Monday, October 25, 2010

Why We Serve

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

-- Acts 20:35

Why is it so important for Christ-followers to serve others?

First, we live in an upside-down world that collides with God's vision of perfection. And unfortunately, it’s been that way to one extent or another from nearly the beginning. Murder, adultery, theft, lying and every other sin are hardly new. But something strange and unsettling has happened over the last few decades. As mankind supposedly becomes enlightened through more education and “tolerance” of once forbidden topics and behaviors, societal corruption has actually mushroomed. What was once considered evil is now good. And what was once considered righteous, society now condemns it as bigoted.

It’s in these dark times that we should recall Jesus’ admonition to some of His earliest followers:

“Make your light shine,” He said, “so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.”

We’re living in strange and uncertain days, to say the least. So as Christ-followers, we’re to share our faith in God’s ultimate control by being Jesus’ hands and feet on earth: to serve. He calls us to help prepare His kingdom by making the most of the different gifts and talents He’s given us. And it’s as we help our neighbors and community that we can live out our own stories about the One who changed everything when we needed it the most.

“In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served,” Jesus explains. “He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people."

What does Jesus mean by light? It’s really that “spark” or inner Power that God grants each Christ-follower for demonstrating His goodness through their words and actions. We might show it by helping an elderly neighbor by running a much-needed errand. Or volunteering to manage a co-worker’s project when he or she is struggling to finish an earlier assignment. Or it might even involve cleaning up a community park or visiting residents at an assisted living center.

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