A pastor from my hometown once asked me “What have you done for God?” It confused me and I did not have an answer. I felt I was too young to serve. Service was meant for adults. Right? Wrong! Jeremiah writes in Lamentations 3:27 that it is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.
So what does it mean to serve? I believe that service is what one does for others. A step of humility. An ounce of sacrifice. If you love, you serve. Matt 22: 37-40 tells us to love God and love our neighbors. These two greatest commands in all their simplicity demand us to focus on others.
I am third. My God comes first. My neighbors, second. And then, there’s me.
How can we serve without love? How can we say we love if we do not serve? Love and service are not a matter of age. You can be a teenager. You can be a retired, old man. The command stays the same. Timothy is a great example of a servant in his youth. The Bible is full of examples of men who died serving God, but there are only a handful of people who sought to serve and puruse God in their youth. You can count the number on your fingertips. A few others I can think of are David, Daniel, Joseph and Josiah. I’ve always imagined Stephen to be a young man.
Our lives may be the only gospel that some people may witness. Galatians 6:10 recommends that if we have the opportunity to do good to anyone, we should do it. However, we must give a special attention to those who are in the family of believers. Help out at church. Mop the floor. Put a chair in place. The greatest of services are those that go unnoticed. God requires a true servant to embrace anonymity.
It is important that we remember that one may be led to pride if in service he loses focus on God. Our inner man is weak. In service keep in mind the purpose and the King. One of the most humbling proverbs that I love is Proverbs 16:12- “All a person’s ways seem pure to them. But motives are weighed by the Lord”
I would end by quoting a wonderful verse from 1Sam 16:7- “Do not consider his appearance or his height. For I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”. Serve with a pure heart! Blessed are the pure in heart. For they shall see God.
-Josey Thomas, in collaboration with Martin Chekuri