This page is dedicated to Larry and Mary Graves and to those who serve. Those who,without hesitation or asking for praise for what they have done, unselfishly serve. Each with their own ministry, each with a unselfish and non-expectant heart, only doing and serving for God’s glory.
Larry and Mary Graves have been not only a blessing to this ministry, but have without "blinking an eye" have touched many in the community. It was their unselfish gesture that feed the underprivilged, elderly and shut-ins over the Thankgiving Holiday.
This page is dedicated to them and those who are of the same accord. Our ministry hopes that some of what you see and read here will inspire you and give you ideas of what service to God is.
SO, WHAT'S YOUR GIFT?
We all (no matter who you are) have different talents. We all have different gifts that are given to us by God.
But these gifts aren’t ours to keep for ourselves, for our own self-indulgent purposes. God gives us our particular gifts to share and to use for his glory. And this is yet another way we serve. Not only God, but serve those who are in need.
Everyone one of us has something we can share. Perhaps you have been blessed with an abundance of wealth. Your gift could be that of giving. Or perhaps you may be blessed with an over-abundance of time and can help or visit someone sick or who may simply be lonely.
Romans 12:5-8 tells us that we all have different gifts according to the grace given us. Some may prophesize, others teach and some will encourage. But whatever the gift is, give it cheerfully.
Some may feel that the more you give away, the less you will have. But it is just the opposite. When you give service or whatever gift you may have for the glory of God and share with others, God will give to you. Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”.
With our unique talents we all have something to offer. Some may not be wealthy, or be able to preach, but you have a unique gift that allows you to give of yourself.
1 Corinthians 12:8 tells us we are all given a gift. Whether it be wisdom, knowledge, healing or prophesy. We are all given something we are to share.
So, when the time comes are you going to hear; “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Or will we hear; who are you?
I hate to be the one to admit this, but P.K.’s (pastor’s kids) tend to be Druggies. Yes, a sorry admission, but true. And my son Sam is no exception. As a pastor’s kid he is Drug everyplace! Drug to Bible Studies, drug to sermons, drug too many places I find myself going and don’t want to go alone, Sam gets “dragged along”.
But Sam has a gift. Several gifts actually. And he doesn’t hesitate to use those gifts to serve God. Sam has never refused to help in any function or at anytime at Church or when I have needed him. He is always quick to volunteer to assist in any way he can.
At the Needles Christian church, Sam was asked to run the media, which he does on a weekly basis. He gives up part of his Saturday to prepare and Sunday morning he is on the job. This is after he is “dragged” by me up to my services that require for him to get up at 6am after working the previous evening until 11pm.
He is always first to load and unload musical equipment from the car and help set up. Does he complain? Sure he does. He is sixteen. But he does it. Why? He knows who he is serving and what he does is for God’s glory. Every pastor should be so lucky. Sam is an excellent example of what service is.
Service comes in many shapes and forms.
So many believe that if they go to Church and drop a few bucks in the tithing plate as it is passed methodically down the rows of pews, their job is done. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Although your tithes are an important aspect of donating and hoping that the church uses your tithes wisely, and certainly, your tithes are a part of service, service goes much deeper. If tithes are the only yard stick one would use to determine one’s contribution or service to either the church or the community, the logical conclusion to that presumption is the poor are not capable of serving. As well, children, youth or those who are of limited income would be removed from the ability to serve. How nuts is that?
Proverbs 22:9 tells us; "He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he gives of his bread to the poor."That certainly covers those who have should help those who don’t. But what about those who don’t have?
For instance, if your church was to put on a tremendous Thanksgiving Dinner and had asked for financial contributions from the congregation but you didn’t have the extra money; does that keep you from serving? Well, if it does, then I think you are serving the wrong person. Although one doesn’t have the financial ability, you can serve by helping. By serving the food or perhaps preparing the food you are performing a necessary service that will make the dinner a success. Maybe you will be able to help by cleaning the dishes or even emptying the trash. Think, if a restaurant only had an owner who did no more than buy the food, what purpose would he have in opening the doors if there was no one to cook. Or no one the wait on the tables, or clean the tables once the customer had left preparing a place for yet another customer.
Each person in the restaurant plays an important part in getting the meal out.
So many times I hear; “but I just don’t have the time”. Or, “I work a full time job, I can’t take time off, there are enough at Church who don’t work. I work so I give or tithe more than most”. Does any of that sound familiar?
So many of us are involved in bowling leagues or perhaps we may belong to a club that meets twice or more a month. We can find a way to give our bowling buddies three or four hours a week, but can’t seem to “pencil-in” God except on a Sunday or two during a month for two hours. Sure, some of us may give 2 hours a week to “sit through” a sermon and sing a couple of songs and kick in a few bucks when the plate comes by. Yet, without hesitation, we get to the lanes and dig deep if we happen to lose the ‘beer frame”.
Look, no one is saying don’t go bowling or have some fellowship or fun in life. But at the same time, we cannot forget to serve. If one will make just a bit of effort, maybe TIVO that television show to help with a youth group or perhaps set aside a day or so to help mow or tend to the Church property.
Do you own a car? Is there anyone at church who may need a ride to church? Gee, that was easy. Or perhaps that elderly person who lives two doors down from you who you see at church on Sunday. Have you ever asked if they needed anything when you were already on your way to the store? Or perhaps you watch them struggle to get their trash to the curb. So many things that take none of your time are serving. What does the bible say about it? Well, let’s see…..
I think the best way to serve God is to obey God. To do as God desires and do what God asks of us is the best place to begin.
Matthew 4:4 tells us that man does not live by bread alone and Matthew 17:14 tells us about faith. Having faith in Christ and living a Christ-like faith filled life is a great beginning. What better way is there to serve God?
How productive is an employee who goes to work simply to get a paycheck? He goes to work, clocks in and works his eight hours, right up to the minute he can clock out. On Friday, he picks up his check. This may be repeated over and over for the next twenty-five years until he retires, having done the same thing never advancing or receiving a promotion, simply because he just shows up.
But take the employee who gets there perhaps a bit early, helps get things ready for the day without being asked. Perhaps he may stay a bit longer to get a particular project out or redo a project that wasn’t quite right. Perhaps throughout the day, help someone who is a bit behind, knowing that he will need to stay a bit later to get his work done, and perhaps need to stay off the clock.
Soon, his work (or service) is noticed. He has done just a bit more than was required but had the success of the company at heart rather than simply getting his paycheck. He has worked for the glory of the company, not some selfish need of his own.
Serving God is much the same. We serve for God’s glory, not for us to be noticed by others, but by God. Just as our worker didn’t do extra so other employees would say ‘what a guy”, but rather God say, “my good and faithful servant”.
Whenever we do things as simple a teach a youth group, or have a bible study, bake cookies for a fellowship or even pass out the Church programs, we are serving. Although tithes are important and certainly appreciated we must remember, God says “My good and faithful servant” not my good and faithful banker!