Do you ever get that feeling that God is trying to tell you something? Like the preacher mentions a verse here, you read a verse there. A knocking at your heart here, a tugging at the conscience there? And pretty soon you think, "Hey, this is all kinda fitting together! Maybe I should listen!"
I think God tells us different things in our lives as we go upon our journeys. He makes different verses important to us as different times. This might sound somewhat stupid when I tell you what God's been putting on my heart because it's what God is all about, but here it is....
FOCUS ON OTHERS.
See, that's what God is all about in the first place, so you'd think I'd have that message down pat after claiming Him as my master for so many years. But it's so easy to focus inward. We feel sorry for ourselves. We think, "Woe is me!" when the smallest things in our lives go awry. Even when we could look around and see handfuls upon handfuls of people who are so much worse off. We're busy people. We work, cook, clean, and pour ourselves out everywhere else, so that in the end, we feel we have nothing left to give in service. Shame on us. Shame on me.
In my Bible study this morning, this verse stuck out to me: Ephesians 2:3-6 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind, regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus."
I'm so guilty of violating this verse. How many times have I used having a baby in tow as an excuse? My piles of laundry? Our busy schedule? Work?
I'm trying. Trying to open my eyes to take advantage of opportunities to serve others through Christ. Does it mean sacrificing time? Of course. Does it mean that my stuff will have to wait and I might have to quit using my age old excuses? Uh, yeah.
Sometimes I think I just need to look in the mirror and say, "It's not about you, Audra!!"
Yes, the laundry is important. It's important to have clean clothes. It's important to pay the bills and run a smooth household, etc. But when that becomes a priority over God and serving others? I think that's what makes it an idol. You mean laundry can be an idol? Yeah, I think so!
So what's so hard about serving others? For me--getting out of my shell, my comfort zone! It's EASY SHMEASY to sit on a pew and take, take, take. But you know what, that's not what Jesus was about! We've got to get out of our shells--talk to people at church who are our brothers and sisters, even though we may not know them well! Talk to the people around us. Build relationships. Sign up where assistance is needed. Minister to others during times of need. That's what family is about! There's so much more to our church family than what we make it!
God is good, and He'll reward you for taking the plunge out of your zone. You'll minister to others, but you'll be blessed so much more in return! I KNOW I have been!