Tag Archives: acts of service

Stagnant or Flowing?

Be a joyful giver


This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.  Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others 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!

Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;   their righteousness endures forever.”

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9 v 6-15)

One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed
 (Proverbs 11:24-25)

These passages are generally used with reference to finances, but I believe they apply to all areas of giving, including acts of service

We can see from both these passages that what God has given to us, whether natural or spiritual gifts, never was, and never will be, given for us to keep for ourselves, but to be continually given out.

Let’s look at this in nature. If you have a pond with no inlet or outlet the pond water becomes stale and stagnant-smelling, full of sludge and algae and no longer attractive to anyone. The smell is so repugnant that It repels people even before they get to see it.

It is the same with giftings: if we use all our gifting to build ourselves up and bolster our ego, people will soon be saying: “look at him, he so is so selfish and obsessed with himself.”

But if you have a lake with  a river  that flows in and  out of it, then  the water is fresh; plants and trees around it are green,  the air smells fresh close up, the water has beautiful reflections of the sky and the surroundings, it is bursting with life both in and out of the water,  it attracts people to it and gives them peace.

Whether it is resources or gifting, let us remember Luke 6:38:

“Give, and it shall be given unto you: pressed down and running over shall men pour into your lap.”


If we do, our water will always be fresh.

Serving to Soaring

A series of five articles by Jacob Dominy.

CONTENTS

Service

Flowing or stagnant?

The Crumbs under the Table

Identity Crisis

Soaring like Eagles

Service

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10: 42- 45)

We must be prepared to serve; even to clean the toilets. We may have to serve for a long time in the most menial tasks; unseen and not seeking praise. Serving with a heart of love and enthusiasm are key: we must never serve in order to gain position.

Wildwood Church meets in a school, so every Sunday involves a lot of setup work. I have been on the set-up team at various times since 1988. Quite often this has meant making my own way to church, leaving early on a Sunday morning and having to walk or cycle there before I had a car.  It became more of a sacrifice when I was married, when I would cycle and find a lift for my wife. We are given clear instructions on how to serve in Matt 6: 3-4: “when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” If we take the lowest place at the table (Luke 14:10) our host will eventually say ; “’Friend, we have a better place for you!’”

Jesus, the King of Kings,  gave us the ultimate example of royal behaviour to follow:
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” (John 13: 3-5)

Finally, 1 peter 4 10-11 tells us:
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

However we are called to serve, we carry on in that capacity until God makes a change.