The Joy of Church Connection for Young Believers Day 7:
“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28, ESV)
“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies” (1 Peter 4:9-11, ESV)
How much of your life is devoted to service? I know that’s a bold question to start off my study, but I wanted to get our hearts focused in on the topic. If I’m honest, for me it is not as much as I wish. I am constantly challenged by Christians around me who spend much of their time in service for others. Sometimes I want to be applauded or noticed for a mere couple of hours of service, yet there are people who devote their entire lives to serving others.
On the topic of “service,” most people would be familiar with things like community service, the service sector, customer service, etc. However, I want to focus on our service for Christ.
Service for Christ comes in many different forms. I used to believe that I couldn’t fully be serving Him unless I was doing something “big,” like devoting my life to being a missionary. That has its unique challenges and I’m so thankful for those that the Lord has called for that work, but I’ve also learned that there are other ways we can serve Him. We can serve Christ in our local church: being a Sunday School teacher, preaching publicly (for the men—sorry, ladies!), helping to provide food, keeping our church clean inside and outside, helping watch kids, encouraging and praying for those around us, and the list goes on. We can also serve Him outside the church by being kind to our neighbors, making hot meals for those in need, volunteering at a shelter or soup kitchen, etc.
Sometimes, when we have the opportunity to serve, we make excuses. We may feel we’ve done enough, or we’re tired, or even feel that we have better ways to spend our time. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been guilty of all three at times. There is no point in our Christian life where our service comes to an end—our Savior Himself said that He “came not to be served but to serve.” If the Savior Himself came to serve, what makes me think I have an excuse not to? The excuses ultimately stem from a focus on self, because at the core of service is thinking of the needs of others. May we be more willing to put our needs aside so we can meet the needs of those around us.
I want to encourage some of my younger readers that there isn’t an age where service should begin—you can start now! Don’t ever feel like your age is a hindrance to your service for Christ in your church or in the community. It’s refreshing to see younger believers who are serving in different ways in my own church. When I was younger, I would have the same hesitation just because I wasn’t sure where to start and I didn’t want to step in on another person’s role. We are promised that God will supply us the strength in wisdom, and He will equip us if we have a willing heart to be of service to Him and His people (1 Peter 4:10).
The beautiful thing about service is that every Christian can take part in it. There is no prerequisite or gift required—we all can be of service to one another. The reason we serve goes back to the truth that we have been redeemed and saved from hell. We should delight in service to Christ because He has given us everything—He held nothing back from us. Next time we are faced with the opportunity to serve, let’s remember the importance of service and Who it is ultimately for. Let’s commit to being people who are known for their service to Him and for having hearts constantly focused on the needs of others!