Joy Found – Love And Service!
How many of us are attending a good local church and serve regularly? The numbers of people who both attend and serve regularly are incredibly small. Maybe it is because we had a bad experience and it didn’t really work out. But that shouldn’t keep us from finding another church or trying to serve on a different team. Whoever said success is always going to come on the first try? Don’t let one bad experience slow you down. Get up and try it again! One thing that didn’t work out only means that you are trying and getting one step closer to your divine purpose! Someday you will find something that works for you. And when you do, what a joy it will be to serve. What a privilege we have been provided, that the Lord has chosen us to be part of His holy team.
“Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.” – 2 Corinthians 8:11
Paul is encouraging the people of Corinth in their service to the Lord. How can we serve the Lord? What we do doesn’t matter as much as how we do it. Notice Paul mentions an “eager willingness”. What he is saying is that our service should come from the depths of our hearts and from the deepest love and respect to the Lord our God. This comes when we connect with God through his Word and prayer. Maybe you are in a place right now where you are not feeling it. And that’s alright. God has a time and a place for everything, and everyone. The Lord loves you, and wants a relationship with you. And if you are not sure if serving the Lord right now is for you, pray on it and ask Him for guidance. God will reveal what, when, and how you can serve.
But don’t go at it alone. The number one thing you can do is connect with a good church. Take the first step and attend regularly. Get out of your comfort zone and connect with some of the elders at the church. Then do something with them outside of church. Maybe invite them over for BBQ on the grill. Connecting with others in the church is super important. A great formula to follow is one that I heard from Pastor David and Nicole Crank, “connect with God, connect with people, discover your purpose, make a difference.” When you spend time with a body of believers, that is when we can help each other discover our purpose and make a difference.
I hope that during this journey that we call life, you connect with God and a body of believers where you can experience the true joy that only comes through our Lord Jesus Christ and in fellowship and service to the lord. To get the most out of life, you have to give. There is so much wisdom in the saying, “the love you get is the love you give.” Need more love in your life? Start giving at the local church. And if the local church isn’t for you, you may have to venture out and find another one. A church alive is worth the drive. And if you can’t find one nearby, reach out to me and I will refer you to a good one that you can start with online.
Be encouraged. Be strong. Be courageous. Be diligent. And know that every small work of obedience counts. The bible says that “if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable” – (2 Cor 8:11). our gifts may not be perfect or significant in our eyes. Give to the Lord, from the depth of your heart, and it will be perfect in His eyes. And a joyful heart will return to you.
Image courtesy of: Shenghung Lin
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word this morning. It is a beautiful day. The house is beginning to stir, just as the Word is beginning to stir in me. The sun has risen, and we fill ourselves with the Word of the risen Son – our Lord and savior. Fill us with your Holy Spirit Lord. Fill us with your love and light. Help us to connect with others who have a heart for You. Help us to find our purpose and ways that we can serve You! And help us to finish what we start, as we give of our time and talents. Give us peace that our gifts from our hearts are beautiful and perfect in your eyes. We give you all the honor and glory, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: 1 Samuel 3-5; Psalm 77; 2 Corinthians 8
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” – (James 2:22)
- “The Lord loves a cheerful giver” – (2 Cor 9:6-7)
- “they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.” – (2 Corinthians 8:4)
- “Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.” – (2 Corinthians 8:11)