It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others. There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others. Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season. I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.
This is day five in the first week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”. This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others. Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.
Serve By Visiting
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’“
Matthew 25:37-40 (NIV)
Who do you like to spend time with? Why? Are there people that you tend to avoid? Why? If you were to evaluate the time you spend with people, how much of that time is about benefitting you? How much is for mutual benefit? How much is primarily to benefit others? Are there people you have noticed this week that you could serve simply by spending time with them? Would your attitude about spending time with them change if you viewed that time as being time spent with Jesus Himself?
Most of us know people that have a hard time fitting in. Some of us are those people. In a group setting we often leave those who don’t fit in alone, rather than take the time to go sit with them and get permission to enter their world for a moment. When God calls us to visit the lonely and the outcast, sometimes they are much nearer to us than we even think about. As you pray, ask God to help you see the people around you that you can serve simply by spending time with them listening and giving value to them as a person. Pray that you would notice the stranger, the needy, the sick, and the imprisoned and visit them as if you are visiting Christ.