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 seventh 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.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.“
John 15:12-14 (NIV)
What would you give to help a friend? What wouldn’t you be willing to give? Are you sure? What do you see as the purpose of your friendships? Do you live as if your friendships are primarily for your benefit or theirs? What would they say? How willingly do you give of yourself to those you serve? What things do you feel you are sacrificing to serve in the way that you do? Are you happy about doing so?
While most of us can probably quote the scripture, “It is more blessed to give than receive”, we tend to have a difficult time putting it into practice on a regular basis. We may give, but we often miss the “blessed” part because we aren’t really giving anything that costs us in a sacrificial way. Serving well requires that we give of ourselves in so many sacrificial ways. We must give of our time, our resources, our strength, our comfort, our emotions, our “whatever it takes”. Serving through friendship will require that we lay down our self to help another.
As you pray, ask God to help you see an accurate view of your current friendships. Pray that you would grow in being a friend that lives sacrificially. Pray that your serving others would reflect a Christ-like attitude of sacrificial friendship.