A Heart for Service
Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God. 2 Corinthians 9:13
A ministry in Carlsbad, New Mexico, supports their community by offering more than 24,000 pounds of free food each month to local residents. The leader of the ministry shared, “People can come here, and we will accept them and meet them right where they are. Our goal is . . . to meet their practical needs to get to their spiritual needs.” As believers in Christ, God desires for us to use what we’ve been given to bless others, drawing our communities closer to Him. How can we develop a heart for service that brings glory to God?
We develop a heart for service by asking God to show us how to use the gifts He’s given us to benefit others (1 Peter 4:10). In this way, we offer “many expressions of thanks to God” for the abundance He’s blessed us with (2 Corinthians 9:12).
Serving others was an important part of Jesus’ ministry. When He healed the sick and fed the hungry, many were introduced to God’s goodness and love. By caring for our communities, we’re following His model of discipleship. God’s wisdom reminds us that when we demonstrate God’s love through our actions, “others will praise God” (v. 13). Service isn’t about self-gratification but about showing others the extent of God’s love and the miraculous ways He works through those who are called by His name.
By Kimya Loder
REFLECT & PRAY
What’s motivated your service to the community? How might you be more intentional about using your gifts to bring glory to God?
Heavenly Father, I desire to make a difference in the lives of others. Please give me a heart for service. May it be an act of praise and gratitude to You.
Read Compassion: Learning to Love Like Jesus.
In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul’s encouragement to the Corinthian believers to serve wasn’t merely an empty platitude; Paul knew the cost of serving. As proof, the apostle outlined the things he’d done and what he’d endured in Jesus’ name and for the welfare of the people of God (11:16–33). In addition, in Paul’s three missionary journeys he traveled more than ten thousand miles (most of that, no doubt, on foot), planting at least fourteen churches, including the church at Corinth to whom he wrote. Like Jesus, Paul not only talked about service and sacrifice, he practiced it as well—although his sacrifices were of a drastically different nature than those of Christ.