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IN SERVICE TO OTHERS
In Lesson 41 of the My Agreements with Me for Believers workbook, we are discussing bring "In Service to Others". When you serve, you look outside of yourself, beyond your own problems, by seeking to bring value to others. This is Christ-like service.
In this lesson we do our best to highlight and pull out the reasons and benefits of being in service to others. I remember as a kid I just couldn’t understand why my mom was always volunteering to help so many people, not just people we knew, but perfect strangers. And I remember questioning my mom and her saying, “If it’s good enough for God to give us his life after knowing what we do, then it’s good enough for me to give to others. Whether it’s my money, my time, or my talents.” She made me really think about what she said. I would ponder in my mind, over and over again, until one day I finally landed on a saying I know use as a cornerstone for all that I do. “You can NEVER do wrong by doing right.” You see, if I was to emulate Christ, and He is Love. Then it was only right to demonstrate love by being in service to others. That’s when I am most like Christ. Jesus was the GREATEST SERVANT LEADER.
Yet it is so easy to “get too busy” or “inconvenienced” to take time to be in service to others. I personally have noticed over the years that most churches who used to house and service the homeless or most in need have appeared to no longer do that or make it a priority. I believe as a community and as the body of Christ it appears we have given up or given in by turning those “less than” over to the government (local, state and national). Whether it’s single moms, drug addicts, homeless, battered, abused, and the down and out. We ought to BE the hands and feet God modeled for us to be through His unconditional love.
Nugget #1: Be among God’s “Sheep” in service to others
“Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep (believers) from the goats (non-believers). And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” - Matthew 25:32-43
In this amazing verse, God shares with us, that it’s NOT a to do list or a habit we must do these things but rather a Lifestyle! And we are ALL made in the image of God and when we shun one brother or sister in Christ we do it unto God. It’s personal to Him. That’s WHY it’s so important every hears the Gospel to understand that God yearns and grieves over anyone who hurts or is mistreated. He loves EVERYONE, equally and lovingly.
Nugget #2: DO NOT be among the “GOAT” in service to others
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” - Matthew 25:41-46
In this verse we see the importance and totality of why it is so so vital to take no one for granted and to be in service to one another in love. It isn’t about what others do, it’s about what we decide to do. Because our skepticism, fear or doubt may very well provide unintended consequences we did not forsee. Therefore, eliminate your practice of a “to-do-list” to feel better or a “habit” routinely but rather make it a “lifestyle” of see a need, fill a need.
Nugget #3: The Three Health and Mental Benefits of Being In Service To Others
According to the Mayo Clinic Health System Volunteers report better physical health than nonvolunteers. Research also has shown that volunteering leads to lower rates of depression and anxiety, especially for people 65 and older. Volunteering reduces stress and increases positive, relaxed feelings by releasing dopamine. It is reported that not only does it improve physical and mental health but also provides a sense of purpose and teaches valuable life skills. In addition, it helps to nurture new and existing relationships with others.
Going Deeper in the Word
Why does being in service to others matter to God?
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
Why is it important to model Jesus leadership in service to others?
"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
“not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Who should you serve first before anyone or anything?
“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
How should your attitude BE in service to others?
"Rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free."
"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."
What are the rewards for being in service to others?
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.”
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Take Advantage of the Resources we have put together for you!
When you utilize the workbook along with these resources, you will create lasting and undeniable results!