Lent Devotions 2008: Monday 17 March

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10)

This verse acts a corrective both to those who, well aware of their abilities, choose to use them selfishly, and to those who feel that they have no gifts at all. Peter rightly assumes that we all have some gifts – find yours and use them! We are called to serve using our gifts and talents for the benefit of others, for the blessing of the body of Christ.

The supreme example is that of Jesus who said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a Ransom for many.” (Mark 10.45) Paul urges us to have the same attitude as that of our Lord Jesus, who “made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant… He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2.7-8) This was costly service, sacrificial service, willingly given to secure our Salvation. As Christ’s followers, we are called to be little christs, following in His footsteps, walking the way of costly service, the sacrificial giving of ourselves – serving willingly, not grudgingly.

To serve faithfully, we need to do so in love and with perseverance. We cannot hope to administer God’s grace without the love of Christ. The way we serve is so important – not so much of what you do, but the way that you do it! The gospel of grace should be given like good medicine with TLC. People are more likely to take note of our witness if we deal with them in a gracious manner.

The world needs to see Jesus at work in the body of believers, the Church. Loving service is a powerful witness. May it be said of us, “See how these Christians love one another.”

Prayer: Thank you Heavenly Father for the gifts which You have graciously given to us. Help us to follow the example of our Saviour, who came to serve and to give Himself for us. May we serve You faithfully as we give our lives in service to others. Amen.