Service: Love in Action
God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing (Ephesians 2:10, NCV).
Friend to Friend
The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are made of the same water that flows down, clear and cold from the heights of Hermon and the roots of the cedars of Lebanon. The Sea of Galilee is a place of great beauty because it has an outlet. It gathers in its riches and then pours them out again to fertilize the Jordan plain.
However, the Dead Sea, with the same water creates horror. The Dead Sea has no outlet. It gets to keep.
When we come to God, one of our first “natural” responses is to serve Him. In fact, our service to God should be spontaneous, enthusiastic and tireless. If there is no desire to serve or we find it hard to serve, then there is something wrong in our relationship with God.
One summer, our air conditioner was not working correctly. It only partially cooled the house but seemed to run all day long, doubling our electric bill. When the repairman arrived, the first thing he did was remove the filter from the air conditioning unit. It was filthy. He then removed the coil which was completely covered with layers of dog hair, cat fur and dust. The repairman explained, “This unit was never meant to work under this load. It is working as hard as it can but it is not strong enough to do something it was never intended to do.” He then replaced the filter and cleaned the coil. Our electric bill went back down, the house was cooler than it had been in months and the unit ran smoothly.
We were created to serve God and to worship Him – here on earth and for eternity. Worship and service cannot be separated. When we worship God, we will naturally serve Him and when we serve God, we are worshipping Him.
There are many Christians who are doing nothing but there are no Christians who have nothing to do. When we think of a servant, we may think of someone who reports to work for a specific amount of time and is paid a specific wage. That is an employee - not a servant. The word “serve” comes from the Greek word “latreuo” and is often translated as “worship.” It is not the picture of a slave serving a master. It is the picture of a love relationship that compels action.
Romans 12:1 (NIV) “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.”
We worship God by pleasing Him in the daily routines of life. In other words, we should consider each day as a worship service to God.
· Cleaning house
· Cooking meals
· Making beds
· Picking up children
· Helping a neighbor
· Buying groceries
· Teaching a bible study
· Listening to a hurting friend
Service begins in the heart where it was conceived in love and then works its way out in every day life as an act of praise and gratitude. Service is love in action.
Father, thank You for sending Your son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place and pay for my sin. I can never thank You enough for Your grace, mercy and love. I want to serve You with my whole heart. Please lead and direct me in the way You have for me to go. I want to be Your servant.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
- List several talents and gifts that you recognize in your own life.
- How are you using those talents and gifts to serve God?
- Ask those who know you best to identify your strengths. You may be surprised at their response.
- Look for ways to serve in the areas that give you the most joy.
More from the Girlfriends
The most joyful people I know are the ones who serve God whenever and wherever they can. Don’t try to serve with the gifts you think you should have. I encourage you to identify your gifts and abilities and then use them to serve others. God created you with a specific plan in mind and will empower you for His service.
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Girlfriends in God
Matthews, NC 28106
The Missionary Question
Pastor Charles Stanley
At every missions conference hosted by my church, I give God the same message I've been repeating since my early 20s: "I'm available, Lord. I'll go to foreign fields if you say so." Until He tells me to pack my bags, I'm going to keep on sending others to work among unbelievers in distant and even remote lands.
Paul asked a series of rhetorical questions in Romans 10 that can be summed up like this: How will the world hear about Jesus if you do nothing? God uses Christians to spread the word that His salvation plan is available to all. He put us in families and communities and nations so we will mingle and share what we know. But some believers are called to carry the gospel farther than others. Those who stay behind are to offer prayer and resources for those who travel.
If you're shaking your head and thinking, Mission work isn't where my heart is, I have news for you: Every believer is called to missions as either a goer or a sender. That call comes in dramatic ways for some, but for most of us, it is simply a biblical principle to be followed (Matt. 28:19). What's missing for those who don't have a "heart" for such work is passion. Christians who share and go and send are often excited about God's message for unbelievers—and it's possible for you to become more enthusiastic too.
I challenge you to ask the Lord, "Am I open to going anywhere You send me?" Our roots in a community should be sunk only as deep as God wills. If you aren't called to go, then choose to be a sender. Offer your prayers, your money, and anything else that will help to put others on the mission field.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley,
please visit www.intouch.org.