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USA Southern Territorial Weekly Devotional

Growing Deeper Together

January 25, 2023

The Outward Spiritual Disciplines – Service

Make Your Blessings Count


1Peter 2:15; Luke 22:27; Ephesians 2:10; Jeremiah 1:5; James 1:22; John 6:33-38; Mark 10:45; Hebrews 6:10; Luke 10:2

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT (Susan Smith - Faithful Soldier of the Dallas Temple Corps)

I Peter 2:15 “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.”

Luke 22:27b “…..But I am among you as the one who serves.”

Ephesians 2:10 (Living Bible):  “It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.”

Jeremiah 1:5a (NCV) “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work.”

James 1:22 “Be doers of the word, not hearers only. Otherwise you are deceiving yourselves.”

Clearly, the Scripture is filled with encouragements and exhortations to perform acts of service.  God tells us to serve the widows and orphans.  He shows us how to tend to one another’s needs.  We know that we are to serve without discrimination.  Jesus himself not only teaches service, but he demonstrates it freely.  Jesus washed feet.  He healed the ear of a guard who was there to bring Him harm.  Jesus fed thousands (on more than one occasion!).

  1. He knew the assignment.  John 6:33-38 (NIV) says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me.
  2. He spoke the truth.  Jesus declared clearly who he was and why he came. 
  3. He identified his helpers:  He chose the disciples.  They were the right people for the right job. And they were trained by Jesus Himself.
  4. He prayed.  Jesus continually communicated to God the Father about the work at hand. 
  5. He set the example.  Jesus did not just tell the disciples what to do, He did it with them. Mark 10:45:  “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Several years ago, a co-Manager with The Salvation Army asked me how he could make his team care about their work the way that my team cared about theirs.  He had hired some great workers but they didn’t really understand our goals.  I explained that no one can “make” someone else care.  But if we experienced the service opportunities that we were there to support, it can give us a better understanding.  Rather than just being office-workers, computer technicians, or maintenance employees, the team volunteered to build a children’s playground.   But they got to experience the children playing there in a safe place while their moms took a break.  We served a snack and the team learned that was their only meal of the day.  But when the Officers prayed a prayer of dedication and thanksgiving, the team was humbled to understand that they had played a small role.  Finally, a young man stopped by and told us “thanks” for re-building this playground.  It was a place and a program that had kept him from a life of violence on the streets.  All of a sudden, the mundane busyness of the ordinary workday had meaning.  Godly service means doing an action for His glory, not our own.  Salvationists usually understand “Saved to Serve” but this group served in order to understand.  They were hardly grinches, but their hearts definitely “grew 3 sizes that day.”

While doing things is highly valued, we also risk fallout from overdoing things. Service can come with discouragement, so the Spiritual Discipline of Service comes with the need to guard our hearts.  Any act of courtesy is an act of service. Any use of talent is a valuable asset in God’s viewpoint.  Hebrews 6:10 (NLT) says God “will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers.” So we should temper our service with humility because God will reward us in His time and His way. Humble service is needed to protect the esteem of the person being served. It is a kindness we can offer, but humble service can also point the glory to God and not to self.  Every Christian is a minister.  We are not all Officers or pastors.  But we all have a role to play for the Glory of God. God uses every little thing and every big thing.  We are called to serve where we are.

A football coach once defined the game as “22 men on the field desperately needing rest, and 50,000 people in the stands desperately needing exercise.”  Luke 10:2 tells us that “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”  Luke is describing bringing people to Jesus, and all acts of Christian service should be based on the notion that we are meeting human needs in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  But oh, how the football description describes our churches.   Christianity is not a spectator sport.  But unless we actively practice the Spiritual Discipline of Service, that’s exactly what it has become.


Lord, You have saved me and kept me and provided for me and I am grateful.  You have made a way, when I often did not see the way.  You provided people in my path to help meet my needs and I cannot deny that those blessings came directly from You.  Show me the way you would have me serve Lord.  As the seasons of my life change, so does my ability to be a Helper.  I have gained wisdom and skills I never imagined so help me to use them.  I have limitations that I don’t like, but your strength is made perfect in my weakness.  Father, let the work of my hands have meaning for You and help me know the things I am doing idly so that I can work smarter for You! Lord, keep me humble but help me to always lift you.  I am blessed and You are the provider. Lord, for thy service, fit me I plead. Amen.


Take the time this week to be of service to someone else in need or volunteer at your local Salvation Army or some other not-for-profit ministry.


Remember the soldier in the Civil War who wore a Rebel jacket and Union trousers-he was shot both in the front and the back! You must choose which side you're on! You are either a servant to Jesus Christ or a slave to Satan! The choice is yours.

                                                                                         - John Hagee
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Rick Raymer, Major
Territorial Spiritual Life Development Officer/THQ Chaplain
USA Southern Territory
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