God certainly works in supernatural ways at times, but He also works at making supernatural changes inside of His people so we who have been touched by His grace and generosity will pay it forward to others. You can’t do everything, but you can do something to make a difference … one need at a time, one moment at a time, one person at a time. Therefore, show the world His heart for them by being His hands and feet to them. The church of God, His people, you and me, are His Plan A for blanketing the world with good works and spreading the good news of Jesus everywhere we go. There is no Plan B.
Even as Christians, one of the human weaknesses that we must continue to seek divine strength to overcome is our bent to be selfish. We need the mind and heart of Christ: a mind that regularly thinks of others rather than just ourselves, and a heart that is compassionate enough to serve and support others even at our own expense. It should be the golden rule, not the exception, to give up what we want so others can get what they need. That is when we are like Jesus. Today, go out of your way to do for others, joyfully remembering this: Jesus went out of His way from heaven to earth to the cross to do for you.
God helps us help one another by giving spiritual gifts of His grace to every person in His family. We don’t earn these spiritual abilities; they are gifts. They aren’t all the same; they come in various forms. We don’t let them gather dust; we use them. They aren’t to be used selfishly; they are to be used to bless others. We don’t use them to bless others so we are praised; we do so that Jesus may receive the glory. So, let us do our part today with the resources we have been entrusted to steward for the good of those around us. One way God shows grace to us is through others; one way God shows grace to others is through us.
There are three questions we should regularly ask in an honest-as-we-can-be evaluation of our spiritual journey with Jesus. First, how am I relating to God through my daily prayer and Bible time? Second, how regular and authentic is my corporate worship with others? Third, how am I stewarding my time and resources for the kingdom of God? These are essential parts of us knowing Jesus and making Him known so that God is honored in us and we are happy in Him. When we have been less-than-faithful in these areas, let us ask God for grace to begin again, rejoicing that He will never stop being fully faithful to us.
There are many things that God requires us to do as followers of Jesus. But it’s important we understand that it is grace-driven effort and not human effort that enables and encourages all of our obedience, service and every form of performance as Christians. We do everything secure in grace, by faith in grace, through reliance on grace and in gratitude for grace. His work saves us before we do our work. His work guides us to do our work. His work gives us power to do our work. His work makes us happy to do our work. Let us remember… Whatever the will of God calls us to do, the grace of God will cause us to do.
There is nothing that I have which was not given to me. Everything about who I am and what I do that is good is a gift from God at work in me, for me and through me. Every ability I possess. Every resource I use. Every opportunity I take. Every person I serve. Every task I complete. I am what I am by the grace of God. I do what I do by the grace of God. It is the provision and power and presence of Jesus with me that makes everything possible. Here is the one thing I know to be true, the one thing I count on every single day, the one thing I will say about any good that comes from my life: Not I, but Christ in me.
There is a heavenly scene that should run through our minds often as we run the race of life. When we grow weary from serving, we should think of it. When the good we do doesn’t seem to be doing much good, we should think of it. When the risk or sacrifice of living out our faith is high, we should think of it. Here’s the scene: We cross the finish line. We see the smiling face of Jesus. We fall down before Him. And we hear Him say “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master.” Know this… Every long day. Every hard day. Every costly day. In that moment, it will all be worth it.
Christians are to be both consumers of and contributors to the mutual building up of the family of God. In our role as consumers, we are to let others do for us. In our role as contributors, we are to do for others. All of the “one another” commands in the Bible for how we are to interact with each other are two-sided. We are to be encouraged by others, and we are to encourage others. We are to be served by others, and we are to serve others. We are to be cared for by others, and we are to care for others. Every Christ-like act of love should flow in both directions. By grace, let’s do two things today: give and receive.
God has given spiritual and physical gifts to each member of His family to be used in serving others. We steward His grace by using our “time, talent and treasure” to extend His help and express His love to the people in our lives. God graciously does at least six things as we receive and use what He blesses us with: He gives us these gifts, brings us enjoyment as we use these gifts, fulfills a divine purpose with these gifts, blesses others by these gifts, brings about eternal results from these gifts, and glorifies Himself through these gifts. Therefore, let us aspire by grace to do the very best we can with what we have been given.
We’ve been conditioned our entire lives to keep our eyes on the scoreboard. The metric may come as points in a game, likes on a social media post, balances in savings accounts, members of a network, or notches on whatever kind of belt you’re wearing. However it is measured, the attitude is the same: the one with the best score wins. But in God’s kingdom, it’s not about how we rank against others or how we are rated by others. Instead, it’s about depending on Jesus to faithfully use what we have been given to do what we have been assigned. The only score which matters is the one in which Jesus wins in our lives.
We are to be generous with our words, actions, time, money, forgiveness, kindness, hospitality, patience, service, friendship, compassion, skills, truth-telling and love. Even as we enjoy what God does for us and gives to us, we can confidently share every good resource in our lives as He leads us, knowing that even as we give away, there is always enough. God is continually...