Friday, April 22, 2016

Glad to See Me

Alvin was a rather well-dressed distinguished newlywed in his early seventies.  He and his considerably younger bride were staying at my parent’s house for several months until their new home was ready.  

It was in mid-July when we saw the groom preparing to leave without his wife.  This didn’t make sense, because the two were inseparable.  What was so important that Patty would practically be left on the doorstep? 

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They Were Very Glad 

We didn’t really know much about my mother’s friends except that both were widowed.  They were always busy coming and going as they checked on the progress of the house that was almost ready for them.   

Patty was quite the lively one, while reserved Alvin remained a bit vague about his background.  He was well studied, organized and from the looks of it, didn’t lack a thing.  Any questions we had no one could really answer.  Who was this man?   

Society Hill in South Philadelphia
One Saturday as he was leaving my parent’s house we noticed Patty wasn’t tagging along.  Al, a full blooded old-school Italian, had planned a solo visit with friends in South Philly. 
My mind wandered as I envisioned a smoke filled room full of men holding glasses as they sat around a table sharing secrets like the mafia.  I couldn’t help it … he looked the part! 

I was eager to learn more about this strange visit to Philadelphia.  Later that same night when we saw Alvin my husband asked subtly, “How was your visit with your friends?”  Looking hubby in the eyes, in his deep raspy voice Alvin slowly spoke, “They were VERY glad to see me.” 

A man of few words, Alvin turned and walked away leaving even more of a mystery.  His strange response made it hard not to laugh.  Being puzzled by his answer I asked my husband, “Did he say they were glad to see him? Wasn’t he glad to see them?   

Glad to See Hubby 

About a month ago (March 2016) we were invited to a friend’s birthday party.  We hadn’t planned on going because of cold weather and the long distance we had to drive.  God worked things out and we decided to surprise the party boy with our visit. 

We arrived and said our hellos. While I was busy giving out hugs and catching up with long lost friends, Liz (the birthday boy’s wife) handed my husband a plate and told him to eat.
While circling the food area he noticed Larry had come over and sat at the counter with him.  It wasn’t long before both were eating, laughing and carrying on for hours.  I didn’t have a clue about what had happened until hubby filled me in on the ride home. 

Liz explained to my husband that before we arrived at the party, Larry was sitting on the couch watching television and wouldn’t eat a thing.  She told him to turn off the TV set, but couldn’t get him out of his funk.  It wasn’t until he saw my husband that his mood changed and he interacted with his guests. 

What happened to change Larry’s behavior?  He was VERY glad to see my husband. 

Glad to See Her 

A lovely lady had visited the cardio rehab center on a Monday. She hadn’t seen the nurses for several months and wanted to catch up on how the director’s husband was progressing with his illness.  The visit only lasted about 45 minutes when hubby noticed something.  For weeks the staff went about business barely saying a word to anyone, but that day was different. 

The woman conversed with everyone in the room, asked questions and handed out little gifts to all the patients working out on the equipment.  The atmosphere in the room was really different. 

When I asked my husband how his session went on the following Wednesday he said, “It was good.  Everyone is still coming down from the high from that woman’s visit on Monday.   They were very glad to see her. 
Every believer is to share this work!

The Character of Glad Tidings 

It fascinates me how God brings together situations from all angles.  When I looked back on these three true stories there was something they all had in common.   

Although I couldn’t tell you much about Alvin, apparently he brings “something” with him wherever he goes that causes people to look forward to his visits - humbleness.  Turns out, he wasn’t mafia connected (duh!) but just a nice guy who added interesting information to any topic. 

Hubby and Larry have a common thread – he knew my husband’s mother.  Being an orphan that is important to my husband, and when the two get together they often share events of the past. 

When I asked my husband how he turned around Larry’s party, he admitted that he mainly talked about things his friend liked.  “It was his big day and I wanted to direct my focus on helping Larry have a great time.  That’s what mattered.” 

As for the bubbly lady that visited the cardio rehab center, her encouraging words made everyone in the room feel better.  She asked people about their lives, commented on how good the ladies looked and genuinely cared for the people. 

What each had in common is that wherever they go, they bring glad tidings.  Alvin had battled with throat cancer several times, but I never heard him say one word about it.  As a matter of fact it was his wife Patty that shared all the tragedies of her beloved’s life. 

Hubby has … well you know how things have been for him with his health.  As his wife I can tell you he rarely says anything to me.  He refuses to give things a “voice” so they don’t become activated by the words he speaks.   

The unidentified woman has been known to do this type of thing wherever she goes, even though she has experienced great sorrow.  When people are around her the room comes alive.  You just feel better, because she always brings good tidings by having positive words to share.  I love being around people like that.   

Beware of Gloomers … RUN! 

I’m quite sure we all have people in our lives that we’d like to avoid as much as possible.  There have been some I’ve run into and would rather have taken a quick detour to the other side of the street if I could without them spotting me.  

“Gloomers”… you know the type.  They are the kind of individuals that share gloom tidings.   These “characters” are the first to tell you about their problems or ailments, and hardly ever have anything nice to say about anyone or anything.  You can feel yourself being drained of energy as they speak and wish the rapture would take place that very moment!
When I’m around “gloomers”, I don’t come away feeling refreshed, favored or blessed, and I’m definitely not glad to see them. It’s not that I don’t particularly like or care about them, but that the message they’re spreading isn’t one that will give hope or win anyone to the Lord.  You kind of get the feeling Jesus was abandoned somewhere on the road holding their “sapsack” (and I'm not referring to the one used on trees), based on the words they speak and how they live. 

