We all probably know that Jesus calls us to serve others. But it’s not always easy. We can be faced with situations where we don’t want to serve. Sometimes we’d rather focus on our own needs and our own progress. Other times, we’re faced with people who we don’t get on with, who don’t recognise or appreciate what we’re doing for them, and will never serve us back. But serving Jesus’ way means saying, ‘I no longer live, but Christ lives in me’ (Galatians 2:20 NIV). If we’re struggling with serving, we need to check our attitude. Are we putting ourselves or others first? Are we remembering that we’re not really serving people, but serving God? In Matthew 25, we’re told: ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (v.40 NIV). Thinking like this will help us serve willingly and joyfully, even if we’re not getting anything in return. It can be easy to fall into the trap of serving in order to be recognised and appreciated by others, but God sees everything we do. Even when others don’t appreciate our efforts, God does. In Hebrews 6 it says: ‘God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them’ (NIV). Serving others requires us to have humility, to put ourselves and our egos below the needs of those we’re serving. We can think that our God-given gifts are for advancing ourselves, for being successful and gaining recognition. But the Bible says: ‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others’ (1 Peter 4:10 NIV). Our gifts are actually to advance God’s kingdom, and to serve others.
What gifts has God given you? Use one of them to serve someone else today. At the end of the day, thank God for the opportunity to serve, even if you received no appreciation or recognition.
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