When it comes to serving, what is your mindset? How do you approach it? Where does your motivation come from?
When you think about what the Bible has to say on serving, what story pops into your mind first? Could it be where Jesus washes His disciples’ feet in John 13? We often use this chapter to say that Jesus set us an example of serving others, and because He did that, it is important for us to follow that example and serve those around us as well.
One of the verses we often overlook or dismiss as inconsequential in John 13 verse 3, which says that Jesus knew three things – that God had given Him authority and power, that He had come from God, and that He was returning to God. It was with that knowledge that He got up from the meal and washed the feet of His disciples. In other words, He wasn’t serving to earn a position with God. He knew that He already belonged to God, who was pleased with Him, and He served out of the position that He had with God.
Sometimes, we have the mindset towards serving that it’s one of the things God demands that we do if we want Him to be pleased with us. We do it in an attempt to earn His approval. If this is our reason for serving – to try to gain a position with God – we will get frustrated and burned out very quickly. On the other hand, if we realize that God already approves of and is pleased with us because of what Jesus did at the cross, we will be motivated to serve and minister to others out of a desire to share the amazing love and grace He has shown to us. This kind of motivation will be far more lasting, because His love and grace are without limit, and He desires to be constantly giving us a greater revelation of just how great they really are!
Why do you serve? To gain a position with God and His approval, out of the position you know you already have with Him as His child? Realize that God already accepts and cares about you, and begin to serve out of a desire to share the One who has shown you amazing goodness, mercy, grace, and love!
It shines upon you every day –
The spotlight of His love and grace.
Do you see it? Don’t you know
That it surrounds you everywhere you go?
The Lord Most High – He is your light
Repelling the pitch black darkness of night.
His loving favor is your strong shield
To which the darkness always must yield.
Against you the darkness cannot advance,
And it’s due to more than happenstance,
For against the light, it can’t contend.
When light shines forth brightly, darkness must end.
It’s reign is over, it simply cannot go on
In the radiance of His affection that’s sure and strong.
His spotlight protects you from all harm.
At nothing need you be alarmed.
His spotlight upon you draws the ones
Who need to hear of His marvelous Son.
They see His reflection whenever they turn towards
You, His child, made in the image of the Lord.
They want what makes you who you are,
What makes you shine brighter than all the stars.
You’re the one that they’re drawn to,
Because of His spotlight shining on you.
It makes you different, it sets you apart
From those who are lost within the dark.
You’re a child of light, a child of day,
Attracting others, lighting the way.
His unmerited favor is your defense
Against the snares of the darkness.
His spotlight shines on you every day –
His spotlight of love, His spotlight of grace.
Did you know that you have a father who is in every way the perfect parent? He loves you more than you can ever imagine, will never get angry with you (Is 54:9), and delights in giving you good things!
Regardless of your family situation, whether wonderful or not as you wish it was, I’m not talking about your earthly father. After all, even the best of earthly parents make mistakes. I’m talking about your Father in heaven!
God isn’t a stern judge, waiting to condemn you every time you fail. He isn’t just out there somewhere, totally unconcerned about and uninvolved in your everyday life. If you believe in Jesus, then God is your Heavenly Father!
As your Heavenly Father, God cares about you far more than you know, and desires what’s best for you. He wants to take care of you, if you will let Him, and use His wisdom to lead and guide you down the right path. And just like parents give good things to their children, God has many good gifts that He will give you, if you will ask (Mtt 7:11).
You don’t have to be afraid to come to God, thinking that He is going to turn you away because of the mistakes you have made. Because Jesus gave His life for you at the cross, God has forgiven you for all the things you have done wrong, and made you able to stand before Him. As His child, you have the right to come to Him freely at any time. He actually WANTS to spend time with you! And He also deeply desires for you to get to know Him better.
Know that God is your caring Heavenly Father, who wants you to enter into a close relationship with Him. Ask Him to show you just how much He loves you. Spend time enjoying His presence!
Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! Valentine’s is all about love. We buy gifts – flowers, candy, and more – for the ones we love. We give out valentines with messages of friendship and love to those who are special to us. On this day celebrating love, let’s take time to remember and give thanks for the greatest love of all – God’s love for us!
God’s love is greater than any other love we’ll ever encounter. He showed just how much He loves us by performing the greatest act of love ever to be done. He sent His own Son to give His life for us, taking our punishment for the wrong things we’ve done, so that we could have a relationship with Him!
Everything Jesus suffered – ridicule, beating, a crown of thorns shoved upon His head, nails being driven through His hands and feet, crucifixion, a spear jab through His side – it was all for us. The extent of what He bore on our behalf shows just how extreme His love for us really is. This kind of love has no comparison!
This Valentine’s Day, thank God for His incredible love for you! Want to dive deeper into understanding His affection for you? He’s left many love notes scattered throughout His Word for you to find! To help you discover them, check out the Love Notes From God devotional, which takes scriptures about God’s love, turns them into love note form, and breaks down what they reveal about God’s love. To purchase the pdf file of Love Notes From God, click here!
