By Gail Marsh
Many municipalities throughout the country operate a website for hands-on service. The purpose of these online sites is to list the jobs available for court-ordered community service. Court-ordered service? It almost sounds like an oxymoron - to be ordered or forced into serving others. Yet, if a court orders community service, it isn’t a case of “if you’d like to.” No, if a court orders a person to hours of community service, it’s definitely a “have to.” You either serve or go to jail.
Service within the Kingdom of God stands in stark contrast to court-ordered service. Our work for the Lord is not - and cannot ever serve as - repayment for the wrong things we’ve done in the past. Only Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection can repay the debt of our sins. And that debt, we know with certainty, has already been paid - in full!
The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28 ESV).
Jesus’ love and example compel us toward a life of service in his name. Genuine, heartfelt service to others springs from the realization of all our God has done and continues to do for us each day. His love draws us close, up close to his heart, where we are able to see others as Jesus sees them. From his viewpoint we catch a glimpse of a wonderful truth: God uses our simple acts of service to help others and to bring honor to himself.
Prayer starter: Draw me closer to you, Lord Jesus. Help me see the ones I serve just as you see them: unconditionally loved by you. Compel me toward heartfelt service, especially today as I . . .
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion comes from one of CTA’s brand-new appreciation themes, Thank You for Your Heart of Service. Use this devotion, and the 64 devotions offered in the softcover book, to show your volunteers, teachers, and staff members how much their work means to your ministry and to the Kingdom of God!
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