Your help is needed. Consider contributing 500 words or less to this discussion.
WhatDoesItMeanToServeGod.com is dedicated to unlocking the full potential of the body of Christ. Serving God is a simple matter of sharing God’s love with others; however, the world we live in is full of roadblocks and diversions intended to stifle our efforts. I don’t like to give the devil too much credit, but from my perspective, he’s been fairly successful at keeping Christians fragmented and less productive than they could be.
As individuals, we all have personal struggles and daily tasks revolving around work or school that limits the time we can give to others. In a church small group or within a group of close friends, schedules and other obligations get in the way of expanding our efforts outside of that group. Because of subtle denominational competition, churches are often limited in how much they can collaborate with each other to provide services to those in need.
I know for a fact that every follower of Jesus Christ has a heart to serve God by serving others. I also know for a fact that if every follower of Jesus Christ were able to serve at their full potential, we would see some miraculous things accomplished. Right now, at this moment, somewhere in the world, there is someone who needs your help – someone for whom you have the talent and resources to help – the only problem is you don’t know who that person is. The devil likes it this way. As long as he can keep people who are able to help away from those who need help, he’s winning the game. Our mission has to be to reverse this trend and bring those in need together with those who have the time, resources, and talent to serve those needs.
It seems to me the Internet could be a powerful tool in this regard. The Internet has the ability to connect people, groups, and churches together with others from around the world. In fact, technology in general is a real time saver that can open up avenues of service through things like automated text messaging to help find those who can help with a specific need; or building groups of people dedicated to a specific task that live in different parts of the world. God has provided us with these amazing tools so that we can go into all the world. Many are already using technology to serve God, but from my point of view, we have only just scratched the surface of what can be done.
I would like to hear your thoughts and experiences. How might we as followers of Jesus Christ better serve God by serving others? Click CONTACT and send me your 500 words or less point of view and I’ll post it here for all to consider. If you have your own blog, let me know so that I can include a link with your post. Let’s brainstorm.
While the Bible is a large and complex manuscript, it is in reality a simple message. There are essentially three major components: the battle between good and evil, our salvation, and our path forward as followers of Jesus Christ. We can consolidate the Bible down to this simple truth.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:15-17 (NIV)
I think it’s safe to say that the actual fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not toxic. The curse of death was not from eating the fruit, but from disobeying God. God gave the entire Garden of Eden to Adam and only restricted him from one tree. This was a test of Adam’s commitment to trust God completely.
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV)
So the serpent, an incarnation of the devil, convinced Eve that eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would make her like God. Both Adam and Eve were convinced by the devil to disobey God in an effort to be like God; this of course, is the devil’s desire. The devil wants to be like God but doesn’t even come close to God’s awesome power, so he attempts to deceive as many people as possible to disrupt God’s creation.
Keep in mind, God knew this would happen. God was not surprised by any of this. God set this whole scenario up to set into place the ongoing battle between good and evil that we have been fighting since the beginning of time.
“And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” Genesis 3:22 (NIV)
As a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God, we have been stripped of our ability to live forever and have been sentenced to die. Everything that followed, up until the arrival of Jesus Christ, has been a master class in the battle between good and evil. Everything recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible is there to establish beyond a shadow of a doubt the profound difference between good and evil.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20 (NIV)
After about 4,000 years of allowing human beings to deal directly with good and evil on their own, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to bring Salvation. This 4,000 year history is documented in the pages of the Bible and it clearly reveals that we are nothing without God. When we allow the devil to deceive us, just as he did Adam and Eve, we are lost. When we reject the lies of the devil and turn completely toward God, we will see His Son waiting with open arms to offer salvation and return our ability to live forever, by simply placing our faith in Him. Jesus died on the cross to pay for our transgressions and rose again on the third day as a demonstration of His ability to conquer death. When we trust Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are granted eternal life as a reward.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)
Unfortunately, the battle between good and evil doesn’t end with salvation. This battle will continue until Jesus returns. There is no exact date given for the return of Jesus. Our mission is to remain ready for His return every minute of every day. We do this by following the teachings of Jesus. Those teachings can be consolidated into his two central commands to love God and love your neighbor. The greatest weapon in the battle between good and evil is love.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:9-10 (NIV)
When we turn away from evil and turn toward God as followers of Jesus Christ we are also given assistance through the power of the Holy Spirit which lives inside all believers. Christians have an enormous advantage over evil, but the enemy has so infiltrated the world we live in there is no time to rest from the ongoing battle between good and evil.
