Posted: 11/7/17 at 12:53pm. Post by Tony Brooks.
Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:39 NIV)
As I have mentioned before, every Sunday School class/small group should have an ongoing service project. It helps us to look beyond ourselves when we lose ourselves in order to save ourselves. When we lay down our own personal agendas/time/energy for ourselves and share the love of Christ with others who may be different, we discover new possibilities and life within ourselves through Christ.
Here are some thoughts:
- Service to others is not to make us feel better. One of the most devastating things we can do is to give so we feel better. Though giving money may help others, does it really help us to look beyond ourselves? When serving at a soup kitchen or in other places, are we genuinely interested in getting to know others or just relieving our conscience? Real service is putting others above ourselves (Read Romans 12.)
- Service is more than compassion. It is empathy. Jesus understood the best way to bring good news is to know the persons you are caring for. It is trying to understand their plight and empowering them for something better as you provide hope. When we do, we see Jesus (See Matthew 25 in the last parable.)
- Service is the Ministry of Introduction, Leading to the Ministry of Reconciliation. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: (II Corinthians 5:18 NIV) My wife, Katrina, went with me this past weekend to Vinton Baptist Church, which was involved in Operation Reach Out on Saturday. They met the needs of many people, and there are many stories to share. I will leave you with this one:
We visited a low income, multi-ethnic apartment complex where two Sunday School classes go once a month on Saturdays to minister to children and parents. They provide a hot breakfast and lead games as well as spiritual lessons. On this rainy Saturday, a young, African-American woman was there watching her son. She was next to the wall observing what was going on. Katrina began a conversation with her. The conversation was light until she discovered that this woman was recently in the US Army. Katrina’s dad was a career Marine Corps officer. Katrina discovered the woman’s military background, and the conversation went deeper. This young woman gave up her status with the army so that her son could be closer to her family. She was concerned about this apartment complex and some of the dangers for her son. This was the only place she could afford. She is working at a bank, but the income was not good enough to find a better place. They moved in two months ago. The first Saturday that the classes were there, she was able to observe from her place, as they were outside. Since it was raining on this day, she came to observe. A door is open there for the ministry of racial reconciliation.
Christians are called to be ambassadors for Christ. How are you moving beyond just giving something to giving yourself?