Gifts And Serving One Another

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Romans 12:6-8 NIV

Each person is unique is some way.  Everyone has a different combination of strengths and abilities.  No individuals were made to stand alone or to be isolated from the community.  We are designed to work together to use our blessings to help fulfill the needs of others and for others to help fulfill our needs.  The things that get in the way are sin…pride and selfishness, judgement and favoritism…these exist in everyone on all sides of every issue.  Each of us should assess ourselves and understand what are our strengths and gifts to offer…the important thing to remember is the value of our gifts in God’s eyes not value according to the world’s perspective…because even if what we can offer will change life for just 1 or a few other people, we are still changing the world for good in the eyes of God.  Peace be with you on your journey.  Amen.

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“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in is various forms.”

1 Peter 4:9-10 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2018 while driving near the South Dakota and Minnesota border)

Humility…Perspective

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Philippians 2:3-4 NIV

“…All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”[a]

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:5-7 NIV

It has been said, humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking about yourself less.

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“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Romans 12:9-13 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass near the Montana and Wyoming border)

Sharing God’s Gift Of Peace With One Another

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,…”

Ephesians 2:13-15 NIV

God has given us the gift of peace through the blood of Jesus shed on the Cross.  He gives us free will to decide whether or not we want to receive this gift and then share it with others in the world.  Many have chosen to ignore or reject God and His gift of peace…for anyone who seeks Him and choses to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, God instructs us to share the gift on peace with one another, by how we live and treat each other…every day all the time.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Ephesians 4:2-3 NIV

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Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV

(This photo was taken in February of 2013 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Our Help Comes From The Lord

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.”

Psalm 46:1 NIV

When things go side-ways or take an unexpected turn…what do we do first?  Ask questions, try to figure out what happened, look for ways to get control of what is going on?  None of these are bad yet they should come after we turn to the Lord and pray for help, pray for wisdom, pray for guidance.  This is where our help really comes from and we typically wait to call on God as a very last resort.  As you go through this day or this weekend try turning to God first for anything and everything…He loves you, He knows you and He wants to give you good things.  Amen.

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I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Our Help Comes From The Lord

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.”

Psalm 46:1 NIV

When things go side-ways or take an unexpected turn…what do we do first?  Ask questions, try to figure out what happened, look for ways to get control of what is going on?  None of these are bad yet they should come after we turn to the Lord and pray for help, pray for wisdom, pray for guidance.  This is where our help really comes from and we typically wait to call on God as a very last resort.  As you go through this day or this weekend try turning to God first for anything and everything…He loves you, He knows you and He wants to give you good things.  Amen.

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I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Do Good Work

Each of us can do good work that helps at least one other person in need.  We can’t be everything to everybody…yet we can be somebody who helps another.  Turn towards God in prayer and ask Him how you can help someone today…then pay attention to each part of your day and He will show you where you are needed.  God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

2 Corinthians 9:8

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For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:8-10

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 at the High Falls in Tettegouche State Park in northern Minnesota)

Help Wherever You Can

There is a quote by John Wesley who was an English clergyman from the 1700’s that best sums up daily life and serving those in need.  If more people took the time and effort to help someone else in a way that they can there would be fewer people in need of the basics in life of food, shelter and clothing.  None of us can solve the whole problem alone yet we can help when we do whatever we can.  Amen.

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

-John Wesley

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“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Matthew 25:40

(This photo was taken in May of 2014 at a lake in central Minnesota)

It is not about you…

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It’s not about you…I have seen and read this message many times while reading a devotional or some other faith based writing.  When I was reading this morning it struck me differently…it spoke to me about sowing a seed with the hope of changing a life.  It made me think…how have I been blessed and how can I share that with others?  I know that God created me…I know that God has given me certain gifts.  My job is to discover my gifts and use them to help others…and it is the same for you.

Today as I was reading from a daily devotional written by John C Maxwell the words that struck me hard and fast were these…a quote from entertainer Danny Thomas…”All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why.  Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself.  It’s what you do for others.”

It doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it to be in our heads…start today…start focusing on your gifts and start using them to help others.  If you are unsure of what your gifts are then ask God in prayer to help you identify those gifts so you can begin to sow seeds in your daily life.

It’s not about you…it’s about how you have been blessed and how you can use those blessings to help others.

Peace be with you.