November 2, 2004
Encouragement for Today
A Spoonful of Peanut Butter
Member of Speaker Team
"For the even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45
The afternoon was sunny with a warm breeze, one of those great spring days when you are grateful to be outside. My neighbor and I were sitting watching our children play when I realized my four-year-old, Griffin, was missing. Since we live on a quiet cul-de-sac, I did not become too alarmed. This happens often, and he always finds me or I find him rather quickly. As I stood up to begin searching, I saw him coming to me with his little hands full of a "surprise." As he got closer, I began to see what his "surprise" was: a rather large spoonful of peanut butter. Before I could open my mouth to scold him, he said, "Look what I brought for you."
He is known for bringing me a snack while also serving himself, justifying in his mind that he could not possibly get in trouble if he brought something for me, as well. With a smile, I said, "Thank you, Griffin." It was then that I saw the two other spoons, full of peanut butter. He quickly added, "I brought one for Alexis and Liam, too." The Holy Spirit immediately led my mind to Mark 10:45. I remembered we are here to serve, not to be served. So many times, I get caught up in my self and what I need or what I deserve. As a full-time mommy, at times I get tired of serving and want someone to serve me.
Gently, the Lord reminded me of three things. First, if I have a need, someone else may have a need also. Griffin was hungry, and he believed that his friends might also enjoy a snack. Secondly, as Christians, we are to serve without reservation. Griffin did not worry about what the consequences would be for getting food without asking and serving it on my best flatware.
Finally, I am to serve with gladness. Griffin was so happy that he had something to give his friends.
Take the opportunity to serve someone other than a family member today. Hold the door for a mom with children or a baby in a stroller. Help someone carry their food or offer to get the person next to you a refill at a restaurant. God will put someone in your path today that needs your help. How will you react?
My prayer for today:
Lord, thank you for the blessing of my life. Help me to be a blessing to someone that I see today. I acknowledge that I need Your help to serve with gladness. I want to serve with gladness even when I do not feel glad. I admit it is easier to serve strangers than my own family at times. Lovingly prompt me to serve my family with gladness. You are the greatest thing that has ever happened to my life, and my desire is to be like you.
Intentionally, go out of your way to serve someone today, even if it's simply to fill a coffee cup or run a copy at the copier.
Make a list of family and friends you love and beside each name write something you can do for them. Set a goal in which to have the list completed.
Complete a spiritual gifts inventory to discover your spiritual gifts.
What excuses do I offer for not serving others?
How do I usually respond when asked to serve in any capacity?
Do I view serving others as also serving the Lord?
"Serve the Lord with gladness." Psalm 100:2 (NIV)
"My Father will honor the one who serves me." John 12:26(NIV)
"You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love." Galatians 5:13 (NIV)
Living Life on Purpose by Lysa TerKeurst