Posts Tagged ‘a servant’s heart’



My son Talon is 16 years old. Talon has always been a helper. Even when he was little, he would wait for the mail man, to give him a bottle of water in the Summer months. As he has gotten older and bigger, he has shoveled snow, cut grass, and helped many people in many different ways. When we have had homeless guests, he has gone above and beyond to help them out and make them feel welcome. He has gone with his dad to deliver meals to the hungry. He cares about people and never thinks about how helping someone might inconvenience him. He gives of his time and resources without considering the sacrifice. Talon has always had a great work ethic and doesn’t mind working hard, if it means helping someone out. He is always the first one to offer help and puts his heart and soul into other people.

In all honesty, he did not get this trait from me. I really hate admitting this, but I can be selfish when it comes to helping others, if I think I might be inconvenienced in any way. I really hate this about myself. It is something I am working on and watching Talon, as he gives of himself, encourages me to be better. It isn’t that I don’t like helping people, I do. I hate to see anyone in need. For me, it is about my daily to-do list and letting the stress of life get to me. I am challenging myself to let my anxiety over getting things done go, when I know that someone is in need of help and I have the ability to help them. There is always tomorrow. My to-do list can wait and serving others is what Jesus is all about. Letting someone else know that you love them enough to help them is what Jesus is all about. Loving others to Jesus is what life is all about and Talon has taught me a thing or two about that.

My challenge to you: Let go of your to-do list and be willing to help someone this week, regardless of the inconvenience and sacrifice. Be willing to love someone to Jesus.

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I’m sure Ruth was not perfect, but unlike the other women listed in the genealogy of Jesus, we only see the goodness that was Ruth. We see that Ruth was obedient, compassionate, and had a servant’s heart toward her mother-in-law Naomi. She seemed to be the picture perfect daughter-in-law. Ruth seems to be the epitome of what a christian woman should be like.

If we pay close attention to the story of Ruth, we will find that Ruth dealt with her share of trials and struggles in life. First of all, when we meet Ruth, she has recently become a widow. She is grieving the loss of her husband and is facing an uncertain future.

Naomi urges Ruth and her sister-in-law Orpah to return to their own families to remarry among their own people, the Moabites. Orpah returns to the home of her family, but Ruth refuses to leave Naomi. Naomi and Ruth return to Israel, where Ruth is a foreigner. It must have been hard for Ruth to live as a stranger among the Israelites. She must have been homesick and lonely. When I was a teenager, I lived in the foster care system in Los Angeles county. I was moved several times in 3 years. I was homesick. It was hard to fit in in each new foster home/placement. How do you fit in with people who already have a relationship with each other? It was a lonely time and I can imagine how hard it must have been for Ruth.

As hard as it had to have been, Ruth responded to the situation with a true servant’s heart. She could have whined about her circumstances. She could have complained that things weren’t fair. She didn’t whine. She didn’t complain. She was obedient and compassionate. Her loyalty toward Naomi was evident and God blessed her abundantly because of her attitude.

I need to exhibit more of Ruth’s character in my own life. When facing my own trials and struggles, I tend to whine and complain. I try not to, but before I know it, I am whining about this or complaining about that. I need to be more obedient, more compassionate, and more willing to act with a servant’s heart. Instead of boo hooing over the tough situations in life, I need to face the challenges with joy and gratitude, as Ruth did.

What situation or circumstance are you facing right now that you find yourself complaining about? In what way can you be an example of Ruth in your situation? How might this help the situation? Could it change the outcome of the situation to a more positive one than complaining will?

Sometimes we can change negative circumstances into positive ones simply by facing them as Ruth did. Take the trials in your life and turn them into blessings, by facing them with a Ruth attitude. Let me know if there is anything I can pray through with you. I am here, friend. I am always available to encourage you in difficult times and pray through those times with you. God Bless!

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Hebrews 10:24,25

And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the day approaching.

