Your decision to follow Jesus is a decision to spend your life serving God. The teachings of Jesus are filled with ways to serve God. The foundation of your service to God is love.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)
For most of us our service to God starts with our family. Generally, these are the people we spend the most time with and it is for that reason some of them can become difficult to love. Perhaps the first test of your love for God and your devotion to serving Him will be the way you deal with a difficult family member. One of the best ways to serve God is to help a difficult person find Jesus. Your efforts in this regard should be at the top of your list.
“Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:20 (NIV)
Another of the many ways to serve God is to take charge of your attitude toward money. The world we live in wants us to believe money is the solution to all problems. Many believe that happiness revolves on the amount of money you have to spend on your desires. As a result, some become so fixated on accumulating money their lives are in service to that goal and not in service to God.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24 (NIV)
In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells a story to demonstrate who will be blessed when he returns. This story is a list of ways to serve God. He tells this story as though these things actually happened to Him but then clarifies that our service to others is equivalent to serving Him.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV)
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40 (NIV)
Feeding the hungry, satisfying the thirsty, providing shelter, giving out clothes, helping the sick, and showing compassion for those in prison are all ways to serve God. Jesus tells us that when we help those in need we are actually helping Him. He then goes on to make a startling claim that should have us all thinking twice before we turn our back on service.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Matthew 25:45 (NIV)
We need to carefully consider the above passage of scripture. Jesus is clearly telling us that when we neglect an opportunity to serve others, we are neglecting Him. I would hope the last thing you want to do is neglect Jesus. Sometimes when we are looking for ways to serve God we see things that are far beyond our ability to resolve. The numbers of those in need can be staggering. We can’t neglect service to our family in order to serve the larger community. There is a balance that needs to be found for each individual. Through prayer and continued study of God’s Word, you will find your balance.
As a follower of Jesus, our lives need to be in constant service to God. We should wake up looking for ways to serve God. Our goal should be to follow in His footsteps and become as much like Him as we possibly can.
“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)
The world we live in is full of distractions designed by the devil to turn us away from God. The devil tries to tell us money is the only thing that will solve our problems. The devil tries to tell us we don’t have time to serve others outside our family. The devil tries to keep us stressed and confused. We need to get in the devil’s face and tell him who our God is; then we need to get back to serving God with all our heart.
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Matthew 4:10 (NIV)