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 six in the fourth 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.
Courage To Speak
“Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.“
Philippians 1:12-14 (NIV)
What are some situations when you are afraid to speak up? Are there times you should be afraid to speak? As you serve, are there times when you have not spoken truth because you were afraid of how it would be received? Are there places or situations where you are afraid of being ridiculed if you talk about God’s Word? Does it keep you from speaking as you serve in such places?
Saying the right thing at the right time is hard. Saying it in the right way is even more difficult. As we serve, it is important that we have the courage to speak not only the right things but to do so in the right way. It is often said that truth hurts and sometimes we use that as an excuse to say things in a hurtful way and sometimes we use it to excuse saying untrue things that eventually hurt even more than truth. Serving well requires that we have the courage to speak the truth of God’s Word in love to those we serve.
As you pray, ask God to help you learn when to speak and to teach you how to speak with courage and love. Pray that your word choices would be made with the true benefit of those you serve in mind.