The Heart of a Servant | October 15th, 2019
It’s a new day. You wake up in your comfortable bed after a restful night of sleep. You pull back the warm covers and walk into your kitchen in your fluffy slippers for a hearty breakfast.
After your stomach is pleasantly full, you take a hot shower and put on clean clothes before heading to work in your reliable car to do whatever it is you are skilled to do. Like clockwork, you are given a check twice a month so you can continue to pay your bills and beyond.
This is the routine many of us go through each day without a single thought of how incredibly blessed we are. We may not even breathe a word of thanks to God for any of it because we take it all for granted. We just expect it.
Why do you think God blesses you? Is it so you can heap and hoard all of your blessings for yourself? Absolutely not!
Our focus in life is often on achieving success for ourselves because we want our lives to matter. It’s why we do the things we do. Think about the number of how-to books there are to help people be better at just about anything!
Realizing our potential, getting more fit, eating healthier, and managing our money may be important things to know, but that is not what we are made for. God desires something so much more for us so we can experience even greater blessing.
That something is called “servanthood.” I love how author Dr. Walt Larimore, MD defines it:
“Biblical servanthood can be defined as loving acts performed in the power of the Holy Spirit to meet the temporal and spiritual needs of those around us—and leaving the results to God.”
Living is all about giving. If you are not giving, you are living a life of selfishness and probably a good bit of boredom. As followers of Christ, we are called to give of ourselves, sharing our blessings so that we can serve others. This does not always come easy for us as we are naturally self-centered.
Thankfully, God does not expect us to serve Him in our own strength. He has given us the Holy Spirit to empower us and supply everything we need for serving.
Our part requires having a heart that is willing to serve. A heart that is filled with love for God and others. A heart of complete obedience to Him. And a heart of gratitude.
A Heart of Love
When you are in a real relationship with God, you will have a desire to serve because you know Him and know how much it pleases Him. It’s your natural, love-filled response.
You can only give away what you have first received. 1 John 4:19 tells us, We love because he first loved us.
It is God’s love that first changes our hearts so that we can be capable of love. The way He loves us reminds us over and over of our need to love others.
The more you experience God’s love in your own life, the more likely you are to respond with a heart of love by serving Him wherever and whenever you can. You have no idea the kind of impact God can make in the lives of others when you love people through serving them.
A Heart of Obedience
Once you have asked Jesus to be Lord of your life, He will help you develop a heart of obedience so that you can grow spiritually. Part of having an obedient heart toward Christ is being willing to serve others. Servanthood is essential to spiritual growth.
If you are not serving God in some way, you cannot grow or mature spiritually. When God created you, it was a part of His perfect plan for you, His beautiful masterpiece, to use what He has given you to serve others.
When you live in obedience to Him, His plan for you to use your gifts unfolds. Following His will for your life results in incredible blessing with a rewarding sense of fulfillment and purpose.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
A Heart of Gratitude
Serving others provides a way for you to express a heart of gratitude for what Jesus has done for you when He died on the cross for your sin and took the penalty so you could be completely free and forgiven. He is the greatest example of being a servant.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
When you think about all you have, you realize God’s blessings are overflowing in your life. Serving becomes a form of worship as your heart of gratitude overflows as well as you share with others the love and grace that you’ve been given.
What are some practical ways to serve God by serving others?
Serve God at Work
When you head to your job every day, it may be hard to think of the work you do as serving God. But when you are serving others, you are demonstrating God’s love. That’s why it is important to serve with a cheerful heart.
You may not love your job, but if you remember it is God you are serving as you serve others, it will help you keep a joyful attitude even with the most
You never know what opportunities may come up to share Jesus’ love when people notice the difference in you with an attitude of cheerfulness rather than one of grumbling or complaining.
There is a gentleman in my senior water fitness class who makes it a point every time class is over to say to me, “Kimberly, thank you for all you do.” His gratitude always make me want to be as energetic and as cheerful as I can be every time I teach that class, no matter how I feel that day!
You may not ever be thanked or feel appreciated for a job you do, but even when your serving is overlooked or taken for granted, know that God notices and is pleased with you. You will be rewarded in heaven!
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
Serve God through Volunteering
God can use you in so many ways when you are open to volunteering. The best part is you don’t have to be skilled to volunteer. God will equip you wherever you are called.
I have a huge heart for babies. I was a regular weekend babysitter during my teenage years. I have also had the opportunity to take care of babies in the hospital through an occupational program when I thought (for a brief time) I wanted to become a nurse. And I have had the privilege to help a dear friend who had twins several weeks early by holding and loving on her babies in the NICU.
So when I heard about the chance to volunteer at a place called Thrive Women’s Clinic to counsel pregnant women in making an informed decision to choose life for their baby, I was excited. God put it on my heart to reach out to them to see if there was any way I could serve them.
