“Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God.” Isaiah 41:10
We are never alone when we are in service with the Lord.
We are never alone Why aren’t you taking We are never alone We are never alone We are never alone We are never alone
In the Louvre, in Paris there is a famous painting by Murillo. It is entitled “The Miracle of San Diego.” Look it up if you have time; it will inspire you. The picture file card reads: “The painting represents the story of a monk who was the cook in his convent kitchen. One day he became so absorbed in his devotions that he forgot his cooking, and the angels came and did it for him”. A door opens, and two noblemen and a priest enter a kitchen. They are amazed to find that all the kitchen-maids are angels. One is handling a water-pot, another a joint of meat, a third a basket of vegetables, a fourth is tending the fire. In that moment, the two noblemen and the priest realize that the people of real importance in this world are not the people in exalted position. They are the people who, wherever they are, do their work in the name and nature of God.
You see, there is no common labor, unless we make it so. We can make the most exalted position in the world a common task, or we can take what we feel is the most common, ordinary task, and do it in the service of God, it becomes the most exalted position in the world.
It doesn’t matter what we do. Janitors are noblemen when on fire with their work because they are in the service of God and are full of joy. They work in a beautiful way. They are happy, totally fulfilled, and they feel complete.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term commoners, a word used in England for the regular common people who work and toil in such a way that gives them little honor in the socio-economic world. But let’s look at it a different way. If we use that word common while we’re doing our work, our lives will be miserable and will seem useless. Our lives will be miserable. We are just working for ourselves, our paycheck. Our lives will be empty. Someone once said, “We can gain the whole world, but if we lose ourselves, what value is it?” If we want to be whole, be truly alive, happy, content – then no matter what the job or task is if we do it in the service of God we do become alive – and then we do become uncommon.
Here’s a well known story about a man named Dr. Ironsmith. “Some years ago as a youth, he worked as a shoe cobbler. It was really tough. First, he would wet the leather to make the soles and then he would pound it out until it was absolutely dry and hard. He would work from early morning until late at night, pounding the shoe leather. One day he went down the street and noticed another shoe cobbler. This cobbler wasn’t pounding the leather at all. He was just sewing up the soles while it was still wet. He smiled at the boy and said, “They’ll come back quicker when I do it this way.” The young boy said to him, “I do not pound for fifty cents or seventy-five cents a shoe. I do it for God. I’m not doing it for the customer or for my employer. I’m doing it for God.’”
So now think about this. Who are you doing it for; who are you working for? Are you just working for an employer? Eventually, you’re going to resent that supervisor, the job you have, the payee you make, etc. You’re going to think that you’re not getting everything that you should be getting. I have gone through that myself in many jobs. But I learned this years ago, and I want to share with you. If you decide today to transform your career, your job, your relationship in that work, and all the activity involved and make the commitment that you are doing it for God. You are doing the best you can do for God – then your entire life will change.
Matthew 20:25-28 says: “But Jesus called them to Him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as ransom for many.’”
Who is Jesus talking to here? Jesus is talking directly to you. He’s asking you if you want to follow Him. Do you want the Christ way of life? If so, you must do something for the greater good in an unselfish way. You must look for ways to serve and do so.
You have to do something that others aren’t doing. He says it isn’t going to be for you to be over people and have them serve you – you must serve them.
Imagining a picture of Jesus Christ, we would probably see him standing with throngs of people kneeling around him – but a more accurate picture of Jesus Christ would be He kneeling in front of everyone else who would be standing. Now that is a major difference; that is the true, scriptural Jesus – the one that we know, the one who teaches us about service to others. We often think success is having it all. But the whole aspect of Christianity is not that we should have it all. It is that we should give. Then, as we give, we find that it comes back to us, in many blessed forms.
The life of service is the satisfied life. It is a feeling of completeness. Place yourself IN SERVICE.
Romans 7:6: “But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code, but in the new life of the Spirit.”
This Scripture explains that were not serving a slave type of service; we are serving God who is within us, leading us as we consent to him. This is a life that is so filled with love and joy, with God within.
Jesus said He gave His life as a ransom for many. Each of us has given our life as a ransom for many if we’re walking the path of the higher life. This is not about being crucified, but about going the extra mile and becoming other-centered.
Give the ultimate gift – YOURSELF!
We hear a lot about recycling. I’m going to ask you today to recycle yourself. Don’t just stay enclosed in a small area. Get outside of your comfort zone and make a difference in somebody’s life. That’s the bottom line. Many of you have done this your whole life.
The bottom line is, “Did I make a difference last year? Last month? Last week? Yesterday? Today? ”
We all have a purpose being here on this wonderful world God created for us – here to make a difference, to follow Christ, to shine His light of love throughout your world. And I doing so, life becomes complete joy and satisfaction. When we go all the way in service to God, we don’t give up anything; we GAIN everything.
Many times people’s faith seems to dwindle at some point and it is difficult to get out of their comfort zone. But that is where ALL LIFE is found. That is where the answers to everything lie. We have to think outside our box.
Romans 9:12 it says: “The elder will serve the younger.” Now, what a different picture we have in life. We see the younger serving the elder. But think about this. Those of us who are following the Christ path and may have more years on this physical body temple than others, know more about life. The finest way to serve may be to give of our talent and experience to help the younger; help them avoid some of the potholes in life. We all have what it takes — to keep them out of those holes. So, there is always the serving through becoming a mentor.
Do you want specialness in your life? You want something more than you’ve had so far. You’ve been searching for the something special, and sometimes you’ve had it, but many days it’s been missing. You want it all the time. Then, after a while, you think, “Well, I really can’t have it all the time. Life is like a roller coaster. It goes up and then goes down, and that’s the way life is.”
