Lent: Week 5 {Serving}

Little did I know when I planned on practicing a different spiritual discipline each week during lent, the discipline of serving would end up on the same week as Serve Fresno.  How perfect is that?  This time of year, many of the churches in our city come together to serve our city through different projects.  We unite as the Church to be the Church and serve the least, the lost, the broken, the underprivileged and more.

We love because He first loved us.  We serve because our King first came as a servant, to serve many.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. -Mark 10:45

The call to serve others is the natural overflow of the Christian life.  When we understand what Christ did for us on the Cross, our response to the Gospel is to love and serve others.  This week, the women from our bible study will be cleaning out their closets to give away clothes, shoes, and more to women in need in our city.  Women serving women through the basic necessity of clothing.  We will be delivering the clothing to several non-profits in town that work with women coming out of abuse, addiction, or incarceration.

If you want to serve with us, you can sign up here: Clothing Drive 

Serving is actually easier for me when it’s a planned, organized one time event.  I thought of it, I put it on my calendar, I know the start and end time. The places of service I struggle with the most are the small, daily, mundane places of service.  I forget that doing  dishes, or being interrupted with a phone call, or listening to someone in line at the grocery store (when I’m in a rush) is a place of service too.  Serving those who’ve hurt me or loving those that are hard to love seem to be the much deeper places of service that I can’t do without God’s help.

While we can muster up the strength to serve others, we know that right motives matter to Jesus, more than just right action.  Serving to feel good or look good is not the point of Christian service.  We serve for an audience of One.  We serve because Jesus served us by dying on our behalf.  It’s only when we serve out of an overflow of His love, that we can love the unlovable. Let’s let the Gospel influence our serving this week.  May it be done with thanksgiving and gratitude for all that’s been done for us.

As you focus on serving this week  . . .

How does seeing what Jesus did for us on the Cross influence the way you serve?

What needs do you see around you?  How can you respond to those needs?

Who in your life is hard to love?  How can you serve them this week?

How can you look to Jesus in times of struggle or grumbling when your serving?

Just for fun, who can you bring a meal?  Drop off a note?  Take a coffee?

Who can you serve through prayer?  Call them and let them know you’re praying for them!

How can you serve in secret?  Bless someone with a gift or leave a surprise on their porch, with no name?

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ -Jesus (Matthew 25:35-40)         

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