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10/12/16 - Encouragement through serving

Written by Carlton L. Arnold

“Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.  Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”  2 Corinthians 9:13-15

I praise God for each of you, and the services that you render to others in the name of Jesus Christ.  This statement sums up the verses above.  It would be nice if this were a common saying about all Believers.  But, I am afraid that it is not that common.  We need to make it more common in all of our Christian lives, so that others will see the confession of Christ manifested in our daily living.

In the verses above, I want you to consider all of the ramifications of your service to others in the name of Jesus.  People will sit up and take notice of a person who is sacrificially serving others.  They do this because this is not a common occurrence in the world today.  Sacrificial service to others is a huge separation point between Believers and those of the world.  Lives will the changed for an eternity because they hear your confession of the gospel of Christ.  Others will praise God for the obedience that they see in you. 

Your motivation for this kind of sacrificial serving is grace.  It will always be grace.  We see the grace granted to you by God with Christ dying on the cross for your sins.  It is this thought that should be in your mind on a daily basis, so that you will see the needs of others.  Christ saw your need for salvation and willingly sacrificed Himself for you. 

Spiritual growth occurs when a person is confessing, serving, and giving.  People in your community are looking for someone who is “real” (has a sincere faith that is seen through a firm confession and genuine generosity.)  They are seeing and hearing about you. Others will be encouraged and will praise God for what you do with your relationship with God.  And, again, this can only be done with a pure heart realizing the grace that God has freely given to you. 

This grace is sufficient for any relationship that you may have with another.  From an internal family conflict to a supervisor who abuses your good work, God has given you all the grace you need to serve anyone else.  For the more difficult relationships, you will need to use the surpassing grace that God has given to you.  Do not entertain the fleshly thoughts you have in your mind that say the person does not deserve your grace or your service.  After all, you really do not deserve the grace that Christ demonstrated on the cross.  But, He did it because He decided to do it.  Christ did not wait to “feel” love for you.  He decided to love you.  Decide to love others in the same way…do not wait on feelings.

Service to others is like breathing fresh air.  There is a movement of the Holy Spirit that results in changed lives.  When you see this, your motivation for living for God doubles or triples.  There is nothing on this earth that can compare to the sacrificial giving to others, especially, those who are the most difficult to relate to and who probably need unconditional love given to them.

I encourage you to continue to grow spiritually and commit to allowing God to use your life for His glory.  When you see God at work in others, you will also be given a glimpse of what God is doing in your life.  If there are times that you do not feel like you are growing spiritually, evaluate your service to others.  It is probably lacking.  Ask God to recharge your service attitude, so that you will not miss any and all blessings that God has prepared for you.  There is not a better life to be lived!  (From Life-Changing Verses – Volume 3, Chapter 15)

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