Recently, I attended the new member’s luncheon as a staff member and I learned a lot. Pastor Tim asked the new members how they found Pine Valley United Methodist Church. The coolest part was listening to those answers. One of the ladies said that she had recently attended a funeral for a coworker and the choir meant so much to her that she decided to visit and is now joining. Another lady said her neighbor asked Pastor Barry to call her because her husband was dying. Pastor Barry did and that meant so much to her that she is now joining. And the most touching story to me was a young girl who said during hurricane Florence she was without water and power. She heard that PVUMC was feeding people and she came. She was so impressed with that ministry that she is now joining! The Holy Spirit is all over this campus! We never know what our actions mean to someone else. We never know who is listening. I like the saying “sometimes we are the only Bible someone will read.”
A young Timothy received instruction on how to be a leader from his mentor, Paul. 1 Timothy 4:11-5: 2, “Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers…Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”
As church people, we need to make a difference to our families, to others, and to our community. As Christians we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. God has given every one of us a gift to use to further His Kingdom. These gifts can be faith, mercy, leadership, giving, prophecy, service, etc. Romans 12:6-8, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
You are the only Bible some people will read, and as I recently heard, “you are the only Jesus some people will see.” The Lord is calling you to serve him by serving others. Galatians 5:13, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Service is a great way to put our self-centeredness aside. We begin to start seeing the needs of others. 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 are not to live for ourselves but to serve others. Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
I have read many times that studies have shown that volunteering is good for the mind and body. It can ease symptoms of stress and depression. Serving can build self-confidence, energy, and strength. God does not want to only work through you - He wants to also work in you! Do not miss this encounter with Jesus!