{Serving others}

“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and is himself destoyed or lost?”
Luke 9:23-25

In choosing to live a life wholeheartedly devoted to God I find myself laying down the mindsets I’ve been taught by the world since birth of were so called security can be found. In a house, a car, education, a job with benefits, a significant other, friends…the list goes on. While these so called securities are pounded in my head by every form of media I sit down to read scripture and find Jesus calling me to simplicity. Saying to choose humility and serving others over living a ‘prosperous lifestyle’ according to the worlds standards.

“…let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need”
{Ephesians 5:28}

“Let no one seek his own, but each one the others well-being”
{1 Corinthians 10:24

Scriptures clearly points out to me that I am to be giving away more than buying for myself, it is calling me to work so that I have something to give to those in need, not so that I can check off my wish list.  This is so NOT what western culture currently teaches, with magazine covers telling me how I can get ahead at work, catch the hottest guy at the gym, make the most friends, have the ‘hottest’ body and make the most impact in the business world.

In the bible a man asked Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life, Jesus response is as follows:
“One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” Be he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions”
Mark 10:21-22

I stare back at these words that say I am to surrender all that I have been given ‘things’ so that I can give them away. Wait? What! I thought that life was all about advancing my life, I thought that I was given hands and feet to work so that I could go to target and buy those things that everyone else seems to have…Hmmm, guess not. How did I pass over these scriptures? How did I somehow think they didn’t apply to me? How has the body of Christ forgotten these words that Jesus himself spoke? Jesus tells us plainly in scripture what we are to do with our lives. He doesn’t speak in parables when talking about what we should do with what we have.

“What God calls wisdom looks foolish to the value system of this age” – Ron Downing.
In what culture does giving away what you have deemed as WISE not just something nice to do? Not any I know of. Practically speaking, What about giving away your car? Or giving away your entire paycheck to a friend in need? My personal feeling is that in this day and age these things are deemed as nice to do, but not necessary to live life there is a small margin of  people who walk these out as a lifestyle.
In western culture were taught on how we ‘need’ to focus on how to have a stable job, save enough money to be able to shop here and there. Within the last couple years its best if you buy organic, and donate to a
foundation or two once a year focusing on peace or adoptions. What if we flipped the tables on all this. WHAT IF we began living with the main premise being to help our neighbors?  What if instead of complaining about not having the newest boots or nike shoes we gave away that extra pair of shoes to the friend who had noted
they loved them. What if when that co-worker needed a car to borrow you let them borrow yours and you took your bike to work? WHAT IF…the possibilities are endless. Are we willing to lay down our own agendas, our idea of what success is? If we did these things not to be noticed by anyone, but simply out of LOVE. What if we started living for the eternal kingdom and not this earth that will one day pass away.

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another”
Romans 12:10

I desire to live a life that would benefit for others first and foremost. That I would have possessions simply so that I could give them away. That I would put my brothers and sisters needs before mine. This is what Jesus did, if I am wanting to walk Christlike (which I am!!) then I am to imitate the way he lived life. I have been reading the gospels while at internship and have been amazed when reading about Jesus when He would go away, and people would follow him and even when he was tired and hungry (Yes Jesus, God in flesh did get tired and hungry that is a whole ‘nother topic in and of itself) he would have compassion on the people
and he would heal all who came to Him. How many of us can say when people text, call, or come over unexpectedly while we are trying to have alone time or are headed to bed we would not only welcome the person, but have compassion on them and do whatever we could to help them? Lets be honest,  when I am tired. I am tired, I don’t want to be exerting energy. But in the last month and a half while being at the internship I have been put in situations were its nearing 1am and my roommates are needing
a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, a hug. Saying yes to being there for them is eternally more fulfilling than sleep could ever be. Yes I may be even more tired in the morning. But what is an hour less of sleep when you are helping a sisters heart heal and trust? By me saying this it by no means Im saying I do the right thing every time, but I am learning by experience what brings the most life to those around me. And that
ultimately is what I want to continue in doing. Serving my sisters, no matter the cost. It means laying down my agendas, my mindsets, my hopes for what I desire to accomplish in that day, and in life in general.
To live a life serving others will drastically change were your time, energy and money is spent.
No longer will extra money be spent on a coffee or brownie but it will be given to that friend who is in debt, or maybe they wanted a coffee.

“So he answered and said ” You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself”

{Luke 10:27}



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