• Topic > Evangelism & Missions > Serving Others >

    Sacred Service

    I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ… —Colossians 1:24

    The Christian worker has to be a sacred “go-between.” He must be so closely identified with his Lord and the reality of His redemption that Christ can continually bring His creating life through him. I am not referring to the strength of one individual’s personality being superimposed on another, but…

    What We Can Do

    Even though confined to his bed, 92-year-old Morrie Boogaart continues to knit hats for the homeless in Michigan. By February 2017, he had reportedly made over 8,000 hats in fifteen years. Instead of focusing on his health or limitations, Mr. Boogaart looks beyond himself and does what he can to place the needs of others above his own. He declared that his work made him feel good and gave him a purpose. “I’m going to do this until I go home to the Lord,” he said. Though most recipients of his hats won’t know his story or how much he…

    Unexpected Kindness

    My friend was waiting to pay for her groceries when the man in front of her turned around and handed her a voucher for £10 ($14) off her bill. Short on sleep, she burst into tears because of his kind act; then she started laughing at herself for crying. This unexpected kindness touched her heart and gave her hope during a period of exhaustion. She gave thanks to the Lord for His goodness extended to her through another person.

    The theme of giving was one the apostle Paul wrote about in his letter to Gentile Christians in Ephesus. He called them…

    The Unheeded Secret

    Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world —John 18:36

    The great enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ today is the idea of practical work that has no basis in the New Testament but comes …

    Bring Your Boats

    Hurricane Harvey brought catastrophic flooding to eastern Texas in 2017. The onslaught of rain stranded thousands of people in their homes, unable to escape the floodwaters. In what was dubbed the “Texas Navy,” many private citizens brought boats from other parts of the state and nation to help evacuate stranded people.

    The actions of these valiant, generous men and women call to mind the encouragement of Proverbs 3:27, which instructs us to help others whenever we are able. They had the power to act on behalf of those in need by bringing their boats. And so they did. Their actions demonstrate…

    God’s Good Gifts

    My friend Rosie is an amazing person. Born without arms, she’s refused to believe her life need be limited. With deep confidence that God has given her everything she needs to live an abundant life and honor Him, she’s become a remarkable wife and mother, a brilliant scholar, and an extraordinary artist.

    The Place of Ministry

    He said to them, ’This kind [of unclean spirit] can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting’ —Mark 9:29

    His disciples asked Him privately, ’Why could we not cast it out?’ ” (Mark 9:28). The answer lies in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. …

    The Place of Humiliation

    If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us —Mark 9:22

    After every time of exaltation, we are brought down with a sudden rush into things as they really are, where it is neither beautiful, poetic, …

    Gleaning the Fields

    A Tanzanian friend has a vision for redeeming a piece of desolate land in the capital city of Dodoma. Recognizing the needs of some local widows, Ruth wants to transform these dusty acres into a place to keep chickens and grow crops. Her vision to provide for those in need is rooted in her love for God, and was inspired by her biblical namesake, Ruth.

    God’s laws allowed the poor or the foreigner to glean (harvest) from the edges of the fields (Leviticus 19:9–10). Ruth (in the Bible) was a foreigner, and was therefore allowed to work in the fields, gathering…

    When We’re Weary

    Sometimes trying to do the right thing can be exhausting. We may wonder, Do my well-intentioned words and actions make any difference at all? I wondered this recently when I sent a prayerfully thought-out email meant to encourage a friend, only to have it met with an angry response. My immediate reaction was a mixture of hurt and anger. How could I be so misunderstood?

    Before I responded out of anger, I remembered that we won’t always see the results (or the results we desire) when we tell someone about how Jesus loves them. When we do good things for others hoping…

    Pouring Out the Water of Satisfaction

    What has been like “water from the well of Bethlehem” to you recently— love, friendship, or maybe some spiritual blessing ( 2 Samuel 23:16 )? Have you taken whatever it may be, even at the risk of damaging your own soul, simply to satisfy yourself? If you have, then you cannot pour it out “to the Lord.” You can never set apart for God something that you desire for yourself to achieve your own satisfaction.

    A Life of Pure and Holy Sacrifice

    Jesus did not say, “He who believes in Me will realize all the blessings of the fullness of God,” but, in essence, “He who believes in Me will have everything he receives escape out of him.” Our Lord’s teaching was always anti-self-realization. His purpose is not the development of a person— His purpose is to make a person exactly like Himself, and the Son of God is characterized by self-expenditure.

    The Ministry of the Unnoticed

    The New Testament notices things that do not seem worthy of notice by our standards. “Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . .” This literally means, “Blessed are the paupers.” Paupers are remarkably commonplace! The preaching of today tends to point out a person’s strength of will or the beauty of his character— things that are easily noticed. The statement we so often hear, “Make a decision for Jesus Christ,” places the emphasis on something our Lord never trusted. He never asks us to decide for Him, but to yield to Him— something very different.

    The Gift of Time

    I headed into the post office in a big hurry. I had a number of things on my “to do” list, but as I entered I was frustrated to find a long line backing up all the way to the door. “Hurry up and wait,” I muttered, glancing at my watch.

    My hand was still on the door when an elderly stranger approached me. “I can’t get this copier to work,” he said, pointing to the machine behind us. “It took my money and I don’t know what to do.” Immediately I knew what God wanted me to do. I stepped out…

    The Joy of Giving

    It was a dreary week. I had been feeling lethargic and listless, although I couldn’t figure out why.

    Near the end of the week, I found out that an aunt had kidney failure. I knew I had to visit her—but to be honest, I felt like postponing the visit. Still, I made my way to her place, where we had dinner, chatted, and prayed together. An hour later, I left her home feeling upbeat for the first time in days. Focusing on someone else rather than myself had somehow improved my mood.

    Psychologists have found that the act of giving can produce…

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