We all want our lives to matter. It’s the reason we do the things we do. We chase promotions and leadership positions because we want to make a difference. We encourage our kids to go to college, get a good job, and make lots of money, in hopes that they, too, will make a difference.
There’s nothing wrong with wealth or influence, but those things alone won’t change the world and they aren’t what we were made for.
We were made to build the church (Ephesians 4:11-13). God made each one of with unique talents, personalities and skill sets. And when we ask Jesus into our lives, we’re given at least one spiritual gift. We get the most joy and make the biggest difference when we use our God-given talents, gifts and abilities to build the church (Ephesians 4:14-16).
Blessings We Experience By Serving Others:
Serving allows us to discover and develop our spiritual gifts.
1 Corinthians 12 compares the church to a human body. Just like our bodies are made of many parts serving specific functions, the church is made up of people with different skills and abilities. Alone these pieces aren’t very useful, but together we create something beautiful.
Serving allows us to experience miracles.
In John 2, Jesus was at a wedding and the couple was running out of wine for its guests. He tells the servants to fill several big jars to the brim. When they served the water to the guests, it was wine! The guests never knew what happened; the servants were the ones who witnessed the miracle. The same is true for us when we serve.
Serving allows us to experience the joy and peace that comes from obedience.
1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms... so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” Serving is a form of worship, a way to express gratitude for what Jesus has done for us, and to share the love and grace we've been given.
Serving helps us to be more like Jesus.
We shift our focus off of ourselves onto others through serving. We begin to see others as Jesus sees them. And we see Jesus IN others (Matthew 25:40).
Serving surrounds us with other Christians who can help us follow Jesus.
When we’re working side by side with other people, a bond inevitably forms. This was part of God’s plan for how the church is supposed to work. That’s why Hebrews 10:24-25 instructs us to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together… but encouraging one another.”
Serving increases our faith.
As we move out of our comfort zones, God increases our faith by revealing new potential — in ourselves and in His Church. When we see what He can do when His power is at work within us, we begin looking for the doors He’s opening rather than pushing our way through the one’s He’s closed (Ephesians 3:20).
Serving allows us to experience God’s presence in new ways.
Encouragement and healing go hand in hand. As we encourage others and they find healing, we’re encouraged. It’s the reason so many people who go on mission trips say they came home feeling like they got more than they gave.
Serving is good for your soul.
Studies have shown that volunteering is so good for the mind and body that it can ease symptoms of stress and depression. Tapping into our gifts and passions builds self-confidence, energy, and strength. Serving others can also be the best distraction from our own worries.
We make all sorts of rational explanations for not serving:
I don’t have time.
I don’t know what I would do.
I don’t have any special skills to contribute.
They don’t need me.
But the reality is the Lord doesn't call the equipped; He equips the called. God used men and women with similar doubts to change the course of history. Moses didn’t think he was a leader or speaker, but God worked through Moses to bring Israel out of slavery. David was the youngest (and therefore most insignificant) of all his brothers, but God worked through David to defeat a giant and eventually made him a king. Paul used to kill Christians before he met Jesus, but he went on to become one of the most highly-regarded and prolific writers/church planters in history.
God doesn’t just want to work through you, He wants to work in you.