Serve One Another

    What a wonderful time to be a member of our church!  As we begin 2023 there is so much to be thankful for.  This past year has seen tremendous growth in our group with new baptisms, and new members, to babies and lots of exciting energy to start the new year!  It has been such an encouragement to me to see so many people striving to put the Lord first in their lives and that energy is infectious and a wonderful thing for the Lord's Church.  The Elders have selected a most fitting theme, “We Are One,” to enter in 2023, which is such an important focus for a growing and energetic church.  I am reminded of the church in Jerusalem after Peter's sermon in Acts 2.  That church also had great energy as well as new believers and the apostle's emphasized togetherness and love as the church continued to grow in the Lord.  

    Our Deacon articles this year will examine different ways we can focus our attention on growing together and molding ourselves into one body. One way we can achieve this is thru service toward one another.  This is also one of the first examples we see in the first church at Jerusalem.  “And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.  Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:44-47).   This same attitude of cheerfulness and servitude again are shown in Acts  4:32-37.  So, what are some things we can learn from the first Christians that can help us serve one another as we look to grow closer as one body for the new year.

    If we are going to serve one another better this year the first thing to examine for each of us, as individual members, is our attitude.  What better example of a servant's attitude than that of our Lord.  He had a daily mindset to put others before himself, and we know this reading the record of His life.  He always looked to help the person in need, and being our Lord, we must follow His example.  When we think of the word servant, does it bring negative connotation?  Many in today's world would have no desire to be thought of as a servant, why would “I” be concerned with someone else when I have all kinds of needs that I must tend to, one might say.  We can't have an attitude to serve without humility.  Humility and service are fundamental pillars in the daily life of a Christian, one could argue that you wouldn't be a Christian, to put on Christ, without these two attributes.  How could one put on Christ and not act as He did?  Waking up every morning determining to put others, especially our brethren's, needs ahead of our own is an important step in serving each other, 

    Besides our attitude we need to be proactive in our approach to serving the brethren.  I would suggest the first way to do this is to ask the Lord for opportunities to serve in our daily prayers.  By doing this daily we are setting it at the forefront of our minds making sure it is a top priority for the day.  Praying about opportunities to serve is a great first step but not the only step, when being proactive we must look for those opportunities or we might miss them, and then when we see a need there must not be hesitation, we go! Whether we are asked to do something or volunteer to address a need we must be ready even when it might not be convenient.  Matthew 25:31-46 is a great motivator to serve: for those that help the sick, and hungry, and thirsty, and a stranger, and naked, and in prison. “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did do it to Me.’” Verse 40 is the opposite for those who choose not to serve: “Then He said, “I say unto you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the lease of these, you did not do it to Me.'  These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (25:45-46). 

    Let us start this year and build off our momentum from 2022.   Let each one of us declare in our own hearts we will be the kind of servants our Lord wants us to be and that we will be ready to go when and where we are needed.

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