Scripture Reading: Romans 12: 6-7 (New Living Translation)

6  In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.

7  If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.

Thought for the day:

Continuing on from yesterday, today we’re going to look at a very practical matter – serving. I have been fortunate enough to eat at some very nice restaurants and have eaten very good quality food. I’ve also eaten at fast food restaurants and small cafes where the quality of the food isn’t perhaps all it can be. The overall dining experience though isn’t always about the food or the surroundings. I remember eating at one restaurant where we stood at the entrance for a long while waiting to be seated. Once we were at our table, it took a further 20 minutes for a waiter to arrive and at every stage of the meal it seemed that everything was too much trouble for our server. It was most unpleasant as we seemed to be interrupting his day by ordering our food. The manner in which he ‘placed’ our plates on the table was abrupt and almost thrown down. I don’t know about you but I like my dirty plates to be removed quite soon after we have finished our meal but after sitting there for what seemed ages, I had to call him to ask for the plates to be removed. Overall, it was awful and in fact impacted my perception of the food itself. I dare say that it was good but I’d never go back because of the service I received. We were served but not very well. Here in verse 7, we read a very simple statement: ‘If your gift is serving others, serve them well.’ It’s simple but incredibly profound because it demonstrates exactly the issue I’ve described earlier. If we’re serving others then we should make every effort to be the best servant possible. Service flows from a heart that knows what it is to be forgiven. It is an overflow of deep gratitude to our incredible Saviour who has done so much for us. I’ve heard people tell me that service isn’t their gift and so they’re off the hook so to speak. Well, I have bad news for you if you feel the same way. Firstly, I believe that service is an outward manifestation of what God is doing on the inside. So, if you’re not prepared to serve then I humbly suggest that you check your heart! Secondly, the original Greek word used here translated as ‘service’ actually means ‘ministry’ and refers to almost anything that is connected to any kind of practical activity. It is used for the activities involved in the preparation of a meal but also is used for the practice of reconciliation in the book of Corinthians. Instead of being a menial task, it is one of the highest callings we could ever have. Jesus said that we to be the servant of all. 

Prayer and Application:

My prayer today is that we check our hearts and respond in various activities of practical service.