Author’s Note: If you are looking for the podcast of today’s reading it will be posted later this week.
Yesterday, we kicked off a short series focused on radical generosity, service to others, and love. Today, we explore serving with hearts full of joy.
My brother and I support charities, missions, and global humanitarian efforts that are near and dear to our hearts, because of the example of our parents.
My parents are radically generous and have a global perspective on the work that God is doing.
Serving God means something different to everyone. Some are called to go, others to finance, and others to pray.
I have been fortunate to serve in many places across the globe, and those memories are hung on the walls of my room.
The Lord desires that we serve those around us (friends, neighbors, those we don’t know) as well as those in far off lands.
“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.”Ephesians 6:7
The first time I stepped foot in Pskov, Russia it was about ten degrees outside. Jim and I were in Pskov near the end of March in 2011.
He was there meeting with pastors setting up the ministry for the summer, and I was documenting it.
Later that year, Jim and I traveled back to Pskov as part of a team to minister in the courtyards of local apartment buildings.
A camera opens up the possibilities of interactions with people. Most folks, especially the kids, love to have their photographs taken. For them, it is a luxury.
Most Russian homes are not adorned with photographs of their families. To them, it is more of a luxury. What I love about today’s photograph is that Marvin is smiling while painting.
Marvin was serving. He was painting this playground, and in the background is a wedding party getting ready to start a whole new life together.
Isn’t that what Christ does for us? He breathes new life into us.
As we painted apartment stairwells and playground equipment, and re-built benches – we breathed life back into a community. We did it because we felt called to serve the people of Russia.
They, in turn, saw Jesus come to their community through ordinary people. When we serve, we sacrifice our comforts and our time, to meet the needs of those around us.
Serving takes time.
It takes energy.
It takes love.
Christ came to seek and save the lost. By serving, we join God in the work He is already doing.
Jesus came for you and me and the whole world. John says,
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not die, but have eternal life.”John 3:16
Service opens the door for us to share this life-changing message with them. We should serve with smiles, not frowns. That smile may change the life of one person and help propel them to eternity.
Today, serve your family or work colleagues or school children with a smile on your face.
Prayer: Lord, we serve with smiles on our faces because we are representing you. Help my smile to be massive today as an outpouring of what is in my heart. Thanks for the blessing of today. Amen!