On the last post, we talked about how easy it is for us to deny Jesus, even when it’s so very unintentional. Now we are moving into what we can do to help guard us from denial. That is serving!
In John 18:15-26 Peter denies Jesus three times, but we see in John 21:15-19 where Jesus removes the cloud of denial from Peter. Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved him and each time Jesus asked him to serve Him. This tells us that loving and serving go hand in hand.
We are never more like Christ than when we serve others John 13:14. This is exactly what Peter learned in this moment. Peter finally committed his life to serving Jesus and his life was forever changed. In that moment, Peter went from a fisherman to an evangelist, his identity changed because he had been forgiven, and he saw Jesus in a whole new way. The most exciting thing is that our identity is in Christ, just like Peter!
After we say “Yes” to Jesus and we become a believer, we are called to serve Him, to be His hands and feet to a lost world. There is a feeling of comfort in many areas I have served within the church, whether it be teaching middle school and high school students, serving on a women’s ministry team or in music ministry. I love mission work and have served in the states and abroad. Those things make me fairly comfortable, but you know what doesn’t make me comfortable? Writing! I have never been one to journal or write anything down, not even reminder notes! So isn’t it just like the Lord to push me and challenge me in that way! When I was asked to join this blog, I was very honored, but I knew this was something that would not come natural to me. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be comfortable, and I don’t want my commitments to the Lord to become mundane. Oh, the blessings that await on the other side of obedience, especially in serving! I truly believe the Lord has shown me what true JOY is when I have stepped out into the unknown with only Him to guide my steps.
Being in ministry, it’s always fun to see people get excited about serving! My husband is a Campus Family Pastor, and we have seen servanthood unfold first hand. We meet twice a week in a middle school gym, so you can only imagine the time and energy that goes in to setting up and tearing down church. In the twenty one months that we have been meeting, we have seen men, women and kids give selflessly of their time to do the “dirty work”, to work behind the scenes that doesn’t get noticed. They come early in the morning, work through lunch and stay late on Sunday and Wednesday nights, because they love Jesus and they love the people that gather in that building every week. We have seen so many step up to teach and serve in different ministries. What amazing unity has been created when people lock arms and serve together, all for the glory of God! I Peter 4:10 tells us “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”
As women, it’s hard for us to juggle all the many responsibilities in the home and at work, so to add in serving in your local church seems impossible. I know all too well what Sunday mornings are like! Satan fights our home harder on that day than any other. Many Sunday’s I have been told my son has his shoes on the wrong feet, but I am just thankful he got out of the door with shoes on! All God wants is a willing heart and He will take the smallest efforts and use them in the mightiest of ways. I love this excerpt out of the book Kingdom Woman by Tony Evans:
All Rebekah had were some jars full of water, but in offering the water to the camels of a stranger, she became part of the lineage of Jesus Christ, our Savior (Genesis 24). All Sarah had was one son, and she became the mother to the entire nation of God’s chosen people (Genesis 21). All Jael had was a tent peg, and she was able to take down Sisera and change the course of an entire battle (Judges 4). All the young boy who was listening to Jesus’ sermon had was some fish and bread, but it was enough to feed everyone and provide leftovers for the disciples to lug around. All Mary of Bethany had was a jar of perfume, yet she taught us one of the greatest spiritual lessons in the Bible. If you don’t have a lot, that’s okay. God can take your little and turn it into much when you commit to following His path for you.
Here are a few ways I would love to encourage you:
1. If you do not have a church home, please be seeking one out. Be in prayer asking the Lord to show you a body of believers that you can come alongside and do life with and serve with.
2. If you have a church home, but have never gotten involved, please be praying for the Lord to show you how your gifts can be used best. If you are a believer, God has placed special gifts inside of you and He calls us to use them.
3. Ask your pastor or someone on staff the needs within the church. You may be nervous to make that ask, but I can guarantee you they will be so excited to get you plugged in.
So where are you? Are you serving well and experiencing first hand the blessings that come along with it, or maybe you don't know where to begin. Pray and ask the Lord to show you how He can use you.
Laura is a pastor's wife, mom to two crazy fun kids, part-time marketing director, loves hanging out in her community and building relationships...oh and loves to laugh!