Have you written or thought about your 2018 goals yet? Last weekend as I spoke with a group of friends about stuff they hope to accomplish this year, a quote stuck in my head-I think it's by Albert Einstein: That a life lived for others is the only life worth living. These people had personal goals they wished to get done but they also planned to consciously do things for others. One wanted to actively serve in ministry; another was going to open her home for fellowship; another wanted to mentor a struggling friend... Our plans and goals and prayers need to move beyond us to affect and impact others. Why? Because we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:10). Because even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Because only those who give their lives away for Christ's sake will gain it. If you haven't found where need is calling you this year, slow down. We can be so pre-occupied with our own lives, schedule and troubles that we speed past ministry opportunities that heaven made to fall across our paths. I have zoomed past people in need of help because I am afraid of getting late for work, or because I want to beat traffic. And even when I knew I should stop and care and do something, I didn't because I didn't want to be interrupted. Other times I am so wrapped up in my own little world I just don't notice glaring needs around me. Allow your life to be interrupted by the Holy Spirit and by the needs of others. Don't take for granted that which captures your eyes and heart. Slow down. Be more aware. Put your plans on hold for a while. Allow your concerns to take a back seat while you prioritise others. Jesus often did. He was going to a quiet spot to probably mourn after he received the news of the death of his cousin John the Baptist but the crowds needed him. So he served them and deferred his QT for later that night. He was headed to Jairus house when the woman with an issue of blood touched him. He was headed to Jericho when a blind man stopped him. Let us pause long enough to notice those around us and their needs. And when you notice the needs do something practical about it. My time through the book of Mathew was spent noticing how Jesus met practical needs wherever he went. Wherever he went preached the good news, taught, healed the sick and cast out demons. He fed people when they were hungry. What needs are around you? Mathew 25:34 is a call to care and do something about it, for when you refuse to help the least of these Christ's bothers and sisters you are refusing to help Christ. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, invite strangers to your home care for the sick and those in prison. My "others" goal this year is to mentor younger women and what I love about it is that I am so ill-equipped for this it will only be Christ working in me. Whatever ways you are seeking to serve others going forward, carry these lessons with you: (Ephesians 4:1-6)
- Be humble and gentle as you serve.
- Bear with one another in love.
- Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
- Have compassion.
You will never enjoy life fully- the way God intended for you to live it- until you learn it's not about you. Live a life of service.Obey God by meeting the needs of others instead of focusing on self actualisation, self fulfillment and selfish ambition apart from Him.