The other day, as I was waiting for my husband to go into the movie theater, a lady asked me if I worked “here?” . I don’t know why she asked me that, except I was in the right place in the hallway, waiting, even though I wasn’t uniformed as a theater worker.
Perhaps …to her I looked like I worked there…but I don’t. It made me stop and think why she would see me way. Then God nudged me to say…”You are my servant and were created for good works.” Yes, at the movie theater, in the hallway, waiting in the silence of the crowd.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
We were created for this. You, me, we ALL were created for good works. More aptly put, God created you with good works designed for you when He created you. He actually has put inside you gifts that are unique only to you.
Perhaps you don’t feel so gifted right now, but have you ever thought about how just listening can be a gift? Did you know that crunching numbers to give balance to someone’s checkbook is a gift? Did you know that sharing a verse can be a gift of encouragement?
A way to give back to God is to tap into and give the good gifts that God gives us. And to serve Him with what He has gifted you with. It could be your time, your talents, your specific abilities, your business at hand or the service of your hands.
We can do so much for the kingdom when we look past ourselves, and our little-self-centered worlds when we become noticers of the needs around us.
Last year, God asked me to give the gift of encouragement, but it came at a time when I was so discouraged in my faith. I had lost sight of God’s purpose. When I told God how discouraged I was, His response was…”To be encouraged you have to give encouragement.”
How could I give something I didn’t have to give? I had to dig deep.
I made a list of all the verses that God had personally encouraged me with. I shared with those who were waiting on God for something. I wrote out these verses on note pads and put them in obvious places:
Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 33:20 “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.”
Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.”
I started noticing others were as discouraged as I was. As shared encouragement, I memorized encouragement. I spoke so much encouragement to myself by serving others a verse of encouragement.
In the good deed of encouraging of others, God gave me a great gift. God encouraged me and developed a richness in my soul, right in the middle of my discouragement.
God loves to bless his children, not only for our benefit but for the glory of God, who gave you the blessings in the first place. Have you ever thought that you were gifted? We were created by a Holy God who has given us abilities to be a help to others. He plants in us a desire to help others and the skills in which to do so.
God doesn’t want us to hoard the blessings we have been given. There are times when God asks things that are uncomfortable to give. “We must help others in the way they need it, not in the way I want to give it.” ~ Craig Groeschel.
One Saturday God taught me a great lesson in uncomfortable giving when He asked me to clean someone’s toilet. A group of us had set aside a Saturday morning to welcome a new local business to our community. The project at hand was cleaning an old automotive repair shop. We were all willing to help and wanted to make a difference with our hands, so we took our gospel-shod feet to the new place of business with all the gloves, cleaners, scrubbers, and brooms a team could need.
The team dispersed into our respective corners and took to cleaning every inch of that greasy building. I turned around to find that my corner included the mechanic’s toilet. That little corner was in great need for a clean-up. My heart sunk a little more as I realized God had planned that little task for me. There was dirt and grime everywhere.
Honestly I wasn’t too excited about giving my time at that moment. But in cleaning that dirty, messy, neglected toilet God spoke to me over and over.
“To show the love of Christ, you have to meet them in the middle of their messy lives, just like I have met you in yours. My love for you is evidenced in the works of your hands.” ~ God.
As I wiped and stroked away the dirt God cleaned up my attitude about serving love and being a noticer of someone’s need. God taught me share a deeper gift of His compassion that day. To learn what compassion really means we have to look at the Compassion giver, Jesus Christ. And that day, God bent me over someone else’s mess to show me how to share His compassion.
Because of His great love for us, Jesus Christ came to be my rescue. I have not been saved to hoard His love but to share His love. When we share the love of Christ through the service our hands, our time, our gifts, our skills the church is not only built a little stronger but also the name of Christ is also brighter. Christ’s love and compassion shines into our hearts, our families, our homes, our communities, our church.
By the richness of God through the good works of His people the church is built by cleaning, or music making, or giving, or teaching, or driving, or….well you get the picture. PLUS the name of Jesus is edified. The goodness of God is reflected by the good deeds God is asking us to do and share with others.
When all the cleaning was done in the repair shop, it was sparkling with the love of Christ. Your service maybe the one good deed that leads someone closer to Jesus, so always let your light shine to reflect the Father’s goodness.
Go the extra mile and give! In the comments below, share how God has used a kind word or deed to help someone. Yes, you work here…this is work here…but it’s the service that matters.
What is God asking you to share with someone?
What act of kindness can you give in your community to shine the love of Christ?
(To read more about my toilet cleaning experience – read here.)