He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a

Monday, August 29, 2016

My Gift To Him

           I read an article today about the many ways we serve.  The article, written by a Pastor, explained that while he was “in charge” of the church as “Pastor” we are all ministers.  Each of us has a different talent, no matter how seemingly small, that is important in the furthering of God’s kingdom. 
There was one lady in a church I attended years ago that was unable to do much in the eyes of some.  But to the church secretary, she was invaluable.  When it came time to send out newsletters, she could fold them!  This was a necessary, boring task to most.  But she volunteered to do the job, because she could and it was her way to serve.
            I marvel at how quickly people hide when the word “work” is introduced at a meeting.  It seems it would be better equated with “serve.” It’s all in perspective.  Jesus said He came to serve.  It is his example we should follow.  His service cost him his life.  He served to the point of the cross. 
One Pastor I know outlawed the word “work” in their church!  He insists instead, on using the word “ministry.”  It’s about perception.  Our human minds hit a panic and overload button when we hear “work” and naturally retreat thinking there is no time in our already full calendar to obligate to even one more thing!
            But when we can look at what we are asked to do, or even want to do, through the eyes of “ministry” it changes our perspective.
My efforts of “service” seem so trivial when compared to Jesus’ sacrifice.  Yet God wants us to “serve” in whatever way is possible.  If that means folding newsletters, then that is a good thing.  If it’s teaching a Sunday school class, cleaning the sanctuary, mowing the lawn, singing in the choir, watching children while others practice for the choir or any variety of things; then that is a good thing.  The important thing is to serve like Jesus taught us.  It is our gift back to him.
            Recently some Believers and I were discussing the idea of “loving your neighbor, like yourself.”  Who is our neighbor?  It could be literally the person who has an adjoining lawn, someone across town who lives in a poor neighborhood, a homeless person walking a city street, or even perhaps a person who is very different from ourselves. 
            It is somewhat intimidating and even frightening to think about “serving” someone very different than ourselves, given the state of our society.  But we are instructed to take care of our “neighbor” like ourselves……  How do we care for ourselves?  We eat, have adequate housing, clothes and often, too many material items.  And we make sure we have the means to go where we want to go, when we want to.
            Perhaps serving includes taking someone to church with us, or to a doctor’s appointment, shopping or other place they need to go.  It’s about finding out what they “need” and then seeing to it!
            One person added Jesus was different to his counterparts when he walked the Earth.  Yet he reached out to everyone.  The Good Samaritan aided a Jew, who at the time was considered an “enemy” of the Gentile/Samaritan and unclean.  This is the ultimate demonstration of servanthood.  Further this is the supreme example of giving a gift to Christ.  It is the gift of ourselves.  He wants us to use what he’s given us, as our gift to him. 

I challenge you to ask yourself:  What gift am I giving Him today?