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Serving : I deal in hope

I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Devotions Do I Serve With Attitude?

Read: Ephesians 6:10-19

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
–Ephesians 6:10 KJV

How I’ve loved this passage about warriors and their armor. As a child, I preferred exploring the hills of Wyoming, carrying a knife for protection and saving up my pennies for a BB gun—though I never did get that far. I did buy cowboy boots and a hat that I wore summer and winter.

I didn’t see myself as a damsel in distress, but as a crusader standing strong and tall in my armor, marching forth, righting the wrongs of the world.

To this day, reading this passage thrills me and challenges me not only to serve Jesus but also to check my defenses against a very real enemy. Over the years, I discovered I may not always be on the front lines, but back in supporting roles.

Sometimes, I’ve looked around and muttered, “No one even notices or cares what I’m doing. What I’m doing doesn’t seem to matter to anyone, why do my best, or do it at all?”

Then the words “be strong” or in another version “be firm” and I am reminded that my position, however ignoble or lowly at times, is a position of importance if it is where God would have me serve.

While it is important I complete the work, how I do the work and my attitude is also important. When our children were young, I’d see the negative reactions of my kids when I fussed about teaching Sunday School or about some other “something” I agreed to do. Not the best example at times. Hard to teach them that serving is a blessing when I didn’t always serve with a willing heart.

(Of course, it is also important not to say “Yes” because of a need or due to pressure. I learned I needed to pray and to seek God’s will before I committed myself and then, only after considering my time, schedule, abilities, and my family.)

If I complain and fuss, how will my attitude and behavior negate my witness of a personal walk of faith with Jesus? If complaining becomes a daily habit, instead of being a light and lifting up, I destroy my witness to those around me–family, friends, co-workers and more. Who wants my brand of “Christianity” if it doesn’t offer the peace and joy I claim?

Every once in a while, I stop and ask myself, “Am I serving Jesus in the right spirit, lovingly and without complaint?” Sometimes the question is difficult to answer and sends me to repentance.

I need to stand strong, not only for my own faith walk, but also that I can be a positive witness to those who need His love and forgiveness and hope. Do I truly reflect Jesus by my thoughts, words and actions?

Help me, Lord, serve where You want me to serve and do so faithfully and with a willing heart. Help me to serve regardless of how big or small the job or how much positive feedback I might receive. Amen.

Meditations:
Monday: Matthew 14:24-30, 37
Tuesday: Matthew 5:13-16
Wednesday: Psalm 51
Thursday: II Corinthians 8:4-24
Friday: Matthew 24:42-47
Saturday: Luke 16:1-13

By Carolyn R Scheidies
From Listen! Who Me?


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