Start by acknowledging that all the negative things that happen in your life are not evil. Many of the hardships we face in life are in fact tools supplied by God to help us grow in our knowledge and awareness of evil. This life is not supposed to be trouble-free. This life is a growth opportunity. The best way to think of this life is like a trip to the gym to get into shape for all eternity. In order to be in the best shape possible for eternity, we need our personal trainer to challenge us with a difficult workout. The harder we work, the stronger we will become.
“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)
Once we have focused our attention on following God’s plan for our lives, in good times and in bad, we turn to our most powerful weapon in the fight against evil – love. Love is a shield that will protect us in even in the most difficult circumstance. When we are stuck in times of trouble and despair we are the most vulnerable to the devil’s attacks. Love is the catalyst that we are to use to overcome evil.
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:20-21 (NIV)
Our mission is to separate ourselves from the self-centered ways of the world perpetrated by the deception of the devil and focus on caring for others – even those who are out to do us harm. We can destroy evil by constantly looking for ways to share God’s love with others.
We serve God by loving Him with all our heart, by studying His Word, by spending time in prayer, by spending time in worship, and by offering loving service to others. It is in these moments that we feel the overwhelming joy God provides to those who are obedient to Him. Time spent in service to God is a true believer’s most cherished experience.
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43-45 (NIV)
All true followers of Jesus Christ have a heart to serve others. That desire is often clouded by the devil’s camouflage. The devil wants us to believe we don’t have time to offer any loving assistance to anyone other than our immediate family and closest friends. The devil has so tangled up this world it becomes difficult to see how we can possibly do more than we are already doing. In the fight between good and evil, identifying the devil’s lies is a key component. We can all do more. Believers are empowered by the Holy Spirit. We can always do more. We simply have to push the devil’s clutter aside and move forward with love.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7 (NIV)
Anyone with a smartphone can be a filmmaker these days. Your creative talent is no longer limited by your inability to afford a truckload of film-making equipment. Simply pull out your phone and start recording God working all around you. It’s time to put your faith into action by serving God while serving others; then record those moments and share them with the world. Your effort may be the stimulus that encourages others to expand their spiritual connection to God by reaching out to those in need.
This contest is opened to followers of Jesus Christ who have a desire to share His message with the world. Entries should reflect the Essential Doctrines of Christianity. The goal is to inspire viewers to move closer to God by serving others.
Working alone, or with a team, consider all the people who are close to you; including your friends and extended family. Select someone within that group that can use some help cleaning and/or maintaining their home. Approach that person with an offer to help and find out specifically what they need. Working alone, or with a team, schedule and perform the needed work.
How you selected the person to serve
How that person responds to the offer of help
The complete service project
The results – the reaction of the person served and the reaction of those performing the service
Include depictions of prayer and at least one Bible verse either spoken or printed on screen.
Your completed video should be precisely 3 minutes long – not a little longer or a little shorter.
By submitting a video to this contest you are granting permission for it to be posted on YouTube. Do not use copyrighted music to avoid those YouTube restrictions.
The winning video will be selected by a combination of viewer votes and the personal judgment of WhatDoesItMeanToServeGod.com. As a result, the video with the most votes may not be selected as the ultimate winner.
This contest is opened to anyone who has a video camera of any kind. Film students and established filmmakers with access to professional equipment and editing software are welcome to participate. This should not intimidate those who are working with a smartphone video camera and free video editing software which can be found online. Ultimately, the winning video will be the one that includes the most sincere expression of Christian faith and has the ability to inspire others. This may be more a case of what you’re filming rather than your technical expertise. Absolutely anyone can enter this contest and win.
If you need video editing software, do a search for free video editing software and you’ll find several options. Do another search for Royalty Free Music and you’ll find lots of music you can use that does not have copyright restrictions. Not all videos need music.
Many amateur filmmakers discount the importance of good audio. A well-balanced audio track is as important as the video. Make sure everyone speaking can be heard and that any background music remains in the background. Keep the volume levels consistent so that the viewer is never surprised by something that is too loud or misses an important bit of dialogue because something is too quiet.
Finally, this should be a documentary style film that records real events. Contrived stories depicting actors are not allowed. The goal is to capture honest emotions as they happen.
Contest Ends October 15th
The Bible is the most important document known to mankind. Within the pages of the Bible, we learn about our Creator, we learn about the battle between good and evil, and we learn about our Savior, Jesus Christ. Every page of the Bible is important; however, there is one element in the Bible that stands out as the most important instruction ever recorded – that is the teachings of Jesus.
