Now that we have covered a few of the tools that God has equipped us with to prepare us for the work of service to others, let’s see if we can determine how we go from here and proceed with putting that service into action. When we hear the phrase “service to others” what comes to our minds? Do we think of it in the context of being a servant to someone else just to do their bidding? Does it go against our grain in the sense that we feel that we deserve to be served more than someone else. Well, both of these attitudes are far from what God expects us to have. So, what is the real meaning of service to others? It is simply this; we are to put the needs of others ahead of our own needs. As we shared a few weeks ago in our preview, life is not about us but about serving Him by serving others. And gentlemen, the basis of this is love. The kind of love that Paul writes about in 1st Corinthians, chapter 13. Unconditional, unselfish love just like what Jesus had for us when He gave Himself up to death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. What an example of putting the needs of others first! So, how can w come close to that?
As we mentioned in last week’s post, in addition to the tools God has equipped us with, He has also given us certain spiritual gifts that are to be used in our service endeavors. However, many of us have never affirmed that we have one or several and certainly never confirmed what they are. We may not even understand how we find out what they are. Well maybe this will help. I heard many years ago that if you want to find out what your spiritual gifts are then start serving instead of sitting. This way God will reveal to us what our gifts are and then we start applying them in service to Him. Paul describes some of these gifts in chapter 12 of 1st Corinthians but is certainly not an exhaustive list. That same chapter also describes how each of our gifts are compliments to the gifts of others so that all those in the body of Christ can be ministered to. These same gifts can then be used to minister to those outside the fold as a witness to them. So, the use of our spiritual gifts are critical in our attempts to serve others. Next week we will discus some of these gifts in more detail.
The next piece to the puzzle is how to recognize what the needs of others are. It is impossible to meet the needs of someone else when we don’t know what they are. So how do we find out what needs others have? Well, we could simply ask them. However, most of the time and most people have too much pride to admit they have a need much less what it is. I believe the best way is to build a relationship with them and then observe their situation. At some point, it will begin to become clear how we can help meet their needs. We can then start to do those things that meet the need and do so in such a way as not to damage the other person’s pride. Next week we will also talk more about what to look for in others that will indicate what needs they have. This is the first step in putting the needs of others ahead of our own needs. And as we said before, this is indeed the service to others that God expects from us.
I hope each of you have a great week and will begin to observe those around you that may have a need you can meet. That is a powerful witness. God bless each of you.