's 72 degrees here. Some wear sweatshirts. Jesse didn't want to get into the water -- no excuse. When we got out of the water, we were just FREEZING COLD! Good thing, we had a sweatshirt:):) -- just in case 8-) I hope you are doing alright there. Blessings to you and your family!
CHRIS, glad you are back!
PAM, i am not sure if it's wise or necessary to tell you what to do with Parkinson's. And i don't know what's available there, in OR. But i keep thinking about it: to tell you or not to tell you. Anyway, if you are interested, here's some info about Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment. Because of Jesse's (my husband) health condition, he and i wish we had known some of these things years ago:
http://w3.newsmax.com/newsletters/mhr/issues/hbot/mhr_hbot_1.pdf

Posted July 29, 2014 at 05:33PM CDT
Comment by cherie of inverness, FL

Jjulie I am praying for your husband!!!!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 06:41PM CDT
Comment by Sheila of Bryantsville, KY

Pam of TUALATIN, OR, thank you for your comment. At this point, I am not certain where it is God is directing me... and neither does Rick,...I THOUGHT I knew... , but now I am literally taking it one day, sometimes one minute at a time, watching for the pieces of the 'puzzle' God is putting into place.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 07:28PM CDT
Comment by Curt

Sarah or Berwyn. In my post earlier today I want to thank you and everyone for your prayers for my family and the rift we have with one of our daughter-in-laws.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 07:46PM CDT
Comment by Laura

Anton - thank you for the wonderful devotional - and great reminder!!!
Blessings!!!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 07:54PM CDT
Comment by Yulia

RAYNARD, is it too late to say, "Happy Birthday to You!"? Happy (belated:) Birthday to You! Blessings!
ELIAS, thank you for your comments to Bob and me on Sunday! And sharing about yourself and your parents! It seems to me your Dad experienced a real life transformation when he became a Christian. I didn't know that he also became a preacher. Wow! Praise God! Is it nice to have 5 brothers and 3 sisters? I used to have a brother. At least, i still have 21 first cousins, in Ukraine and Russia. We all were like that Greek family in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" movie: close. I miss them all! Especially now.... My dedication to and enthusiasm for God. I must say sometimes i have issues with God. For 30-60 seconds. But then i'd confess to Him, "Lord, where can i go without You? What can i do without You? You know i'm nothing without You. And i love You, don't ask me WHY." Sometimes life is just sooo hard! I don't know how people can live without Him. Blessings!

Posted July 29, 2014 at 08:39PM CDT
Comment by Terry of Dublin, OH

Thanks Anton for your reminder that giving and service to others is a basic part of our spiritual being as witnessed by the many testimonies written above. Not much I can add but I do know that there is no other greater feeling then providing service to our fellow mankind without strings or ill feelings of any kind. WWJD is based on service to others as written in the scripture lesson and throughout both Old and New Testaments. I also feel God provides us with many opportunities each day to demonstrate our service capabilities or use the service tools he has provided each of us….whether we see them and then react accordingly is a major factor in our spiritual direction and ending
I pray for all who face the types of difficulties as mentioned above and added strength for those who are there to act as God’s extended support and care takers

Posted July 29, 2014 at 09:01PM CDT
Comment by kim of locust grove, OK

Lord in Your mercy protect Julie 's husband. Amen.

Posted July 29, 2014 at 11:12PM CDT
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