The Old Testament of the Bible delivers a stern message of an awesome God who demands righteousness. Over and over again, human frailty prevented mankind from achieving the righteousness God was seeking. God allowed humanity to stumble for hundreds of years in order to establish, without a doubt, our inability to achieve the righteousness of God. The only way to achieve the righteousness God demands is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Romans 3:22
It is through faith in Jesus Christ, that we achieve the righteousness required by God to overcome our selfish human nature and become children of God. By trusting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are once again granted eternal life as God first intended for us to have. We become free from the devil’s curse of death when we focus on following in the footsteps of Jesus.
This collection of Brief Bible Devotionals will take you through some of the most important landmarks in the teachings of Jesus. I encourage you to read them one at a time followed by an entire day of reflection. My prayer is that you will allow the teachings of Jesus to play a significant role in your daily life. It doesn’t matter if you’re already familiar with these teachings or they are completely new to you. By taking the time to focus on these lessons one at a time, you will be invigorating your spiritual well-being with the words of the most important teacher who ever walked the earth – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Stay in the Word of God and the Word of God will stay in you, protecting you from the schemes of the devil.
Jesus gave Nicodemus the simple instruction that he only needed to believe and trust Jesus to be born again.
There is no coercion on the part of our Lord – He’s made the offer and it’s up to us to move toward the light.
Jesus had offered Himself as Messiah-Savior to the Samaritans and many were eager to drink from the well of living water.
Jesus made a substantial case for his deity and the New Testament provides us with an overwhelming revelation of the truth – Jesus is Lord
Jesus came to let us know that righteousness can only be attained through the absolute, unalterable holiness of God.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, what you say and how you act, should lead others to Jesus and glorify your heavenly Father.
Jesus demonstrated that a critical ingredient was missing from the practice of the law – the spirit of the law was being neglected.
True righteousness seeks the will of God and His blessing without recognition from others. True righteousness does not seek attention.
The Lord’s Prayer demonstrates that prayer is a simple personal conversation with God and not a spectacle designed to impress those listening.
Our most precious treasure is that which has been generated by a heart focused on serving God by serving others.
Jesus taught that we are to dedicate our lives to serving God and allow Him to take control of our lives guiding us to our destination.
Rather than judging others, we are far better off to offer understanding and actually provide assistance of some kind.
The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. When you stand firmly on that, understand your salvation is secure.
The harvest is plentiful and the workers are few today. Is God calling you out into the field to seek and save the lost?
When we venture out to share the gospel with anyone, we are traveling with Jesus. And if we are traveling with Jesus, we are doing God’s work.
When you take on the yoke of Jesus, you are making a commitment to follow His teaching central of which is to love your neighbor.
Our response to Jesus Christ determines our eternal destiny. Jesus rose from the dead and has taken his place at the right hand of God.
Jesus is not interested in followers who take shortcuts or are so distracted with life they are not fully devoted to His teaching.
The moment a new believer blossoms into a sincere follower of Jesus Christ, God is quick to gather that ripe fruit into His kingdom.
Our eternal existence must somehow be enhanced by the experience of sorting through good and evil on a daily basis.
Christianity was started by one man – Jesus – who was sent by God to the earth to save humans from death caused by unrighteousness.
Jesus did not teach some theoretical doctrine. He turned on a light to reveal the inner workings of God’s Creation.
God has provided us with a way to conquer our human nature and achieve eternal life with Him in the kingdom of heaven.
When we make a decision to follow Jesus, and put our faith in Him, we become more valuable than gold nuggets and become children of God.
If we truly trust God, we will follow the path He places before us without hesitation. His will above our own should be our focus.
What matters is that you have put your faith and trust in Jesus. We should be all about encouraging others to do the same.
Every misstep is an opportunity to demonstrate God’s love and mercy by offering unconditional forgiveness to our fellow believers.
When Jesus returns, all of the false teachers will suffer greatly for their selfish gain gathered by exploiting God’s Word.
The enemy will one day be completely destroyed. Until that day, stay close to Jesus, and you too will find victory.
Those who do not know God run around chasing material wealth. Those who know God rest in the knowledge that He will always take care of them.
Followers of Jesus Christ should be prepared. We don’t know when Jesus will return so we need to be ready every moment of every day.
There is no better friend than Jesus. That friendship is available to anyone willing to listen to His instruction.
