Friday, August 4, 2017

Blessings We Find in Serving

Submitted by David Miller

We all want our lives to matter. It’s the reason we do the things we do. We chase promotions and leadership positions because we want to make a difference. We encourage our kids to go to college, get a good job, and make lots of money, in hopes that they, too, will make a difference.
There’s nothing wrong with wealth or influence, but those things alone won’t change the world and they aren’t what we were made for.
God made each one of us with unique talents, personalities and skill sets. When we ask Jesus into our lives, we are then called to serve and to minister to others.  Our service to others does not necessarily come in the form of a pastor or bible teacher, but it can certainly come in the form of a police officer, doctor, firefighter, school teacher, administrative assistant, store clerk, or business executive, or a stay at home mom.  Regardless of our occupation, God has called us to serve others and to deliver the good news of His Son to those we see daily.  We get the most joy and make the biggest difference when we use our God-given talents, gifts and abilities to share His love with others. 
So, what do we experience when we serve others? 
1.    Serving allows us to discover and develop our spiritual gifts.
1 Corinthians 12 compares the church to a human body. Just like our bodies are made of many parts serving specific functions, the church is made up of people with different skills and abilities. Alone these pieces aren’t very useful, but together we create something beautiful.
2.    Serving allows us to experience the joy and peace that comes from obedience.
1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms... so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” Serving is a form of worship, a way to express gratitude for what Jesus has done for us, and to share the love and grace we've been given.  
3.    Serving increases our faith.
As we move out of our comfort zones, God increases our faith by revealing new potential — in ourselves and in His Church.  When we see what He can do when His power is at work within us, we begin looking for the doors He’s opening rather than pushing our way through the one’s He’s closed.  We are reminded of this in Ephesians 3:20, “20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”   
4.    Serving allows us to experience God’s presence in new ways.
Encouragement and healing go hand in hand. As we encourage others and they find healing, we’re encouraged. It’s the reason so many people who go on mission trips say they came home feeling like they got more than they gave.
5.    Serving is good for your soul.
Studies have shown that volunteering is so good for the mind and body that it can ease symptoms of stress and depression. Tapping into our gifts and passions builds self-confidence, energy, and strength.  Serving others can also be the best distraction from our own worries.  
So, it really boils down to what we are doing with the calling that God has placed on our lives.  I know that we have all had struggles, we have all had failures, we have all had disappointments, and we have all felt like we are not good enough to do the work of our Father.  But here is the one thing that I do know, “The Lord doesn't always call the equipped; but, He always equips the called.”

God doesn’t just want to work through us, He wants to work in us.

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