Serving Others

What does it mean to serve others?

Philippians 2:3–4 says “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” True service requires sacrifice. We must sacrifice our abilities for the good of others, not just ourselves.

To truly serve like the Bible calls us to, we must do it with zero expectations of a reward. There is no guarantee that the people we serve will return the favor or even notice our efforts. Still, we are called to serve others anyway.

Matthew 10:45 says it this way, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” If anyone deserves to be served, it’s Jesus. But He spent His life showing others that they matter. We can show others that they matter as well.

Here are 10 Ways to Serve others:

1) Volunteer.

2) Mentor Someone.

3) Bring a meal to someone who is not well.

4) Write an encouraging note to a different person once a week.

5) Support a ministry, prayerfully or financially.

6) Start a Bible study in your home.

7) Go on a short-term or long term missions trip.

8) Sponsor a child, one time or on-going.

9) Pick someone and commit to pray for them every day for a whole month.

10) Call a parent you know and offer to babysit for free.

There are many other ways that you can serve others, but here are just a few. Write in the comments below, how you plan to serve someone this month.

Do you have Self Confidence or God Confidence?

The world tells us to believe in ourselves, to be fearless, and to believe we can do anything we put our minds to. That might work when you know you can actually do something, but what about those times you are aware of your limitations.

Self-confidence comes with the definition of being self-assured in our own abilities and qualities. Self-confidence is something that everyone needs. But, as a Christian dedicated to Jesus, self-confidence sounds a lot like being dependent on ourself instead of aiming our eyes towards Jesus.

Jesus made us who we are today for a reason. He wants to use us right where we are. We might be hurting from others, feeling distant from Jesus or experiencing a time of feeling alone. Let God confidence build within you and it will show you a light that burns brighter than any form of darkness.

As our faith in God grows, so does our courage because our confidence is placed in God instead of in ourselves. Having confidence in God makes sense when we know God and becomes easier as that relationship grows, because God’s power and strength have been proven again and again, both in the Bible and in lives all around us.

An example of courage in the Bible is David standing before Goliath. A key element of the story is that David directed attention from himself onto God, emphasizing that it was the Lord who had the power and strength to defeat the enemy (1 Samuel 17:45-47). David didn’t imagine for a moment that he alone could defeat Goliath. He displayed no confidence in his own abilities. The difference between David and the other Israelites was not that he was more capable to fight than they were; David was the least qualified among them. What made David stand apart was his unwavering faith in God. If David seemed fearless, it wasn’t because he didn’t recognize the danger in front of him. Instead, David chose to put his trust in the living and loving God he knew intimately, and it turned out he was right to do so.

Cultivating God confidence will change how we see personal appearances. Jesus made us into who we are at this very moment. Whether we like how we look or feel frustrated with how we present ourselves, having ultimate confidence in God gives us worth everyday. To achieve anything or take any action consistent with God’s plan for your life, you must first place your confidence in God, knowing that he works all things for good to those who love him. No one is unreachable when it comes to seeking Jesus’ love, grace and hope. God confidence doesn’t mean you need to have everything figured out. Just like being a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t struggle, it means you won’t struggle alone.

Experiencing Fear?

John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Fear is a common emotion. We might tease our friends for their fear of clowns or mice, but deep down, we all know that we have our own fears. It might not be furry creatures that startle us. Instead, we might fear being alone, or losing everything we’ve worked to gain, or being rejected. Whatever its form, fear is something we’ve all encountered at some point in our lives.

Scripture has a lot to say about fear. If we were to look up the word “fear” in our English Bibles, we’d find hundreds of occurrences. Yet in the Bible, not all fear is the same. There are two main ways that Scripture talks about it. First, there is the fear of God; second, there is the fear of everything else.

This second kind of fear that the Bible speaks of is about our desire to control the world around us. It’s the fear of losing what’s important to us, whether it be our job, our family, our reputation, our health, or our lives. Sometimes that means hiding from what we fear in the hopes that it can’t find us. Other times it means trying to control every detail of our lives, clinging tight to what matters most to us. This kind of fear pulls us away from God. It tells us that we are on our own and there is no one who cares to help us. It tells us that God is not really concerned about us. It makes giants out of what we fear, giants so big that we think even God can’t beat them.

When it comes to this kind of fear, the Bible says to abandon it.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

Yet there’s another fear that the Bible speaks of, one that we must have. This kind of fear is good. It stands up to all our other fears. It brings wisdom, joy, rest, and life. It is a holy fear — the fear of God.

“The fear of the Lord leads to life; and he who has it rests satisfied.” (Proverbs 19:23)

“Praise the LORD! How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying his commands.” (Psalm 112:1)

To fear the Lord is to be like Moses and remove our shoes because we are standing on holy ground (Exodus 3:5). It is to be like the woman at the well who came face to face with the One who knew her so well. She encountered grace and left wonderstruck, running into the village to tell everyone, “He told me everything I ever did” (John 4:28–29). It is to be like the disciples who feared for their lives in the midst of a terrible storm at sea. But after seeing Jesus calm the storm with just his words, they stood in awe. “And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’” (Mark 4:41). This kind of fear is to grasp the wonder of the gospel that a holy and righteous God would take on flesh and enter into this sin-stained world to rescue us from the clutches of death. It is to be utterly blown away that, because of Jesus, we are children of God and we go freely before the throne of grace with complete confidence and without shame. It’s to see his work in our lives and be amazed at how he loves, provides, and cares for us. I don’t want fears that grip, paralyze, and control me. I want a fear that turns and runs to God, finding shelter in him. I want a fear that trusts him in the midst of storms, and stands in awe of his amazing grace. I want a fear that lets go of everything in my grip and trusts him to be everything I need. I want a right fear, the kind that chases away all other fears. I want the fear of God.

If the Israelites had truly trusted God’s promise, even their enemies in Canaan shouldn’t have been a threat to them. God was going to give Israel the Promised Land, just as he’d said to Abraham hundreds of years before. And during our moments of fear and panic, God is whispering promises to us too.

Some of God’s promises:
1. God’s truth. Is what I’m thinking about really happening? Or is it just my imagination running wild? Paul reminds us to dwell on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).

2. God’s presence. We can be comforted remembering that we are not alone. God is with us. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

3. God’s grace. God promises to provide us with his all-sufficient grace for every trial that comes our way. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” Jesus told Paul. And therefore, with Paul, we can “boast all the more gladly of [our] weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon [us]” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

4. God’s sovereignty. God is in control over every situation in our lives. “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:35).

5. God’s listening ear. Pour out your heart to God in prayer. “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1).

6. God’s trustworthiness. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” (Psalm 56:3–4).

7. God’s big picture plan. No matter how awful this trial may seem, God promises to use everything together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). We may not see the good in our situation at the time, but we can trust God and his plan.