One of the most difficult aspects of being a disciple is identifying opportunities to be of service. When we look at the men and women who serve in a leadership capacity (pastors, worship leaders, and others who lead our local churches), it’s easy to assume that if we can’t do what they do, there are no opportunities for us to serve. That’s simply not the case. Today, discover some practical ways that you can serve God by serving others.
Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Discovering the will of God for your life is one of the most exciting aspects of being a disciple of Christ. All of us want to know what we’re here for. Discovering purpose not only gives you the encouragement that you need, but it also ensures that you’re looking at everything in your life through the lens of furthering God’s Kingdom.
God’s will for our lives is often viewed as a mystery. However, God doesn’t try to hide His will from His people. He doesn’t have His plan for your life buried somewhere while expecting you to find this hidden location so you can dig it up and discover it. Instead, He has made His will for your life known through His Word and through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
One of the most important aspects of learning God’s will for your life is found in erasing any preconceived notions that you have. For instance, when you see your pastor, the worship leader at your church, or the other leaders of your local congregation, you may think that you need to do what they do in order to be of service. Perhaps you look at the lives of missionaries who have given up everything to go spread the Gospel in the remote areas of the globe, and you think that they are the people who are actively serving. While they are an example of servitude to God, they are not the only example.
There are multiple instances in Scripture where believers are referred to as “the body of Christ.” The Church is called to be the hands and feet of God, meeting the needs of the people that we live in this world with. When you think about your body, you know that every part plays a role. While you may think of your heart, brain, and lungs as being the most important parts of your body, they are simply playing their role in allowing you to function. You still need your eyes, ears, and nose. The body of Christ works the same way.
Today, we’re going to discover some opportunities to serve God by serving others. Doing so will help you better understand what it means to find your purpose in God’s Kingdom on Earth.
Showing Love to Other People
John 15:12-13 (NLT)
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
It’s easy to look at Christ’s command that we love others and assume that love is as simple as hoping for the best for other people. After all, if we love someone, we want them to be happy. However, when dealing with the king of love that God wants us to display to other people, love isn’t just a feeling. It is an action.
Christ gave us the perfect example of how to love others when He gave His life for people who didn’t believe in Him and people who had never met Him. Remember, when Christ freely gave His life, He did it for the very people who would call for Him to be killed. When He let them crucify Him, He did it for people like us who would live thousands of years later and had never walked with Him the way the disciples did. In the eyes of Christ, love is an action.
Showing love to others is one of the most practical ways that we can find to serve. This is because all of us are gifted with opportunities to show someone else that we love them every day, and it’s not even that difficult. For instance, if you have a coworker who you know is dealing with difficulties at time, pick them up a cup of coffee when you stop for yours on your way to work in the morning. Something as simple as letting someone who is struggling know that there is someone who thought of them can serve as a great encouragement.
Meeting the Needs of Others
Matthew 25:35-40 (NLT)
‘For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it for one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’”
There are people all around you who have practical needs that you can meet. Many people respond to those needs with one of two basic excuses. Either they didn’t know about those needs, or they don’t think that they have the resources to meet them. While both of those reasons come from a place of good intentions, they’re simply not true.
Both of those reasons for not serving can be cleared up by looking for opportunities to give your time to other people. Is there a soup kitchen or another place in your town that provides food to those who are food insecure? If so, volunteer at one of those places. Even if you have limited financial resources, you can give of your time, and the need is easy to see.
Serving others and in turn, serving God, is as easy as seeing a need and doing what you can to meet it. It’s easy to assume that serving God requires a platform of some sort, but it doesn’t. Instead, you can serve His Kingdom simply by meeting the needs of the people who live around you.
Supporting Local Ministries
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NLT)
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
Finally, let’s address how you can serve others if you have resources but don’t have time to volunteer. The local ministries in your area that serve others require financial support. The soup kitchen that we discussed volunteering at may get some food donations, but they also need money to operate. If your work schedule and other obligations preclude you from going there and volunteering, consider supporting those ministries financially.
Serving others is about giving of yourself. Whether that’s through showing love and compassion to others, giving of your time, or giving of your resources, there are plenty of ways that you can serve God by serving others.
A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I know that You want me to be of service to the people around me. Show me the areas in my life in which I can do that. I know that serving others is one of the most important aspects of serving You. In Christ’s name, Amen.