Well, that does not have to be true; you can have it all the time. You can have a whole life where you do not know “being down.” Most people have experienced being down – depression. Sometimes it’s can be long and deeply life inhibiting. To get out of depression—we have to get out of ourselves. That’s especially difficult when we’re depressed and downcast. It’s like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and yet the one who is sitting on our shoulders is our own self. We have to get out of that self, negative introspection, so to speak. We have to stop thinking about self and become other-centered.
When this happens and we start focusing on others, the spirituality comes in. It is a wonderful spirituality that continues. There is a flow of Christ energy through you, and you are filled with uplifting thoughts on how to serve—through uplifting others. This is what makes a huge difference in life.
Now, remember, God will give you thoughts and ideas on how to help someone else, how to impact their life in a positive way. It’s amazing and sometimes you will have no idea what or how you can effect another person. But, remember God is going to give you thoughts and ideas on how you can help someone’s life. Yet, you may be clueless as to how you are actually helping another person. You have the capacity to change his/her whole life with one kind word or gesture.
“Here is what I mean about giving your life as a ransom for many. Let’s say you are on the elevator and you’ve got the stance of everyone else. An elevator is an amazing place. No one makes eye contact. No one says anything to another. Sometimes you’re on there for a long time, but no one connects. Then, you get the idea to say something to another person, but an inner voice says, “You don’t even know this person. They’ll think you’re crazy.” You have been given a thought. Who gave you that thought?
You have been given that thought by God. If you let this opportunity pass, it’s going to be gone forever.
You see—you pass through this day but once. Therefore, any kind thing you can do, DO IT! You can make a big difference. You don’t know what a little light will do in someone’s life. You might say, “Well, I’m not going to act on that thought. It’s such a small thing. What difference could I possibly make?” You don’t know. We hardly ever know the difference we make.
Be willing to impulse give. Once you get attuned to this activity, you’re going to love this giving of self, because you’re going to realize you can’t get away—it comes back multiplied. The joy you’re giving out—becomes more joy! You take those ideas of actions and act on them by giving them away. You will never miss the opportunity to impulse give again.
Always remember that we can always buy gifts, big gifts; and we can give them away to whomever we wish. But the important gift, the real gift, is when we give part of ourselves. Emerson said, “All gifts are just an excuse for not giving a portion of yourself.”
Give the un-buyable gift of yourself in that impulse giving. Give yourself away.
There are people in this world who change everyone around them and everything, because they are a positive noticer. “I notice the dress you are wearing today. It becomes you. It is so perfect.” It didn’t cost me anything to say that. I just noticed and acted on the impulse. I might notice someone doing a good job. So I’m going to go the extra mile and tell them. I’m going to take the time to notice things around me. If I see a good worker on the job, I’m not just going to comment on it to myself. I’m going to write the company. It’s going to become a way of life for me. I’m going to notice. And with my every activity, I’m going to make a difference because I’m going to let my light shine.
In our fast paced society, very few people have time to notice or take any interest in other people. Those who do, whom we call “Interest givers” take the extra time to listen just a little bit more, a little bit longer. An “interest giver” opens up and gives of themselves to become interested in others – maybe just enough to shine the light of Christ and put a smile on their face. What a great day that would be for that person.
The last idea (I want to discuss today ) to become a truly open “interest giver” is to not take credit for any of the good deeds you do. When you truly bring a smile to someone’s face, taken that extra few minutes to listen, touched the heart of someone in need, no one needs to know it or to know that you created that positive change in another. You don’t need to be like a Pharisee or a Saducee who paraded around the streets boasting on how great they were. As Jesus told us we are to pray in a closet where only you and God are in attendance; no one else needs to know. So, constantly be willing to give the credit away, and you will change others’ lives.
There’s a sign I’ve seen for sale in shops that says, “You’d be surprised how much can be done if no one worries about who gets the credit.” I don’t care if I get the credit. It doesn’t matter to me. We are all in the service of God. We are doing it for God. We are here because we want to give ourselves away to make the world a better place. We are not just here for ourselves. We are here to go the extra mile. People will never find what they are seeking if they are self—centered, they will only find themselves, mostly in an unflattering way.
William James, the great psychologist and writer, said he believed that every person ought to do an unpleasant duty every day just to keep himself or herself in moral trim. The moral “muscles” grow with exercise and use. If we want them to be strong, we need to use them by resisting the ever recurring small temptations.
It’s like the youth of mythology who picked up the newborn calf in the field. Every day he went out and lifted it in his arms – since the calf’s weight increased only a little each day, the youth did not notice the increase. By continuing to lift the calf day after day, his strength grew with the calf’s weight so that he could still lift it after it had grown into a full-sized bull. Little action by little action, your life is going to change and you will flourish. You will be surrounded with people that love to be around you.
This is the specialness of life that will never let you down. Think of ways to be of service to yourself, your business, your career, your family, your church, your friends and to your community.
“God provides the opportunity for you to serve. Divine love in you prepares you to serve with a sense of satisfaction, both heartwarming and fulfilling. Your chores, your work, all your activities seem less difficult as you set about them cheerfully and lovingly. You know that infinite wisdom is guiding you aright in the service you give, that Divine love is establishing harmony in every step of the way. You feel a sense of rightness and of right timing in all that you do.
You give thanks for your ability to serve in any way you are directed. You give thanks for the fuller expression of life that you find in serving. You give thanks that Divine love provides abundantly for you. You pray that the service you render may be a joy-filled experience that touches the lives of others.”
As you move forward following our Thanksgiving week celebrations, focus on what you can do to make someone else’s life just a little bit sweeter.
I pray for each of you today as you enter into the service of God.
God Bless You!