by Jon Walker
«We understand what love is when we realize that Christ gave his life for us. That means we must give our lives for other believers. (1 John 3:16 GW)
Serving others comes at a great price.
When you become a servant, you always give up something you could have kept for yourself – time, money, energy. But the greatest cost of all is yourself.
Serving others exacts a personal toll that cannot be measured in dollars and cents or hours and minutes.
In 2 Corinthians 6:8-10, Paul describes the price he paid for serving others: «We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are well known, but we are treated as unknown. We live close to death, but here we are, still alive. We have been beaten within an inch of our lives. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.» (NLT)
Later in the same book, Paul describes being jailed, whipped, stoned, shipwrecked, and robbed – all while serving the churches God entrusted to his care. (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)
God’s servants find the sacrifices worth the price because they can look past the present pain or inconvenience, fixing their eyes firmly on Jesus who «for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.» (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)
It is in serving others sacrificially, says the apostle John, that we begin to grasp as well as experience godly love: «This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.» (1 John 4:10-11 NIV)
What does this mean?
· Serve on God’s terms; not your own – You’ve been seeded with the Spirit of Christ, and even though you can’t, his Spirit within you can enable you to give yourself for others. You can draw from his sacrificial strength.
· Love finds meaning in sacrifice – «We understand what love is when we realize that Christ gave his life for us. That means we must give our lives for other believers.» (1 John 3:16 GW)
· Your sacrifice of service – Is God asking you to give up something – or sacrifice in some way – in order to serve othersí Talk to him about your fears, concerns, and confusion. Affirm your willingness to cooperate with his plan for you.
© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.
Devocionales Cristianos www.devocionalescristianos.org