Serve God for the Benefit of Others

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

Matthew 25: 35

Emily couldn’t clear her head. Her fifteen-year-old, son, Nathan’s words had continued to ring loudly in her mind all week. “I don’t want to go to church anymore,” he had shouted last Sunday afternoon as he slid into the backseat of the family suburban. And she knew exactly why.

Many who’ve grown up in the church, or have been hurt by the church, share a not so secret truth that many find themselves exhausted by the challenges they face by living in community with the “people of God.”

The unspoken rule and great expectation we have is for Christians to be so much better than we are. And to the chagrin and great disappointment in all of us, it turns out, most Christians, in general, are often just like everyone else (sometimes they’re worse).

Church people can be:

  • Exclusive
  • Judgmental
  • Hateful
  • Insanely selfish
  • Destructive

They can have an attitude that they perceive themselves to be better than everyone else.

And sadly, experiences with people like that can cause some to step away from our church communities. We can do better! God desires it!

James 1:27, demonstrates the true heart of a Christ-follower. We are called to a spirituality that is pure in the eyes of God, our Father. Our lives should make a difference in the lives of others. We are compelled by our love to refuse to be corrupted by the world’s values.

Jesus gives a glimpse of how we should serve God for the benefit of others in Matthew 25:35-40.

  • Give food to the hungry and water to those who are thirsty.
  • Welcome strangers.
  • Provide clothing for the naked.
  • Visit those who are sick, or in prison.

And Jesus clarified in verse 40, if you do this for others, you are doing it for me.

Today’s One Thing

As you serve God, look for ways to benefit others. Here are several ideas to help you get started:

  1. Befriend a person (or family) new to your church.
  2. Provide a meal to a family with a new baby, or a family member who has been hospitalized.
  3. Show an unexpected kindness to a person who seems like a difficult person at work or church.
  4. Give an encouraging word to a stranger you cross paths with today.

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