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 tenth 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.
Listen For Instruction
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does.“
James 1:22-25 (NIV)
Are you a person who is likely to read instructions and owner’s manuals of things you purchase or do you live by the motto, “If all else fails, read the instructions.”? Do you often find yourself in the middle of doing something and wish you had more information before you began? What do you think is the purpose of God’s Word in your life? How often do you think of it as being instructional? How would a daily practice of listening to the instruction found in God’s Word help you as you serve?
God says that His Word is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”, yet how often do we really listen to what it says and believe that it is the greatest source of instruction on how to serve? When we serve people, it is important that we listen to them to understand their needs. It is even more important, if we wish to serve well, to listen to God’s Word for instruction on how to serve that person according to their needs.
As you pray, ask God to help you listen to His Word with the intent of doing what it says. Pray that your usefulness in serving would come by applying the instructions of Scripture.