In Service

gift small

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

My husband, John, and I just finished watching the PBS series, Downton Abbey, via Amazon Prime. It was on PBS for six seasons from 2011-2016. We completed the entire series in only six weeks. Yes, that’s a LOT of television…hours and hours of mindless (albeit enjoyable) entertainment. The characters and story lines in the show, both the aristocrats and the servants, are what made it so compelling to watch. Their respective cultures were so fascinating! I was especially interested in the servants’ stories and couldn’t help but think about how the concept of being “in service,” the phrase that the servants used when they referred to their position in the house, related to believers in Christ.

Jesus exemplified servanthood throughout His time on Earth modeling to us, His disciples, to follow in His footsteps. There are several Scriptures pointing to this in addition to the one in Colossians chapter 3. That passage shares with us that serving the Lord is important and rewarding and takes effort, but why does He want that from us when He has everything already?

1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:  whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” How amazing is it that God supplies the strength to serve others, thereby loving Him, which brings Him glory. God blesses us when we bring all that we are to Him to use as He sees fit.

What does this look like in every day life? Is it only for Seminary grads who have completed their doctrinal thesis? Nope, it’s for all of us! 1 Peter 4:10 tells us, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace”.   Young or old, educated or not, rich or poor. God empowers all believers in Christ through His Holy Spirit to serve Him in His strength. We need only to be willing and make ourselves available. It can look like cleaning up after a church lunch, putting bulletins together so they’re ready for church, making coffee for everyone to drink on Sunday mornings, or helping children listen to their teacher in Sunday School. None need an M.Div in order to do, all are valuable in the sight of God and bring our Savior glory and praise.

Gifts are funny things, though. They must be received, opened and if not enjoyed, then at least accepted. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17  Have you ever given a gift to someone and they put it aside after opening it after giving you a painful half-smile as they thank you for it? It’s awkward and a bummer that after you thought hard to figure out what to give this person you know it’s going into a closet and eventually donated or re-gifted.

So, what are we doing with the gift from God of serving Him through serving and loving our brothers and sisters in Christ? God gives the gift of serving Him, what are you doing with your gift?

Lisa Smeaton

Children’s Ministries Director

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