Friday, April 17, 2009

Daily Digest #263

When you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed. —Luke 14:13-14

God blesses us with a new day full of opportunities to see Jesus' face in other people. Many of us might say, "what? See Jesus' face in other people? All I meet are either opportunists, or just plain mean human beings!" I, myself, struggle in showing kindness to ALL people. My love and friendship can be very exclusive, and oftentimes, I confuse them with just being kind. I guess the whole point is, whether we like the person or not, we ought to show kindness and respond in a loving way. It only becomes hard to do when we are more focused on the person or the expectation of getting something in return, rather than simply doing what's good. It has been tested how one good or bad deed causes a chain reaction. So why not choose the good side and cause a multitude of kindness and love from other people? God gives us a glimpse of heaven on earth everytime we choose to see Jesus' face. We can only hope and pray that we can be seen by others in the same way.

For this, let us pray. May our lives be a living testimony of God's love and grace . May we choose kindness over righteousness. May we develop a caring heart and a positive outlook in life. May we learn to smile everyday, and thank God for another day of blessings and opportunities. Have a great day ahead! Pray always.

We Serve God by Serving Others

“Whoever wants to be great must become a servant” (Mark 10:43 MSG).

We serve God by serving others.

The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige, and position. If you can demand service from others, you’ve arrived. In our self-serving culture with its “me first” mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept.

Jesus, however, measured greatness in terms of service, not status. God determines your greatness by how many people you serve, not how many people serve you.

This is so contrary to the world’s idea of greatness that we have a hard time understanding it, much less practicing it. The disciples argued about who deserved the most prominent position, and 2,000 years later, Christian leaders still jockey for position and prominence in churches, denominations, and parachurch ministries.

Thousands of books have been written on leadership, but few on servanthood. Everyone wants to lead; no one wants to be a servant. We would rather be generals than privates. Even Christians want to be “servant-leaders,” not just plain servants. But to be like Jesus is to be a servant. That’s what he called himself.

While knowing your shape is important for serving God, having the heart of a servant is even more important. Remember, God shaped you for service, not for self-centeredness. Without a servant’s heart, you will be tempted to misuse your shape for personal gain. You will also be tempted to use it as an excuse to exempt yourself from meeting some needs.

God often tests our hearts by asking us to serve in ways we’re not shaped. If you see a man fall into a ditch, God expects you to help him out, not say, “I don’t have the gift of mercy or service.”

While you may not be gifted for a particular task, you may be called to do it if no one who is gifted at it is around. Your primary ministry should be in the area of your shape, but your secondary service is wherever you’re needed at the moment.

Your shape reveals your ministry, but your servant’s heart will reveal your maturity. No special talent or gift is required to stay after a meeting to pick up trash or stack chairs. Anyone can be a servant. All it requires is character.

It is possible to serve in church for a lifetime without ever being a servant. You must have a servant’s heart.

How can you know if you have the heart of a servant?

Jesus said, “You can tell what they are by what they do” (Matthew 7:16 CEV).

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