Gather, Connect, Serve
Abundant Grace International Fellowship
Wednesday, Sept 4, 2013
Meditation based on Pastor Esme’s Aug 31/Sept 1 message, “Serve: Expressing God through service” (Acts 1:8; 2:42-47)
We do what Jesus is doing as we gather: celebrating God together.
We do what Jesus is doing as we connect: experiencing God in small groups.
We do what Jesus is doing as we serve: expressing God through service.
Jesus came to serve (Phil 2), to bring healing, freedom and hope to those in need (Luke 4).
In the first church Philip was chosen as one of seven persons (deacons) to serve at table. Before long he was leaving his mark as an evangelist.
Philip served in Jerusalem. After opposition developed at home he moved on to Samaria. And then the Spirit took him to the desert where he introduced an Ethiopian official to Jesus and baptizing him on the spot. Just as Jesus said: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
We do what Jesus is doing when we serve here at Abundant Grace, in Shanghai, and far beyond.
Serving in our local church. “Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.” (Galatians 6:10) Serving begins at home—in kids’ church or with the youth, serving with Women of Joy or as a Stephen Minister, on the hospitality team or with worship & creative. But it doesn’t stop there.
Serving in a local outreach project. There are opportunities for us to reach out with the love of Jesus here in Shanghai. Compassion impels us to look into the face of hurt until we hurt with them. Connecting their wounded hands to the wounded hands of Jesus.
Serving on an outreach trip. Every year there are opportunities for us to serve outside Shanghai or China, in a small way becoming part of what Jesus is doing in another province, in another country.
God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. As we follow Jesus we become part of his program to change people and nations.
Point to ponder: “I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.” (John Keith Falconer)
Question to consider: How am I expressing God through service?
Verse to remember: “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” (Mark 9:35)
Action to deliver: Surprise someone with a random act of kindness, by serving someone who doesn't expect it.
Prayer: God, I enjoy being served. I want to learn more about serving others, especially those who have the least. Help me seize an opportunity today to express your love through service. Amen.
© 2013 Nathan D. Showalter