Monday, February 9, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 30)

Jesus said, “Give to anyone who asks you, and don’t turn down anyone wanting to borrow from you.
— Matthew 5:42 (USC)
Saved to serve!  That’s right, we were saved into the kingdom of God in order that we might serve others to the end of realising their own salvation.
Serving is always about others in the same way that our spiritual growth is not from us. If we are to serve others with genuine fervour that wells up into a fountain of joy, it will come not from us, but from the Holy Spirit in us.
That’s evidence of God’s work in us; that we can do these things and choose for joy.
Our spiritual growth is just as miraculous. We can’t claim it as our own victory. But it’s a victory nonetheless. And even better that it comes not from us. Growth is proof of God beyond our doing.
Now, to serve is to give.
To serve is the willingness of surrender so another person might be blessed with what we are blessed to give. When we give away what we have, we acknowledge the truth; it was never ours to begin with. We passed it on as a faithful steward should – at the right time.
The greatest blessings of life are those found in giving to others. The more we give up our rights to ourselves, the more God fills us with copious portions of his Spirit.
When someone would desire to borrow from us, it becomes the very opportunity for the receipt of blessing. We come to know it this way: passion and enthusiasm rises from within us when we see that we can serve someone. It’s quite distinctly not about neediness – like, we don’t need to do this, but we want to.
We are praying that God would give us opportunities to love people; that we might ease their burden somehow, because we know how difficult life is.
We serve because we are convinced of the power of serving to help, having been helped by others. They mentored us into a way of being that we came to understand as highly supportive, and indeed crucial in our development during a time of intense difficulty.
1.     Where do you find it easy and where do you find it difficult to serve? Think of environments, people, and situations. How could God be prompting you to serve today?
2.     Do you ever (or often) get that feeling that the Holy Spirit is nudging you to serve someone or a situation? How do you feel when you neglect his voice? What is it like having obeyed his leading?
3.     How hard is it for you to give when you’ve been asked for a loan? What could be God’s challenge of you in becoming more generous of spirit?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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