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 seven in the sixth 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.
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.“
James 2:14-17 (NIV)
Do you know people who claim to believe a particular thing but live completely different from what they say? Which are you more likely to believe, their words or their actions? Are you a person whose words and actions match when it comes to your faith in God? How would your life answer the question posed by James, “What good is your faith if it is not accompanied by action?” What would active faith look like today in the area you serve?
One of my mentors used to challenge me to never pray about something that I wasn’t willing for God to use me to be part of His answer to the prayer. It is easy to pray for people and situations, believing that God will provide, when we can do so from a distance. I love a song I heard recently with a story-line of a man praying (complaining) to God about how bad everything is and asking why God doesn’t do something. In the song, the response from God is, “I did! I created you!”
As you pray, ask God to help you see your active part in His working in the lives of people. Pray that you would be more intentional in serving as you see yourself being the hands and feet of Jesus to the people you serve.