Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Serve through God's power

“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

1 Peter 4:7-11
 

How do we best serve others? There are occasions when we mean well, however through blind pursuits, we achieve the exact opposite thereby hindering others. But, out of courtesy, one says nothing and allows it to happen. The mature Peter brings various things together and tells us what God finds worthy and how we can and should indeed do good to others. Firstly, we should be sober and vigilant in prayer. I ask myself why he places special emphasis on the “how” here? Probably because we sometimes assume that we need to start with a certain mood and feeling as well as a specific place etc. If we always wait upon so many external and self-imposed conditions, we will never come to significant prayer. That is why Peter says: “be ye therefore sober” (1 Peter 4:7). That means we can and should always pray (Ephesians 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”) When someone has problems (maybe even self-inflicted), then we should not hesitate or wait until the learning-effect has occurred. How do we know how God sees it? Who are we to deny fellow Christians a helping prayer when we know that they need it? Perhaps only you know about something and therefore only you can pray for it? There is also talk about “fervent charity”, which clearly pertains hereto. If I refuse someone my love (am thus fickle and impetuous, regarding a quick prayer as sufficient) then I cannot assume to really be forgiving and merciful. Then I am rather heartless and say: “you only have yourself to blame”! In which other ways can I help and serve? Through hospitality without grumbling! It can also occur that someone invites others “with apathy” thus feigning hospitality. What is the point? We should view it as a godly privilege to serve other Christians with food and drink as well as good companionship. Especially towards those who may be lonely or are suffering due to difficult circumstances in their lives.

We should however also not serve others with that which we don't have. It would certainly be wrong to make debt in order to serve others. Then you are also doing it more for yourself than for others. Namely, putting on appearances. To accept an invitation (especially when you know that you are unable to reciprocate in like manner) should be possible with all of us. God also gave every Christian gifts with which to serve one another. We are allowed to be creative and think about how we can use that which we have in order to bless others. What we don't possess in talents and gifts (but desire) we should not force and through our behaviour maybe block those who are simply more able. It happens. Apparent good can also be the enemy of that which is better. God gifts, not people. We should also consider what remains of our earthy lives? Our heirs will be pleased with our possessions and money. The videos and pictures of us will gather dust and disappear. What remains and counts is that which transcends above all earthly treasures and has value before God: our love, our prayers, our hospitality, our use of our God-given gifts and talents and our good-heartedness towards others, done without self-regard. We read in Matthew 6:19-22: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.'' The most awesome thing is that God expressly tells us here that He is not served by humans (Acts 17:25) but takes it, so to speak, personally when we serve others with the right attitudes and are there for them (Matthew 25:40 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”) Amen.

(Translated by Linda Gates)

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