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 three in the eleventh 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.
Patience Produced By God’s Spirit
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.“
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
What are some things that you find difficult to do on your own? How much help would it be to have someone who knows what they are doing assist you? How readily do you accept help when you know it is available? How do the things that surround patience as part of the fruit of God’s Spirit help you to serve with greater patience? How often do you turn to God for help in having patience with others when patience is not what you feel?
Many times people will pick apart the fruit of God’s Spirit and claim the elements they find pleasing while avoiding the ones that seem like extra work. For me, the good news when we lack patience with people and situations is that I don’t have to come up with the necessary patience on my own — God’s Spirit will produce it in me if I seek it and allow it to take place. Serving others often calls for a level of patience that can be difficult to have on our own. Without the presence of God through His Spirit, we simply don’t have what it takes to be as patient as we ought to be. As you pray, ask God to give you the courage necessary to allow His Spirit to produce patience in your life. Pray that He would be seen as His Spirit produces a patience in the way you serve others.
My mother often said that faith and religion were not Smorgasbords – you can’t pick and choose but must embrace all that is offered.