Saturday, March 14, 2015

Swimming to Serve - Martin Wiles

When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. John 21:7 NLT

Serving God should evoke excitement. 

When I’m excited about an event, I typically don’t sleep well the night before. My brother, daughter, and I once planned several camping trips during the year. Excitement over the trip itself as well as living in the woods for a few days kept me tossing and turning the night before. Pondering about whether I’d packed everything—as well as thinking about the dangers involved, also kept my eyelids fluttering. Anticipation tends to do this. 

Jesus was gone. Killed by heartless Roman soldiers and jealous religious leaders. The disciples were alone. Several of them—Peter included, returned to what they knew best: fishing. Suddenly, a man on shore called out and questioned whether their fishing trip had been successful. Hearing of their failure, he instructed them to cast their nets on the boat’s opposite side. When they did, the catch was almost more than their boats could handle. John recognized the man as Jesus. Upon hearing this, Peter quickly dressed and swam to shore. Perhaps there was still serving to do after all. 

Christ has saved me to serve, but if I see serving as a burden it will quickly transform into a chore. Chores can be cumbersome and unenjoyable. To serve Christ adequately, I must discover my gifts and then be willing to use them joyfully. Like Peter, I’ll have failures and setbacks along the way, but God has always been in the business of another chance. Through experience, examining my personality, and the wise guidance of others, I can cast my gifts. When I’m willing to serve faithfully and with excitement, God will open doors of opportunity. 

Serving with excitement entails unconditional love. Those I serve may not serve me back, appreciate my acts, or love me in return. I must remember, however, that my deeds of service are not designed to bring recognition for me but rather shine the light on Christ. 

Are you serving God faithfully and with excitement? 

Prayer: Father, for Your grace we are thankful. May we use devotedly the gifts You have entrusted us with. 
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and cheriedurbin.)

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