This weekend our student ministry spent a few hours serving a local ministry partner called the Apple Patch. We did yard work at one of their houses, getting our hands dirty by pulling weeds and trimming hedges. I spent some time thinking about why we serve in the first place.
Often, we just assume that students (and adults) know why we set up service projects, but most of the time our answer is, “Because it’s the right thing to do” or “Because we love Jesus.”
Have you ever thought about why we serve from a Biblical perspective? I thought of a few reasons, and I wanted to share them.
Four Reasons We Serve Others
- Be Christlike (humility/love) – In one of the greatest descriptions of Christ, the letter to the Philippians explains to us that we ought to have the same mind as Christ, counting others as more significant than ourselves. Jesus did this by taking on the form of a servant. If we are to be like Christ, we will serve others.
- Be Obedient – 1 Peter 4:10 tells to use our gifts to serve one another. As God has graciously given us different types of gifts, we are to take what He has given to us and obediently use that to serve those around us.
- Be a Witness – As others see our good works (works of service), they will give glory to God who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Our acts of service are to give glory to God in the world. As we serve, we are being light to those around us.
- Be Spirit-Dependent – It is not a natural thing to desire to serve others. We are naturally inclined to want to do things for ourselves without thinking of others. When we walk in the Spirit, we demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal 5:22-23). Service embodies many of these characteristics, and it requires us to be dependent on the Spirit in order to put the needs of others in front of our own.
I’m sure there are other Biblical reasons to serve others, but these are a few that I think can be helpful as we seek to become people who are known for following Jesus.
(Photo by: Gabriel Jimenez)