Devotion for January 3, 2024

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow.” (1 Thessalonians 3:12)

One of America’s most successful telephone companies created a TV advertisement using the slogan, “Can you hear me now?” It shows a man talking on the phone, but the person on the other end can’t hear him. So, he repeatedly asks, “Can you hear me now?” The ad was designed to convey the message that this particular phone company delivers a high-quality signal and doesn’t drop calls. When your phone drops a call, you know it. And what’s your immediate reaction? Annoyance? Frustration? Anger?

In “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”, Rev. Dr John Maxwell writes: “When I interact with people … I know I’ve connected when I sense extra effort — people go the extra mile; unsolicited appreciation — they say positive things; unguarded openness — they demonstrate trust; increased communication — they express themselves more readily; enjoyable experiences — they feel good about what they’re doing; emotional bondedness — they display a connection on an emotional level; positive energy — their emotional “batteries” are charged by being together; … unconditional love — they are accepting without reservation. Anytime I interact with people and I see evidence of these signals, I know I’m connecting. I’ve learned what it takes to connect … and … to gauge when I’m succeeding. How are you doing when it comes to connecting? When you interact one-on-one with someone important in your life, do you receive these signals? … Even if connecting with others isn’t something you’re good at today, you can learn how to do it and become better tomorrow.”

But first, you must genuinely care about the person you are trying to connect with. That’s why Paul writes, “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow.”

Who needs to hear from you today? God? Others?


Lord, help me to connect to those around me with Your love and mercy, as it’s the same love and mercy I need to connect to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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