Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Serving a greater purpose than ourselves (Romans 15:1)

SCRIPTURE: Romans 15:1 (TM)
Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status.

Albert Schweitzer in Out of My Life and Thought tells of the time in his life when he determined he would find something beyond himself to give his life to: “I settled with myself that I would consider myself justified in living till I was thirty for science and art, in order to devote myself from that time forward to the direct service of humanity… What would be the character of the activities thus planned for the future was not yet clear to me. I left it to circumstances to guide me. One thing only was certain, that it must be directly human service, however inconspicuous the sphere of it.”

We have been designed for service. It is a pure and simple truth that God created us to serve not to be served. Jesus taught that lesson. Scripture instructs us along those lines. Whatever abilities that we have, whatever talents we might possess, whatever uniqueness lives in us, whatever focus of our spirit, whatever strength that could possess … all of it has been given by the Almighty so that we can be servants.

The challenge is to move our thinking off of ourselves. It is easy to look inwardly after all we get tired, we feel hunger, we have hurts and pains, we have a real set of human needs that cry out to be fulfilled. Basic human life is built in that fashion. But we shouldn’t stop at just meeting our human set of needs. Look beyond ourselves and give of ourselves to something larger.

There are many prime examples of such kind of individuals who look inwardly only such as babies, teenagers, retired adults, those with addictive behavior and celebrities, just to mention a few.  It is all about them and what they want and desire. They see the world as their playground and their lives are sad.

Want to see people who are joy-filled? Then look no further than individuals who are giving themselves away in service. Dr. Schweitzer had a life of privilege and incredible wealth. He could have stayed in his home country and enjoyed a very easy existence, but that would have been all it was… an existence. He chose to live and so he picked a life of service. Turning his back on all the trappings of a well-heeled life he turned outward to serve.

One does not have to look very far to discover areas in the community in which they can serve. It doesn’t have to be in Africa, but right there in our backyard… and serve we must. God is counting on us.

Lift our eyesight beyond our own little world and the needs of our creature comforts. Help us to discover the strength that is in us so we can serve the greater purpose. 

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