Improving your “Serve”

I’ve decided that I am not going to make any “resolutions” this year.  It’s seems that when I’ve tried that in the past, and the moment I resolve to do something, it just doesn’t seem to happen.  I looked up the word resolution in the dictionary and it means . . . A firm decision to do or not to do something. I know that if I am going to “firmly” decide on anything, I want to know that it is something that I am able to commit to doing.   I know some people love resolutions and I think they are a great idea, but I know for myself, I never seem to do very well at keeping them.  Therefore in this new year, I’ve decided to not even try the resolution thing.  I thought instead I’d try something different.  Different is good right?  Instead of making a resolution, I’ve decided to take on a challenge.  Now challenges I like!  Challenges inspire me!

One thing God has impressed upon my heart for the new year is that I should be working on “improving my serve.”  I know there are lots of areas I could use improving, and I think that serving is one of them.  As believers of Christ, God calls each and every one of us to “Serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13  Servanthood was at the core of what Jesus did during his earthly ministry.   Jesus came to serve and to give his life, as a ransom for many.  He gave ALL so that we could live.  Time and time again, Jesus demonstrated service and self-sacrifice.  In John chapter 13 we’re told of the account of the last supper.  This was one of the very last times Jesus spent with his beloved disciples.  What was the first thing that he did during their time together?  He washed each of their feet.  Yes, to the very end of his earthly ministry, Jesus was serving.  When Jesus finished washing their feet, he asked them, . . . Do you understand what I was doing?  He then said, you call me “Teacher” and “Lord,” and you are right because that’s what I am.  And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example to follow.  Do as I have done to you. It really doesn’t get any clearer than that.  God commands us to SERVE others by following his example.  In the end of that chapter in verse 17 the bible says . . . that in doing these things, we will be blessed!   I don’t know about you, but I know I want to be blessed for doing what God wants me to do!

I know when my kids were little I began serving by helping out in the nursery.  I had four kids in six years so I was in the nursery a good part of the time anyway.   I figured that the nursery was a great place to start.  Later I became the director of the nursery overseeing all the nursery workers.  I knew I loved kids so it naturally felt right for me to serve in this area.  Some time after that, I started teaching kids church.  I know that when I first was asked to help in this ministry, I was a bit apprehensive.  I immediately thought, well I don’t know the bible well enough (I was not raised going to sunday school or learning bible stories).  I also thought, well I can’t teach, I wouldn’t know what to do or say.  I even thought that I wasn’t a good enough “christian” to be teaching.  I now know that all of those responses were based on wrong thinking and fear.  Let’s face it, none of us are ever going to be good enough.  There’s no such thing as a perfect Christian, we’re all sinners,  saved by grace.  Secondly, what better of a way to learn all the bible stories than by teaching.  I agreed to step out in faith and “help” in a class.  It wasn’t long before I saw that it was not very difficult, and was actually a lot of fun.  Soon thereafter I began leading the class.  By teaching others,  I was learning to grasp some of the basic fundamental bible truths.  God was using this opportunity to grow me in so many ways.  I was there to serve, but instead was being blessed because I was acting in obedience by serving others.  This service was increasing my biblical knowledge and my faith.  And to top it all off, I was getting to spend time with some awesome kids and getting the privilege to teach them about God.  And a privilege it is, it just doesn’t get any better than that!

If you’re not currently serving,  you might ask yourself . . . How can I do my part, by using the gifts and talents God has given me to bless others?  If you’re not sure what your gifts and talents are, you might ask others to help you find out, step out in faith and start somewhere, anywhere.   Pray diligently that God will lead you into serving right where he wants you, sometimes that’s just want God is looking for, that first step of faith on our part.   God has given each of us a special S.H.A.P.E. for serving  . . . Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Ability, Personality and Experiences.  Each one of these things help define who we are, and how God can use us, to meet the needs of others in the body of Christ.  Let’s face it serving is not easy.  It requires self-sacrifice.  But if we are true followers of Christ, we need to release our own ambitions and follow the plan that God has for our lives.   If you are already serving, you might ask yourself . . . what can I do to improve my serve?  I believe that there is “always” room for improvement.

So this is the “New Years Challenge” to myself and to you as well.  Let’s follow in God’s footsteps and live a life of service to others!   It’s an exciting prospect to look at . . .Wouldn’t our church be a force to be reckoned with, if every one of us, as part of the body of Christ, would do our part and to serve one another?  We could impact each other and our community with the “Love of Christ” in a profound way.  Now I believe that is a challenge worth striving for!

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Philippians 2:5-7 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

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