Serving and Putting Others First

giving weekly advantage Aug 24, 2023

Prayer, fasting, giving, and generosity are all spiritual disciplines we’ve explored this month, let’s end the month with one final and very significant spiritual discipline – serving others and putting others first. In Galatians 5:13, we read, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” While we know spiritual disciplines are designed to help us grow in our relationship with God; as His disciples we are called to serve others and in doing so, we ultimately serve Him. In fact, service to others glorifies Him and strengthens our relationship with Him while drawing unbelievers to Christ.

 What does service look like? In Mark 12:30-31, Jesus explains, “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”  We know from the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, “your neighbor” includes both believers and unbelievers. We also know by Jesus’s example to serve those outside the church (body of believers) as He did often (John 4 for example).

 In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul tells us, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” As believers, we are positioned as God’s children with access to the power of Christ, and yet in God’s Word we are told be humble, to put others first, and to serve others faithfully. 

Service is simply taking actions to benefit others, but not for the sake of being seen or gaining accolades. We serve by His power and out of love for our fellow humans. What are some practical ways to begin serving others? Consider mentoring someone who is new in the faith. Engage in community service (working at a food pantry, helping a shut-in, visiting the elderly, offering assistance to a single mom, and so on!) The opportunities for service are endless – let’s all take a step toward the spiritual discipline of serving others and putting others first this week!


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