1 Corinthians 14:1-3 (NRSV)

1 Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy. 2 For those who speak in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God; for nobody understands them, since they are speaking mysteries in the Spirit. 3 On the other hand, those who prophesy speak to other people for their up building and encouragement and consolation.   

Genesis 12:2 (NRSV)

2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.   

DEVOTION – D. Hodskins (Kentucky)

Working in a hospital, where I care for the sick and their families, I have many opportunities to love others and to offer them encouragement. One way I reach out to people is through a special kind of bracelet that I wear.  The bracelet has 10 links with Christian symbols.  When people see the bracelet and comment on how beautiful it is, I take it off and put it on their wrist as a sign of my love and concern for them.  Often, in response, they voice varied, including a need for prayer for themselves or someone who is sick and hurting.  Some just need me to listen to them.     As I give away more and more bracelets, I feel my faith growing stronger because I know God is working through me to encourage others and to give them hope.  Every time I reach out to others, I feel blessed that my actions are bringing glory to God.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Today I will offer words of encouragement, kindness, and love to a stranger

PRAYER: Healing God, you have blessed us all with a capacity to encourage and to love.  Work through us to bring hope to your people as we use our gifts to glorify you.  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.