It had me wondering about what others thought when they see me enter a room?  Am I known to spread gloom or go on about myself, and perhaps that’s why people move without leaving a forwarding address? 

Do I deliver glad tidings about the favor God graced on me through the benefits of salvation?  Yikes, I hope people think showers of blessings is one of my character traits! 

What about you?  Is your character one like Alvin’s where you could say, “They were very glad to see me?”  If not, I’ve got to ask you the same question I asked myself.  What glad tidings are you preaching?   

When people see you coming are they wishing they wore their best track running shoes equipped with flaming power jets for a speedy departure?  Have you noticed rooms quickly empty and people scatter to avoid being trapped in a conversation with you?  If that’s so, apparently they weren’t very glad to see you. 

Develop a Character of Glad Tidings 

Throughout history there have been thousands of documents that tell us about the character of the One we journey with as believers in Christ. Scriptures tell us how the disciples witnessed Jesus continually preaching hope, and bringing the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God. (Luke 8:1 NKJV)  Jesus not only spoke of the good things of Heaven, but because of God’s favor He went about doing good things His entire earthly life.   

We’ve learned how we ought to act and live as believers in Christ through past lessons along our “Inner and Outer Journey with Jesus.”  No matter what we’re experiencing, God’s favor will always be on the path our feet take when we walk it with Jesus.  He will cause people to see us in a different LIGHT, because we bring good things with our visit. 

“… and how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those (messengers) who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things.” (Romans 10:15 NKJV) 

What gospel are we spreading if it isn’t glad tidings of good things?  First of all what makes us glad are the good things we’ll enjoy in Heaven as God’s children. If we don’t share that message someone will be missing from the Kingdom, so this is the main part of our journey. 

Other things believers possess, are God’s benefits that accompany salvation - the “good things.” Sadly, sometimes our mouths don’t match the message we preach (things we tell people). (see Psalm 103:2) 

Are we going around saying that we don’t have strength, that money always runs out … can’t ever expect to get ahead in this economy?  If so, this message doesn’t sound like a “gospel of peace that brings glad tidings of good things” to come does it? 

Friends, we have to stop speaking ourselves out of blessings and God’s favor that can deliver us from our current circumstances.  As believers we cannot look at situations through our eyes, but need to see things as God does.  

Maybe right now you feel weak, ineffective, rejected, bewildered and totally off the grid when it comes to making headway in your life, but I’ve got glad tidings of good things to share with you. 

Hope is here. The Lord is moving on your behalf because you have chosen to journey with Jesus and follow the plan He has for you.  God’s favor on your life will cause others to see you as confident, a go-getter, successful, creative and talented.  You’re not weak, but developing a strong “glad tidings” character and are well able to continue on your journey.  

Every time you spread glad tidings of Jesus with good things, the world views you as a person they are very glad to see.  Be of good cheer, the Lord is allowing others to see you the way He wants you seen, so that you influence them toward Him. 

This Week’s Challenge:
Developing a Character of Glad Tidings  

Despite how we think or feel, as children of God we already have what we need inside us to finish our journey here on earth. Upon salvation those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior receive the power of the Holy Spirit; He is the one who enables us to bring glad tidings to those God places along our path.  

Our challenge this week is to purposely develop a character that is prone to deliver glad tidings even through difficult situations.  Now what exactly does that mean?   

Surely we can gather “glad tidings of the Kingdom of God” refers to the message of salvation. However, what are the “good things” Jesus wants us to bring with this gospel of hope?  Not only are we to share our earthly possessions with others in giving of gifts, but also giving of good things from the words we speak that line up with the Word of God. 

For example, when you have discussed the topic of “religion” with someone has the word “favor of God” ever been uttered?  Favor is a good thing wouldn’t you agree? 

Have you explained how the grace of God through salvation gives the promise of favor to those who go about doing good for the Kingdom of God? 

The three examples I gave today were of believers who developed a character of glad tidings of good things through listening, giving, being humble, encouraging and caring.  They’ve learned that developing a character that pleases God means they must let Him take first place in their lives. 

“He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease.”
 (John 3:30 NKJV) 

Determine to change in these things … 

1 – Are you a person who instead of listening every time someone tells you something you reply, “I know how you feel, when I …” If that’s you … stop it. Let them tell their story and reply with good words of hope. 

2 – This one is really hard to do unless you purpose to be aware of the situation and resist giving into it.  When invited somewhere, instead of talking about yourself ask questions of the others who are in on the conversation.  People love to talk about themselves (don’t kid yourself … you know you do too), so let them by developing the character of listening before responding with good things about the topic. 

3 – When talking on the phone, texting or messaging, be the first to bring up something good in the conversation and don’t let the topic turn sour. By keeping the call short, you’d be surprised how easy it is to remain in good spirits. 

4 – If you see someone you know in the store, don’t block the aisles or lanes with all the “woe me’s” going on in your life.  Freak the other person out by littering the conversation with a few well-chosen words of encouragement then walk away.  You can do it, I’m pulling for you! 

5 – Finally, share the message of God’s Daily Favor on your life by pointing out all the good things He has done for you by grace (unmerited favor)! 

I pray that the Lord will make your spirit glad, and for favor over your beautiful feet as you walk with Jesus spreading the message of peace, bringing glad tidings of good things to all you see.  

Through God’s message of grace may we humbly be able to say like Alvin: “They were VERY glad to see me!”

If this article has encouraged or helped you please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post. 

Until next time, favor others with glad tidings! 

“Favor – it’s a glad tiding to share.”
Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

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Elizabeth George: A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus
30 Days to Christlike Character by Elizabeth George
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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible.
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