Wising you all a blessed and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Have you ever wondered how God can love you in spite of the mistakes you make? Do you feel as if all the times you’ve messed up surely must make Him love you less? Like your failings somehow separate you from His affection?
Guess what?!? It’s not true! God doesn’t require you to be perfect for Him to love you. There’s only one person He ever expected perfection from, and that’s Jesus! He didn’t send His Son to save those who had it all together. He sent Him to save those who had messed up – those who knew that they didn’t have it all figured out. Need proof? Look up Matthew 9:13, which says that he didn’t come to call those who were righteous, but rather that He came to call sinners! Or what about Romans 5:6, which says that it was for the ungodly that He died?
Do you want to know the reason God gave us all the rules in His Word? Not so that we could struggle to be good enough to become right with God, but rather to show us that we weren’t perfect, so that we’d know we needed someone to save us (Romans 3:20). God poured out His wrath and the punishment for our sin on Jesus. Now, He promises to never be angry with or rebuke us again (Isaiah 54:9). In fact, He no longer remembers our sins (Hebrews 8:12). If He no longer remembers them, how can they keep Him from loving us?
If you’ve received Jesus as your Savior, know that you are God’s child. He loves you, and cares about you very much. He always will, regardless of your actions. Stop beating yourself up over your mistakes, and accept your Heavenly Father’s love for you!
It’s what we are supposed to do. It’s what we have been told to do over and over. It’s what God’s Word tells us to do. Why do we so often fail in doing so?
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 lists all the different things love is and does. It’s patient. It’s kind. It doesn’t envy. It never boasts. It isn’t proud. It isn’t rude or selfish. It isn’t made angry easily, and it doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. It doesn’t delight in evil, but it does rejoice with the truth. It protects, trusts, and hopes. It never ever gives up. It does not fail. It other words, it is practically perfect on a continual basis!
Think about your actions over the past 24 hours. Did you exemplify all of these character traits unfailingly, without the slightest mess up? Of course not! None of us can.
When we try and try on our own to love others, we will never wholly succeed. Us trying to love others in our own strength is like squeezing a dried out sponge. No matter how hard you may squeeze it, nothing is going to come out, because there’s nothing in it!
We don’t have anything on our own to give to others. Only when we are filled with God’s love do we have anything to give out! What if the dry sponge we were talking about were dropped into a dishpan full of water, and allowed to sit theree, absorbing the water? What would happen afterwards when you squeezed it? Water would come out! Because it had spent time soaking water in, there was something in it that could come out!
In a similar manner, the only way to successfully show love to others is to spend time soaking in God’s love for you! Receive His love. Read about it in His Word. Spend time meditating on it. Ask Him to give you a fresh revelation of it. Once you have absorbed your Heavenly Father’s love, you will have something to give out to those around you. You will be able to love others effectively because you have been filled with God’s affection for you!
Are you a dried out sponge? Allow God to fill you with His love. Spend time soaking in His affection, so you have something to offer to those around you!
Check out these excerpts from Loves Notes From God, a two week devotional that’s all about God’s love for you, available for purchase at Called and Created’s store!
With Valentine’s Day coming up, what better time to study God’s love for you with Love Notes From God?!? For more info on the devotional, or to purchase it for yourself, click on the following link – http://calledandcreated.com/store/!
Love Notes From God is now available for purchase!
Love Notes From God is now available for purchase at http://calledandcreated.com/store/! Love Notes From God is a two week devotional all about God’s love for you. It contains scriptures about the love of God, written in the form of love notes from Him to you. The biblical truth of each scripture is then expounded upon, followed by a key thought for the day, a short prayer, and additional suggested reading under For Further Study. Each devotional has a corresponding love note image that you can print out and give to someone else to encourage them in their relationship with God, or keep for yourself, for your own encouragement!
God loves each of us more than we can imagine, on a personal level. He wants us not just to give mental assent to the fact that He loves us, but to truly understand and experience His love! Having this understanding of His love is vital to our lives as believers. The more we put our trust in His affection, the more confident we will become in our position as His son or daughter. When we really comprehend how much He loves us, we will begin to return His love more than ever before. As receive His love, it will spill over to others, and we will begin to show them the love we have been given!
Valentine’s Day is coming up. What better time to study God’s love? Focus in on His affection for you with Love Notes From God! Click here to purchase your copy of the pdf file!
Check out this sneak peek of the Love Notes From God devotional, which will be available for purchase in Called and Created’s store on Monday, January 12!
Sample devotional page –
For each devotional page, there’s a corresponding love note image that you print out and either keep for yourself to encourage you in your relationship with God, or give to someone else for their encouragement!
Sample love note –
For more info on Love Notes From God, click here. Be sure to purchase your copy upon its release on January 12!