The book of Acts describes the final acts of Jesus, the acts of the Holy Spirit, and the acts of the apostles as they built the Christian church after the ascension of Jesus. This book describes how salvation was brought first to the Jews and then to the non-Jewish followers of Jesus. This is one of the most important foundational documents of the Christian church. If you have already read the book of Acts, this collection of blog post is intended to remind you of those events and suggest a potentially new point of view that will expand your understanding. If you have not yet read the book of Acts, this list of blog posts will give you landmarks to look out for. I encourage you to turn to the scripture immediately after reading these blog posts and read the book of Acts from beginning to end. This is one of the most important books of the Bible and I know you will be blessed by your effort to digest and fully comprehend its contents.
As followers of Jesus, we are to “do and teach” in the same manner that He demonstrated throughout His ministry here on earth.
Once you are connected to God through the gift of the Holy Spirit, you are in a position to be used by God in a miraculous way.
Our miraculous powers are brought to life when we stand together in service to God, following the teachings of Jesus.
If we follow religious leaders without checking their words against our own personal study of the Bible, we are turning our back on God.
The apostles actually enjoyed being flogged – they were proud to suffer pain like Jesus. And they continued to share the gospel.
God’s temple is now inside of all the followers of Jesus Christ where the Holy Spirit has taken up residence.
Make an effort to share the word wherever you go, just as the Apostles and disciples did in Jerusalem, Samaria, and beyond.
God is in complete control and can instantly turn hatred into love. God can make the blind see and He can bring the dead back to life.
We have the ability to access the awesome power of God by going to our knees and acting out of sincere love for God.
Our mission as true believers is to make certain all feel welcome to seek and know the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ.
The church as a disjointed conglomerate of varying ideologies is a diluted version of the true Christian church.
Persecution of the church will always exist, however there is nothing the enemy can do to slow God’s plan. God’s love is like a freight train.
We can’t let those trying to distract and disrupt stop us from spreading the Word. We just need to keep going.
God has a purpose for our struggle. Praise God for every difficult step. Like the apostle Paul, we need to continue to climb toward God.
Salvation by grace was the automatic transmission of the early church and put the missionary work of the apostles into overdrive.
God’s path for your life is never a straight line. It is a meandering road with a complex mixture of struggle and joy.
Idols can become powerful tools of manipulation for the devil to distract and consume the souls of those who are caught up in their snares.
When we look at the life of the apostle Paul, we have to conclude that being a follower of Jesus Christ is not a ticket to an easy life.
The apostle Paul was committed to the truth and nothing could disrupt his preaching the way of Jesus Christ.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, we need to trust that the Lord is with us in every situation. Never let go of your dependency on Him.
While the Apostle Paul’s journey to Rome was a long and difficult one, it is clear it was all part of God’s grand plan.
The gospel of John is one of the earliest accounts of the life of Jesus written by one of his closest followers – an eyewitness to many of the events depicted. John’s stated reason for writing this gospel is so that we might know Jesus and receive salvation.
“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:31 (NIV)
In this collection of blog posts about the book of John, you will be introduced to some of the most important aspects of this gospel. I encourage you to read each of these posts listening carefully for God’s voice as you consider the scripture contained therein. After you have absorbed this overview, you should then read the gospel of John for yourself. If you have already read the book of John, I pray these posts will refresh your memory and point you once again to the awesome story of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Before you read one word about the Gospel of John, understand that Jesus is real – He’s alive – and He can change your life forever.
The first chapter of the Book of John applies several names to Jesus that paint a complex picture of His true nature.
In the first few chapters of the Book of John, we are introduced to four events that help us to see and understand the true nature of Jesus.
The Jewish leaders had become so dependent on their own power they were unable to see the true God that was in their midst.
In the last days of His ministry, Jesus used his enormous popularity to preach His powerful message of light and truth.
At the last supper Jesus provided the disciples with His most important teaching which should be a focal point for all believers.
The world we live was designed so that we can learn to overcome evil. This is our training ground. In the end we will have victory.
Jesus left His disciples with a prayer. There is no question that the prayers of Jesus are always fulfilled as spoken.
The connection of the “I am” phrase to God is an important distinction and serves as a reminder that Jesus is in fact claiming to be God.
Jesus conquered evil by letting it conquer Him; thereby gaining victory over the world through this ultimate act of love.
The resurrection of Jesus established His claim to be the Son of God as being true and delivers eternal life to those who believe in Him.
The gospel of John is a personal eyewitness account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, written by someone who was there.
