Joy in Service

“JOY IN SERVICE”

There is not one person I know who doesn’t seek happiness. We are creatures who seek comfort and happiness. Unfortunately, as humans, our tendency is to seek happiness in the wrong places. Years ago, I remember seeing an old movie called “The Blue Bird.” In this movie, Shirley Temple played an ungrateful girl seeking happiness in things. She complained about not having nice clothes and things that other kids had. She was very unappreciative of what she did possess: the home she lived in, the food she ate and the hard work her mother and father performed in order to provide for her and her little brother’s needs. This led her on a journey to seek this “blue bird of happiness”. In a dream, a spirit appeared to her to help her find this “blue bird.” She looked to past relationships, but she couldn’t find true happiness there. She was brought to nice places, but still, the “blue bird of happiness” was not there also. Finally, she spent some time in a land filled with luxury and good food. But in the passing of time, the land of luxury made her more miserable and even caused friction between her and her little brother, whom she loved. She soon realized that true happiness was not found in riches, places or even people, but rather in service.

Unfortunately, this is true in our society today, even among God’s people. We, like this little girl, seek to find our “blue bird of happiness” in people, places or things—all which cannot truly satisfy and are temporary! Christ and Christ alone, is our joy-giver and by serving others, as He served, can we know and experience true joy and happiness.

I remember seeing the “Loving Relationships” tape series hosted by Gary Smalley. In one of his sessions, Mr. Smalley spoke on how we tend to be like light bulbs, seeking to be plugged into an energy source that would supply our joy. We tend to seek happiness by either plugging into people, places or things to supply our emotional needs. We tend to say “Oh, if only I was married, I’d be so happy” or “If only I could live in such and such a place, then I would be truly happy” or “If only I had money, a house, etc., then I would be very happy!” The problem with these things is that they are all bound to fail us. People are frail and mortal. They are limited. Think about it: How many marriages end in divorce? How many attractive couples wind up separated? How many good relationships wind up failing us or dying on us? You see? People cannot supply permanent happiness! This also applies to places as well. How many people move to nicer places and still wind up sad or unsatisfied? Even with material goods: How many people with handsome salaries wind up depressed, lonely or even dead? The man who invented Kodak films became a millionaire. He had everything money could by, except happiness. One day he was found dead, in his bedroom, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. His money and possessions didn’t make him joyful for long, nor did it fulfill his inner needs permanently!

Happiness doesn’t come from possessions, it comes from being a servant of Christ—beginning at home. True joy comes from helping a person in need, praying with a person who is hurting, visiting or calling the sick, even encouraging the weak or weary of heart. Happiness and joy are the by-products of going the extra mile, the giving of oneself to encourage others. When we let people experience God in us, then and only then can we experience true joy in Jesus! As Proverbs 11:25 says, “…he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Jesus commanded us to let our light shine before men so that they may praise God (Matthew 5:16). When men praise God, isn’t that encouraging? How does this happen? By serving others! Serving removes doubts, it brings the lost to Jesus, it strengthens the weak, it encourages the weary, and it uplifts the soul! J


MEMORY VERSE:   Proverbs 11:25  __________________________________________________________________

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MONDAY: Read Proverbs 11:25. How does refreshing (watering) others affect us? Are you known as a person who refreshes others? Are people, including your own immediate family, encouraged being around you or do you make them feel uneasy? Go before the Lord and ask Him to help you be a man/woman who refreshes others. Ask Him to mold you into a person who is an encouragement to all, even to those of your household.

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TUESDAY: Read Psalm 126:5-6. What is meant by those who “sow in tears?” Think about sowing in terms of service. Is serving always an easy thing? In what ways is serving a tearful event? Like a farmer who sows in tears but reaps a harvest of joy; how does service reap joy? Write down your thoughts on how “service and joy “are like “sowing and reaping”?

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WEDNESDAY: Read Matthew 20:25-28 and Matthew 25:35-36. How are we to lead in Christ? When we serve those in the kingdom of God, who are we actually serving? Do you know someone who needs prayers? Call them now. Do you know someone who has a need? Go and serve them (James 2:15-17). Serve and learn the way to joy!

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THURSDAY: Read Acts 9:36-39. Why was Tabitha well loved by the people of God? What do we know of her? Read Proverbs 27:21. Are you a person well spoken of by the people of God? If God were to use you as an example, what would He say people say about you (starting with your own husband/wife)? Read Matthew 5:14-16. Pray that your light to shine forth, starting at home. Keep in mind, you are the answer to your prayers in these matters.

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FRIDAY: Read 2 Corinthians 8. According to verse 1, what was the gift that God had giving the Macedonian churches? What did this gift result in and what role did joy play in their service? Describe the way they gave according to verse 3. What is God’s will for our service to Him according to verse 5? What should we excel in according to verse 7?

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J Family Devotional Ideas:

  1. Discuss 2 Corinthians 8:7 as a family. Talk about how God is pleased when we are generous and wants us to excel in giving. Find ways you can practice giving as a family this week (i.e., give away some of your used clothes or toys to charity). Pray that God would bless your family in the grace of giving and of servitude.

During these stressful times, we want to offer our prayers and encouragement to any who are interested. Our leaders are available to help, please let us know by emailing info@nulllicoc.org.