by Stephanie Reinhart, Set Me Free Ministries Team Member
What do you think of when you hear the word “serve?” As Christians, we are called to “serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men” (Ephesians 6:7). How will that play out in your life? What will that look like for you?
The greatest, most amazing gift we can ever give another is the abundant, amazing love of God. Have you fully realized how much God loves you? Granted, coming to know God and understanding the depth and breadth of His love for us is a journey. When we yield to God and ask Him to abide in us, He fills us up to overflowing. When we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives, then all He desires to do in us and through us is made possible and can then be motivated by His love. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). We serve, because He first served us.
In everything we do and say, we are able to express His love to others. We are called to show Christ’s love in all we do, to everyone, everywhere we go. Serving then becomes something greater than a task to be accomplished or even something we “ought” to do. It becomes something we cannot wait to do, something we’re inspired to do by the love of God. Our lives are changed by His love and presence. Through us, He desires to breathe His love, life, and hope into our world. When we serve Him wholeheartedly, God works the miracle of His love through us.
When you speak a word of encouragement to the co-worker who irritates you to no end, you are serving God. When you care for the needs of your family or a neighbor; when you volunteer to serve in support of a Sunday service, children’s ministry, or small group; when you give your tithes and offerings; when you donate groceries or clothing for those in need or participate with others in an outreach project, you are serving God. From the simplest things like sharing a smile or saying a kind word to laboring in the sweltering heat while helping clean up someone’s tornado-ravaged property and everything in between—however great or small, however impactful or insignificant you may think you have been in serving—if you have done it for Him in thanksgiving for His love for you and out of love for Him, you have served well. Through being all He has called us to be and doing all He has called us to do, we can sense the smile of God over our lives. Through serving God wholeheartedly, we let our light shine. The Bible encourages us that in so doing, God is glorified (Matthew 5:16); that is, you’re pointing the way to Him and helping others to see that God is there, that God is love.
It is through serving that we grow in Christ. We come together to worship God on Sundays, desiring to know Him better. We gain Christ through serving Him and through serving others. Luke 6:38 says, “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.” As we tend to the concerns of God, He tends to our concerns, and we discover the divine economy of God. So give His love, give wholeheartedly, and give in every way you can, every day. Be that cup of cool water to the one who thirsts and prepare to be blessed with more of God than you could ever imagine!