Every day is a new beginning. Every day is a new path forward. Sometimes the direction we travel seems to be forced on us by the necessities of life. Sometimes we allow our selfish desires to lead the way and travel off in the wrong direction. Still other times, we find ourselves at a crossroad with an opportunity to make a change. I encourage you to take some time right now and consider your next move. Pick one of the posts listed below and spend a few minutes reading and digesting the scripture that’s included. Let God guide you as you read, and perhaps you will discover some clear evidence of the way forward.
Stand up for Jesus by following his teaching and demonstrating to those around you the value of knowing our Savior Jesus Christ.
We can’t be resistant to change. As followers of Jesus Christ, the path we take needs to be His path and not our own.
Jesus will return one day. There’s nothing we should want more than to be found to be a ready servant on His arrival.
It’s not possible to describe all that Jesus means to us. He is all things. We can find Him in every aspect of our lives. Jesus is direction. Jesus is knowledge. Jesus is our existence. As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to look for Him in everything that we do. We need to look for Jesus every place that we go. Life as a Christian is all about Jesus. In the list of blog posts below, you will find several examples of Christian life and what it means to follow Jesus. Read through the list and select the post that applies to your life at this moment. As you spend a few minutes reading that post, listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit guiding you toward what is most relevant in your life. I encourage you to carry those thoughts with you for the rest of the day as you seek to understand fully the way, the truth, and the life.
Praise God that we have been transformed! Praise God for giving us the power to overcome the evil of this world.
Jesus Christ has not changed. The truth Jesus preached when he walked the earth is the same today as it was then.
When the Christian church as a whole focuses on equipping and serving on a grand scale – that’s when revival will take hold.
The Bible will reveal that everything needed to make your life complete can be acquired through the simple process of reaping what you sow.
The story of Jesus Christ found in the gospels is only a tiny fraction of all the things He accomplished in His time spent here on earth.
While we can’t know for sure why God has created some of us with less than perfect bodies, we can know for sure it was not an accident.
Following Jesus needs to be at the top of our list and should exclude all else this world has to offer. It’s all or nothing.
Most of us have experienced disappointment by a friend or family member. Many of us have even experienced disappointment through the actions of a trusted leader or pastor. All humans are imperfect and prone to stumble or fall victim to selfish motives. The one person we can trust completely is Jesus Christ. Jesus will never disappoint. Jesus delivers on all of his promises. In the list of blog posts found below you will likely find a topic that appeals to your current life situation. I encourage you to take a few minutes and read that post while listening closely to the voice of the Holy Spirit opening your heart and mind. Allow those thoughts to carry you through your day and bring you into a new understanding of your relationship with God. I pray you will find a new connection to God and a reaffirmation of your reasons for trusting Jesus.
There is nothing better than your service to others to reveal God’s love to those living in darkness. Let your light shine!
Followers of Jesus Christ should all be pointed in the same direction, working together to share the gospel and serve God by serving others.
Just as an apple tree will not produce oranges, a life focused on self-gratification will not produce a spiritual connection to God.
As a Christian, love is the fuel that burns in your heart to keep you following in the footsteps of Jesus.
How do you manage your time? For those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ, following God’s will in our life should be preeminent.
God is in complete control and can instantly turn hatred into love. God can make the blind see and He can bring the dead back to life.
Use your wisdom from God to make peace. Your loving heart will have far more impact on the situation than anything the enemy can devise.
Every aspect of our life contains the presence of God. God is there when we are praising him and when we are straying off into the darkness of this world. Even when our thoughts are consumed by things other than God, He is with us. Those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior have the added benefit of the Holy Spirit working as their personal guide. Those who have not yet trusted Jesus are still in the presence of God every minute of every day. Below is a list of blog posts that will challenge you to consider the role God is playing in your life. The most important element of each of these posts is the scripture contained therein and the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to you as you read. I encourage you to read the post that seems to speak to your personal situation and listen for the voice of God. Allow those few minutes with God to fuel the rest of your day. May you be richly blessed as you carefully consider the presence of God in your life.
Followers of Jesus Christ look forward to their eternal life in the kingdom of God. We are filled with joy in all circumstance.
Even though some pretty bad stuff happened in the beginning, it was all part of God’s plan. Everything happens for a reason.
Treating Christianity as a tool to help you feel good about yourself is nothing more than consumer Christianity.
With Jesus as our guide, following this carefully designed route, we are sure to find our way and be guaranteed a safe and rewarding trip.
God walks with us in times of trouble and gives us the strength to overcome. There is none like Him. Our God is great!
It doesn’t matter if you believe or you don’t. God still has the final say. In case you haven’t heard – Jesus Saves!
The Bible is the tool we should depend on to bring all believers together in the common goal to serve God by loving one another.