Do you remember ‘connect-the-dots’ puzzles? As the dots were connected, they formed a shape that represented things such as an animal, vehicle, toys, etc. As others connect the dots (different areas) of my Christian life, they should see a godly life that glorifies Christ.
A Christian’s love for others should mirror Christ’s love for us. Because of his great love for us, he died for us so that we might live. Therefore, my love for others should be a compassionate love that goes beyond affection to self-sacrificing service. Because God is love, I cannot love and follow Jesus without loving and serving others. It’s impossible! If I am fully surrendered to Jesus, my heart’s desire is to serve.
We serve Jesus as we serve others. You might be like me sometimes, unsure where to serve. First, pray and seek God’s direction for your me. Then consider right where you are, and how God wants you to serve. Here are some considerations:
Most of us are already serving at home whether we realize it or not. Loving God, then family. If we cannot unselfishly love, nurture, and serve our family, how can we serve others outside our home? All the household chores, errands, and loving we do, is serving our family. We just need to make sure we are doing it with a servant’s heart as Jesus would do; lovingly, compassionately and self-sacrificingly.
There are so many ways to serve at church: teacher, youth mentor, hospitality, choir/praise team, nursery, etc. Each church has differing service areas and titles, but most all churches need our service in some way. But how YOU should serve in church can only be determined by God and YOU. When we completely surrender to God’s will in our lives and pray for His constant guidance, we will see ourselves serving Him and others in ways we never thought possible, even at church.
In today’s busyness, it seems harder and harder for us to have time with our friends. But quality time does not have to be an all day or all weekend event (but if possible that’s great too!). Quality time with a friend can be a quick getaway in the middle of the day for coffee, lunch or running errands together. But regardless of the amount of time spent visiting, we can always serve our friends by daily prayers for them and their families, help them with family duties during stressful times, always answer their calls and text asap (they may need to really talk or pray, not just chat). What else can you do for your friends today?
Whether you work at home or outside of the home, your worksite is a prime place for you to show the love of Jesus every day. We have already talked about ways we serve at home, but if you are a stay at home parent, you are your children’s missionary. Teach them about Jesus and imitate His love. If you work outside of the home, you may be in an environment that does not want you talking about Jesus. Well, you just show them! Be kind and smile to everyone, help co-workers when you can (don’t ignore your work), bring goodies for the breakroom occasionally, make a candy jar for all to share, don’t participate in the office gossip and dirty jokes, and be patient with everyone. Do it! They will see the difference in you: Jesus!
We are commissioned by Jesus to love thy neighbor as thyself. This includes family, church family, friends, co-workers and our literal neighbors; the folks in our surrounding community whether we know them or not. But you may ask how, when I barely have time to help my family? We all have the same hours in a day, and God has given us each an assignment. Pray for your assignment. Ask God how you can help your neighbors. If you have extra hours in your day, seek God’s guidance too but also look for ways to help your community. Take a walk and pray for the surrounding houses as you walk, visit your immediate neighbors for a few moments, drop of donations at local food banks, etc., volunteer at community events. Be a good neighbor!
There are endless, and simple ways we can serve others. Jesus has called us to love others and be his hand and feet. Do others see Christ in us?
“Be ye therefore imitators of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet savor.” -Ephesians 5:1-2