Practical Discipleship: Serving Others
About Today’s Practice
As our journey of following Jesus unfolds, it can be easy for it to become all about us. Indeed, it’s amazing what Jesus has done for us, and thank God we have communion to remind us. But if we want to continue in our spiritual growth process, we have to also be reminded that this life is not all about us. By serving others we become Christ-like (Matthew 23:11, 25:34-40; John 13; Galatians 5:13). Jesus himself said in Matthew 20:28, “I have not come to be served, but to serve others…”
Before we get going, you’ll need these things.
- An open mind.
Let’s read Matthew 25:34-40
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
When we talk about serving, there’s usually an image that pops into our minds. Maybe it’s helping out at a food pantry. Or maybe it’s moving chairs in your church. But there are SO MANY other ways that we can serve. The key is just getting out of our comfort zone. I asked people how they like to serve and here are some ways that could get you thinking today how you can serve someone.
• Taking someone out: coffee, salon, nails, etc.
• Invite people over for a meal when they need time alone.
• Fixing cars, appliances, and other household items.
• Feeding a busy family a hot meal each week.
• Helping people fill out important documents.
• Grabbing a drink or snack and dropping it at someone’s house, but don’t go in unless asked.
• Passing out bottles of water to random people.
• Share soup and baked goods with friends in need.
• Handwritten cards.
• Organizing a food or supply drive for local shelters and food banks.
• Teaching classes to groups in need of support.
• Investing time in listening to what someone has to say and learning what their actual needs are and how to meet their needs.
Take a couple minutes to be with Jesus and ask him these questions.
1. Who are people in your life that you can to serve?
2. Who are people in your community you can to serve?
3. Who are people in your church you can to serve?
Now take a minute or two and write down who those people are and how you can serve them. Maybe use the list above for inspiration.
It’s easy to sit here and think, pray, and write out ways to help others. But now it’s time to actually put a plan into motion. Take one person from your list and reach out to them. Maybe you just want to encourage that person today. Maybe you want to take them out or make them a meal. Whatever it is, the practice right now is two-fold.
1. Reach out to the person you want to serve.
2. Put it in your calendar.
How many times have you said, “We should get together” but never actually “get together.” Putting it in your calendar will help you remember and keep it actionable.
Let’s pray this together: “Jesus, thank you for modeling serving others and servant-leadership. Thank you for reminding us that this life is not all about us. Help us to be able to live that out this week. Help us to develop and cultivate a lifestyle of serving others so that you may be glorified. Inspire us with new and creative ways of serving others so that we can meet their needs. In your name, we pray, Jesus. Amen!
As you serve others this week let’s remember what Paul says in Galatians 5:13-14: “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.””
SCRIPTURES TO MEDITATE ON
• Galatians 5:13-14
• John 13:3-5
• John 13:12-17
• Matthew 23:11
• Matthew 25:34-40
• Matthew 20:28