Sent to Serve: Looking into the Life of Another
By Deb Burma
WLI Speaker and Ambassador
Philippians 2:14-16 ESV “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life…”
My husband and I were leaving the airport one evening. We’d waved good-bye to our college-age son AGAIN…and we were heavy-hearted (maybe even grumbling a little!) with thoughts of the empty nest that awaited us, so we decided that comfort food was in order, before heading for home. Our satisfying meal was only surpassed by the quality of our service. As self-focused as we were that evening, the Spirit prompted us to look beyond ourselves: as our server thanked us for coming, suddenly I blurted out, “How can we pray for you today?” And I’ll never forget her unexpected response: she gasped, paused, stepped aside to set down her things, and simultaneously grabbed a chair, pulling it up to our table. Words tumbled from her lips as she shared her recent struggles and her ongoing needs. Then she reached out a hand to each of us and bowed her head in expectation. A little shocked at first, we followed, bowing our heads and talking to Jesus on her behalf, taking this opportunity to shine His light in this restaurant and share His Word in our prayer. And after we said “Amen,” she squeezed our hands and thanked us again, this time for making her day. (The truth is, she made ours!)
God sent us there that day to humbly serve our server in love. We didn’t know anything about her, but the Savior knew her needs, and He caused our paths to cross that evening, leading us to think beyond our own homesick woes and look into the life of another. To think of HER. Focusing on our server’s needs served her and honored her, and I pray that our actions ultimately honored Jesus.
By His grace, we are children of God. Cleansed completely by the blood of Christ, we are declared “blameless…innocent…without blemish.” Called by the Gospel, we are sent to serve! And it’s possible only by His grace, by His work in us through the Word of life. It’s no wonder we’re called to “hold fast” to it, hanging onto His promises and living by them.
By God’s miraculous work through His Word, we reflect His image and shine His light. By the Spirit’s prompting, we look beyond ourselves and into others’ lives with sincere interest, focusing on their needs and serving them in humility and love.
With our eyes fixed on Jesus, you and I have the privilege of shining Christ’s light…living our witness in our homes, our churches, our workplaces, and our world, all as we hold fast to the Word of life. Let’s think about the ways we can acknowledge another believer’s efforts, look into the lives of those around us, and serve them – do good for them – honor them. May people be drawn to Jesus through our humble service.
Reflect: How can you seek to be in tune to others’ needs, with the Spirit’s help? Whose example inspires you, that you can emulate this week as you are sent to serve?WLI