Am I skilled at this kind of volunteer work? Not at all. In fact, I have never even been pregnant! But when I asked a woman working at the agency if they could still use me to help despite that fact, she said, “Do you know how to share God’s love? That’s all you need to know. God will take care of the rest.”
I will be going through some lengthy training, of course, but I was so relieved to know I didn’t actually have to have experienced pregnancy or birthing a baby to volunteer there.
If God calls you to serve somewhere, He will equip you with everything you need. All He wants you to do is be willing to share His love with others and He will take care of everything else. You never know how many lives you are touching and whose heart God is changing through your obedience to serve Him.
As I was leaving Thrive that day, I noticed the months of the year up on the wall with several baby footprints lined up under each of those months. They represented all the babies whose mothers chose life for them. I knew right then that many lives had been touched by those who took the time to share God’s love with these women who felt they had no hope.
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
Serve God with Your Gifts and Talents
Every one of us is given unique gifts and talents. They are not given to us to keep to ourselves but to share with others. When you use them, you begin to develop your gifts, becoming even more skilled and will find new ways to use them as God directs you.
One talent I’ve developed over the years is bringing the sparkle back to old, vintage jewelry and then repurposing it into something new. For example, I may take a pair of dull rhinestone clip earrings, clean them up until they sparkle, and then repurpose them into statement rings.
Here is a 1950s treasure I found at an antique shop during a road trip through the Hill Country, now radiating with sparkle and repurposed into a ring:
I am often asked by non-profits throughout the year to donate toward their auction to help with their charity fundraiser. I am always happy to donate my repurposed jewelry, hoping to add a little sparkle to the life of whomever it helps with the money it generates when it is sold. It’s one way I have found that I can use my talent to share with others.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
As you use your gifts, which sometimes requires taking a step out of your comfort zone, God increases your faith by revealing new potential in yourself that you may not have even known you had.
When you begin to see what He can do when the Holy Spirit’s power is at work within you, you will start to see the doors He is opening for you to serve Him in new and exciting ways. You will receive the most joy and make such a difference in the lives of others when using your unique God-given gifts and talents.
Serve God in Your Relationships
It is easy to become so driven toward things like beauty, making money, climbing the success ladder, accomplishing big goals you’ve set for yourself, and enjoying the things that interest you. With your focus primarily on all of that, you may find you don’t have any time left over for serving those around you.
Take some time to think about who God has placed in your life. When you shift the focus from yourself onto others, you will experience
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
Here are a couple of ways you can serve in your relationships:
Be an Encourager
How can we encourage each other? One way is by motivating a person God has placed in your life toward acts of love and good deeds. Ask a friend to serve somewhere with you. When you work side by side, you will form a bond. It’s a great way to build and strengthen a relationship.
Meeting face-to-face is another great way to encourage someone. You are giving your precious time and attention as you listen to your friend.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
Meet a Need
When you hear about a person in your circle who is in need, that is your cue to serve them. Give them a call and find out how you can help. Then, make the time in your schedule to meet their need.
I went through a season in my life when several of my friends and participants in my water fitness classes were all having babies. I could only imagine how hard it would be to prepare a meal for the family just after giving birth, so I started what I called, “Meals for Mommies.”
I asked what the family liked to eat, shopped for the food, and cooked up a big meal with plenty for leftovers. It was one small way I could serve a person God had strategically put in my life and they were always so appreciative!
Ask God for a Servant’s Heart
It’s easy to find reasons you are not able to serve. “I don’t have time.” “I don’t have any special skills.” “I’m not really needed.” Those are a few I have heard and have even used myself at times.
If you find yourself living your life without taking time to serve others, ask God to transform you to have a servant’s heart. You might be surprised how your desires change from seeking to serve yourself to actually looking for ways God can use you to serve and bless others.
Do you want your life to really matter? Achieve success for eternity by sharing your blessings. Living is all about giving. It’s about servanthood.
You will experience God’s greatest blessing, fulfillment, and purpose for your life when you serve others with a heart that is willing. A heart that is overflowing with love, obedience, and gratitude. That’s the heart of a servant.
Sparkler #1: Prayer
Ask God to give you a heart for servanthood…one that is filled with love for God and others, complete obedience to Him, and gratitude for all He has done for you.
Sparkler #2: Action
Keep your eyes and ears open to ways you can serve others all around you. There will always be opportunities at work, through volunteering, when using your unique gifts and talents, and in your relationships.
Sparkler #3: Challenge
Find an organization you can serve through volunteering this month. Motivate a friend toward acts of love and good deeds while strengthening your relationship by asking them to serve along with you.
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