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
We all go through seasons of our lives that are busier than others. Being in my last year of college, this has been one of the more hectic times. I often feel so overwhelmed with school work that I forget to think about others, and how I can serve them. I had this idea that serving others had to be a grand gesture that involved tons of money and time, when in fact seemingly small acts can make a great difference.
About a year ago, my friend came to me with an opportunity to serve as a youth leader with her. I was initially hesitant; I didn’t think that with my busy schedule I would have the time or energy to fully commit to this ministry. I also worried about being good enough and having enough knowledge about Christ to really lead these girls. Quite honestly, I didn’t think that I would enjoy working with teenagers. But I felt God calling me towards this path. I trusted that He would help me make time, and that He would give me all the skills I needed to show His love to these girls.
Through hanging out with these young women, I have discovered so much about God and the importance of serving others. I have learned lessons on patience, empathy, and compassion. Instead of seeing volunteering as a burden that I have to do to please God, I have taken heart in the fact that through this, God can use me. My weaknesses and shortcomings aren’t important; God can use those to bring others closer to Him.
Finding a place to serve can be difficult. I would encourage you to pray and ask God where He may be leading you. It could be something totally unexpected, but trust in Him. There are many different areas in the church you can serve - children’s ministries, youth groups, and ushering are just some of the examples where people are needed.
Serving doesn’t just have to take place in the church. One of my favorite acts of serving others is through small acts of kindness. I enjoy leaving little encouraging messages on sticky notes to try and lift others up. It is such a simple way to show God’s love, and can make a world of difference in someone’s day. One of my favorite verses that highlights this idea is 1 John 3:18 which says, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions” (NLT). Serving people brings love and joy to others, which then brings joy to God.
1. What gifts has God given me to serve others?
2. What areas of service do I feel like God is leading me towards?
3. How can I bring small acts of service into my everyday life?
Dear God, I thank You for the many gifts You have given me. Help me to find a place where I can use these gifts to serve others and to serve You. God, even when I feel like I am not good enough, remind me that I am strong because of You. Give me time throughout my day to think of others, even when I am overwhelmed with busyness. Thank You, God, for the opportunity to serve and show Your love to the world. Amen.
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