Are You Ready to Answer When Called?
Life is hectic.
These days there seems to be little time for much else than working, getting kids through school and activities, running households, and if you're lucky, squeezing in a workout or two. But oftentimes when we only stay inwardly focused, we lose sight of what's going on around us and may even become calloused and hardened toward people and their needs. Volunteering your time, talents, and gifts not only enriches your own soul, but it does a tremendous amount of good for the people, organizations, and culture around you that benefits from your service. Richard Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline: The Path of Spiritual Growth drives to the heart of the issue:
"More than any other single way the grace of humility is worked into our lives through the discipline of service...Of all the classical Spiritual Disciplines, service is the most conducive to the course of action that accents the good of others and is for the most part a hidden work, a deep change occurs in our spirits."
Serving the Lord in church and in the community draws us closer to the Lord as we connect with Him and the things He cares most about...people. What's interesting is that He rewards our service in this life and in the one to come (Luke 18:29-30). We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
There are at least three types of service that God would have us be involved in:
Daily Service is making oneself available to God each day. It asks, "God, how would you like to use me today? Who do you want to love through me?" It could be taking time to talk with a neighbor about things that are troubling them, helping your child through an issue at school or with a friend, or giving someone a ride that needs one.
Church Service involves discovering your spiritual giftings and engaging what the Holy Spirit has spiritually enabled you to do for the benefit of other Christians. This could be teaching a Bible study, serving communion during church services, or working in the children's ministry. If you don't know what your Spiritual Gifts are, Principles to Live By offers a free test that you can access by clicking here.
Community Service is showing tangible evidence that Jesus Christ loves the world by helping in some way within the broader community. It could be serving the homeless, sitting on a School Board, or being a Big Sister or Big Brother to an underprivileged youth.
Here's something to try:
Tell God you are ready to be used to serve Him in some way today. Start by praying a prayer of availability to the Lord Jesus that could go something like this:
Dear Lord Jesus,
You know my schedule and those I could interact with today. I want to make myself available to you today in whatever capacity you have in mind. If you have a person that needs my help, let me know and I will do what is needed.
In the name of Jesus,
If you are worried that you don't have time to serve because of your busy schedule, recognize that God is the owner of all time. By being available to serve and relinquishing control of your time and schedule to Him, I think you'll find everything will somehow fit. Service is a tithe of your time, and like the tithing principle, you'll have more than enough time to do the things you need to do and to do the things He's asking you to do. It's a mystery that only God understands fully.
Get ready for the Lord to use you in normal ways and in ways that you might not have expected. God is aware of everyone and everything that is going on and knows how to use your availability to make a difference in people's lives.
I look forward to interacting with you during your spiritual journey. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know how God is working in your life.
In His service, Gil Stieglitz
How serious are you about deep faith?
Spiritual Disciplines of a Christian is a how-to guide for practicing the spiritual disciplines. Each chapter has 4-5 "Spiritual Workouts" to work through in nine areas that result in a deepening of your faith and a stronger connection to God. This is an intensive training guide to Christian spirituality that every Christian should have. This book is definitely one of our best-sellers. Order your copy today either at our website, or Amazon.com.