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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Equipped for Service

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." - 1 Peter 4:10-11 NIV

When my son, Joseph, started a Bible Club at his high school, I offered to help out by driving home every student who needed a ride after the weekly meetings. I didn't want a single student to miss out on attending, simply because they lacked transportation. Because I was a stay-at-home mom, and my son was leading the club, I felt it was my duty to lend my assistance somehow. Every week, I made several trips between the school and the students' homes, filling up my car each time. Often, I was on the road for hours. It was hard work, but it gave me the opportunity to get to know many of these kids, and to listen to them, and minister to them. After my son, Joseph, graduated from high school, my son, John, took over the leadership of the club, so my driving tasks continued for several more years. There were many times when I felt overworked and under-appreciated. It was particularly disheartening when the club attendance was poor. But over the years, the club produced an abundance of fruit by touching and changing the lives of hundreds of kids for God's glory. In addition, I enjoyed some recognition and reward when my involvement with the club enabled me to be on national radio with a congressman, as well as on local TV. I learned firsthand the truth behind First Peter 5:6 (NASB), which says, "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time."

I didn't know it at the time, but God was using my driving duties for the Bible Club to prepare me for the ministry I have today. I learned a lot from listening to those kids pour their hearts out to me each week. I spent extra time in prayer and Bible study each day, so that I could minister to them with the Word of God. It did my heart good to see what a difference it made in their lives. It still amazes me to think of how God used me to impact so many. I certainly didn't have much to offer anyone. I had spent the last two decades raising children and keeping a home. I think there's a lot of truth to that statement which says, "God doesn't choose those who are able, but those who are available". All I did was offer myself to the Lord for His purposes, and it wasn't long before He took me up on my offer. First Corinthians 12:4-5 (NIV) says: "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord." If you've received Christ as your Savior, then you've been equipped to serve God and others for His glory. I guarantee that if you offer yourself and your God-given gifts to the Lord in all sincerity, He will show you how to put them to good use.

Jesus said that He did not come to be served, but to serve, and He expects us to have the same attitude. (Matthew 20:25-28) If the idea makes you fearful, I sympathize with you, because I have felt that way many times myself. God will help you overcome your fears if you ask Him to, and He's promised to provide you with all the strength you need to perform your tasks. (1 Peter 4:11) If you're already in active service, know that the Lord has promised you reward and promotion as you persevere and remain faithful. (1 Corinthians 15:58; Matthew 25:23) Remember that there are no "insignificant" jobs in God's Kingdom. Every act of service we perform has great value in God's sight, even when we're not receiving thanks or recognition from others. Be encouraged by this precious promise from the Lord today: "God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them." (Hebrews 6:10 NIV)

Prayer: Lord, I thank You for equipping me to serve You and others. Today, I offer You all that I am, and all that I have, and I ask that You use me for Your glory. Give me a spirit of humility, so that I'll be willing to give myself to humble tasks. (Romans 12:16 AMP) Help me to always serve enthusiastically. (Romans 12:11 NLT) And encourage my heart when my efforts are unnoticed and unappreciated. Thank You that as I faithfully serve, You will be faithful to reward me!

- J. M. Farro


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