What is Christian Service?
Answer: Any service that reflects Jesus’ love! From giving a cup of water (Mark 9:41) to dying for someone (John 15:13), there are as many types of Christian service as there are needs in the world. As Christ’s representatives, we are called to serve God and others by the power of the Holy Spirit who abides in us as believers. Jesus said “He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
So, as Spirit-filled Christians, let’s consider ways we can serve…
The Bible gives some specific examples of Christian service. E.g. show hospitality to strangers (Hebrews 13:2), remember those in prison (Matthew 25:36), provide for the needy (Matthew 25:35), and mentor others (Titus 2:2-8). Other examples speak to our day-to-day living: care for children (Matthew 18:5), tend families (Titus 2:5), treat employees fairly (Colossians 4:1), deal honestly with customers (Leviticus 19:36), and be diligent with employers’ resources (Matthew 25:14-30). As long as these acts are done “in Jesus’ name” (motivated by the love of Jesus), they are considered to be Christian service.
The world is in desperate need of Christians willing to show the love of Christ through their actions. Jesus said the second greatest commandment is to love others—not sentimentally, but tangibly. So, this Sunday I will be encouraging us with scriptures, such as 1 Peter 4:7-11
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
And Mark 10:42-45“You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
May these scriptures spur us on to love and good deeds, in Jesus' name.
Did you watch the Matildas play last night? Sadly, they lost to England, but we still have the great memory of their win last Saturday night. There was a lot of excitement around that win! A friend told me that he watched it at the MCG before (and into) the Melbourne v. Carlton game. His team against mine! So, I heard about both wins and celebrated two victories that night!
Despite my friend’s team losing, he was very enthusiastic to tell me of the way Carlton and Melbourne team members alike, together in the same MCG bars, shared the anticipation, excitement and enjoyed being united as Australians, going for our Matildas! It was like nothing he’s ever experienced before!
This unified bond between humans who barrack for different teams reminded me of the ways God delights in unity. Although He chose a special people for Himself to bring about His plan of salvation for the whole world through His son Jesus Christ (an Israelite/Jew), we know He always wanted all people to be united together with/in Him.
Regardless, the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day weren’t really interested in uniting all people under God. They thought the Samaritans, Canaanites, women, and demon-possessed people each had their place in society and were in no place to have relationship with God. Jesus came to break down those barriers/divides and unite anyone who would come to God through him, yet, he still very much lived within the cultural norms of His day.
This Sunday as we look at Jesus’ interaction with the Canaanite woman as recorded in Matthew 15:21-28, we may be surprised at some of the things Jesus says, or doesn’t say. But that is one of my most favourite things about Jesus. He doesn’t always do what people expect! While living on earth, Jesus was radical. And while he offended many, he brought healing, peace, unity, etc. to those who would humble themselves and receive God’s good gifts from him.
At the end of the day, whoever won, lost, was healed, or wasn’t, Christ would have us all come to saving faith and be united in Him. To this end, let’s ask ourselves: Do we need to put any prejudice aside? How does God want to overcome barriers in our day? Do we need to increase our faith to make this happen?
Blessings on your week.
READINGS FOR THIS SUNDAY:
Romans 11: 13-36; Matthew 15: 21-28
Today, as I took down our prayers of Lament from the wailing walls which we participated in a few weeks ago, I prayed each of those prayers again. It was such a privilege to pray for each of you and give those laments to God; leaving them with him. He tells us to cast all our troubles on Him as He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). He truly does delight to take our burdens and free us from all that weighs us down so we can be free to soak in HIs love, joy, peace, and every blessing that He desires to bestow upon us. He has given up His son for us, will he not graciously give us all else? (Romans 8:32). I pray He fills each one of us afresh with more of his love and makes us to more than conquerors in all of our battles (Romans 8:35-39). Remember, the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
As we learn to trust Jesus more and more as Lord and King of our lives, we open the door more fully for His Kingdom to come into our lives, church and community. So, I pray that God continues to work in each of us to will and act in order to fulfil his good purpose and that we do everything without grumbling or complaining so to become blameless and pure “Children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” I pray we will shine among them like stars in the sky as we hold firmly to the word of life (Phil 2:13-16). This is my prayer for us this week. Have you been praying scripture this week too?