Galatians 6:2

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Matthew 22:37-40

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

In my previous post, I wrote about how the Church, as a whole needs to step outside of the church and minister to the communities surrounding their buildings. It will take more than that, though, to transform our communities. We, as Christians, need to see ourselves as true missionaries of God, and step outside of our homes and love our neighbors to Jesus.

I know how hard it can be to get involved with neighbors. We have jobs that drain our energy, leaving us with no time and to exhausted to meet the neighbors. Maybe, you find yourself worried about getting a door slammed in your face if you step out of your comfort zone. It could happen. That didn’t stop Jesus. He went all the way to the cross because of His love for us. He didn’t stop because of one door being slammed in His face. You know, most of the time, that person on the other side of the slammed door is the one who needs love and compassion the most. It may sting, but don’t give up.

I have listed 12 ways to meet the neighbors and build community. You may have to push through your exhaustion, make the time and step out of your comfort zone, but you can do this. You may be the only way one of your neighbors will learn about Jesus. Don’t let busyness or fear keep you from being a missionary in your own neighborhood.

12 ways to love your neighbors to Jesus:

1. Have a “get to know you” open house for the neighbors on your block. Go door to door to the neighbors on your block and invite them in person. Let them know how much you want them to come. Give them a handwritten invitation and a sincere welcome. This gives you a chance to get to know your neighbors in an informal setting and helps you “break the ice.”

2. Reach out by doing an intentional act of love once a week. Mow the lawn of an elderly neighbor, fix a meal for a sick neighbor, run an errand for a single mom. You get the idea. Keep your eyes open. God will provide plenty of opportunities for service, if you are willing to serve.

3. Ask your neighbors if they have any prayer requests. It may take some time for some to trust you with their “stuff”, but be patient in building relationships. Be sincere in following through. Don’t just give it lip service. Make these requests part of your daily prayer time. Your neighbors WILL know and your witness to them will grow immensely.

4. Start a block Bible study. Once a week or every other week, invite your neighbors to get together at your house for a meal and a Bible study. It can be something as simple as covering the basics of Christianity. You don’t have to be an expert on the Bible. God is looking for willing vessels. If we had to be experts to start serving, not many of us would qualify.

5. Get to know the kids on the block. You can often get to know the neighbors through their kids. If your neighbors know that you care about the safety and welfare of their kids, they will be more willing to let you into their lives. Be that safe place that a troubled child can go to.

6. Show compassion. Don’t be your neighbors judge and jury. You have not walked in their shoes. We are all broken and have baggage. Listen with a heart of compassion and show love and mercy to your neighbors. Be willing to help in any way that you can.

7. Organize Summer potluck street parties. Claim the street, gather the lawn chairs, and fire up the grill. Take over the otherwise “off-limits” street as a space to draw neighbors together.

8. Start a community garden. If there is space on your block, start a community garden. Get everyone involved and allow everyone to be a part of a harvest celebration.

9. Start a block newsletter. A newsletter doesn’t have to be time consuming. It can be a simple list of activities, needs, good news, prayer requests, prayers that have been answered, even a short bio of a different neighbor in each issue. It can be a monthly newsletter and get the neighbors involved in the publishing of it. Keep it simple and it can be a wonderful to tool in keeping everyone involved in what’s going on in the “hood.”

10. Celebrate the Holidays together. To many people are alone on the Holidays. Depression rises to all time highs around the Holidays. Open up your home for Holiday parties. Be respectful of other beliefs. Keep in mind that not everyone celebrates Christmas. We never want to push anyone away.

11. Welcome new neighbors. Welcome new neighbors within a day or two of arrival. Let them know that they can depend on you if they need anything.

12. Empower your neighbors. As your neighbors get to know each other, get them involved in helping each other. As you discover your neighbors skills and abilities, empower them to use those skills to serve each other.

Community transformation will happen, if we are willing to become missionaries in our own back yards. Transformation begins with each of us as individuals, as we reach out to our own communities. As communities are transformed, cities are transformed, and states are transformed. See where I’m going with this? It starts with you. It starts with me. Put aside the excuses and pray for God to give you a passion to serve your neighborhood. God can and will transform nations. Are you willing to be a missionary to those on your block?









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