Isn’t it enjoyable to serve the Lord? Reading His scripture, praying, praising Him and hanging out with Him is such a joy. But, serving people is a different story. Frequently, it’s not fun! When we finally muster up enough resolve to serve others, we discover that our efforts go unnoticed by folks, unappreciated by others and even judged and refuted by others. Only a few seem to be grateful. Our attempts to service seem ineffective and useless. And, we have expended valuable time that could have been spent elsewhere. Then you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Inevitably the answer is, God called me to serve others. It is in the service of others that we flesh out Jesus to this world and to one another.
The Apostle John clearly tells us what the love of Jesus looks like in 1 John 3 16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
John was straightforward and candid, even blunt. In today’s street talk, he said, “Hey man, talk is cheap! If you are going to be real, do it in concrete terms with deeds and sharing even from your possessions.” And John stated not to “close your heart against your brother.” As stated earlier above, people often do not react to your efforts the way that you preconceived they would. Guess what? When you do continue to put your heart out there, “God’s love abides with you…He laid down his life for us, and we out to lay down our lives for others.” As a result, the lost world sees and prayerfully meets Jesus. And, the body of Christ, the Church is built up. As much of a pain and work serving others might be, it pays eternal dividends.