Called to Speak

Doing good deeds is not the same as serving God. Having compassion and the commitment to serve is not limited to Christians. Even people who do not believe in God do good things. They help raise money or go to areas devastated by war or natural disaster and serve the needs of people in trouble. They invest their personal time and wealth in the educational and health and safety needs of those in crisis all over the world. But the motive of their service is personal preference and agenda, not obedient service to God. Good things become godly things only when they are a result man’s obedience to God. Our service must be accompanied by our continual effort to acknowledge God as the source of any good we do and to lead others to him.

Jesus met the physical needs of those who came to him. He fed and healed and cast out demons, but then he taught them about God’s love and forgiveness. He did not use his power or authority to build a fan club. He didn’t dole out miracles to those he liked the best. He used who he was and what power he had to bless those God put in his path and make sure those people knew that the purpose for his service was his love for them and his obedience to God. If our service to others is not grounded in our relationship with God, then we are not serving him by doing those things. Whatever your service looks like, the ultimate purpose of your service to others should always be to lead them to God.

Our service should always be accompanied by our testimony. God doesn’t call all of us to explain complicated theology or preach or even teach; he does expect us to tell what we do know and have experienced in our relationship with him. We, as Christians who know even just a glimpse of the goodness and power of God, have good news that most of the rest of the world either ignores or doesn’t believe. Once God’s word takes root in our hearts and begins to grow, we find healing and protection and power in God’s word that ought to be so exciting that we just can’t stop talking about it.

When you serve God, you will get a story. Your story may include acknowledgment that your victory in a hopeless situation came clearly from God. It may be testimony of his presence throughout a crisis or protection in the face of great odds. It may be an answer to a prayer or tangible evidence that he has heard your prayer. It may be an awareness that God has knit seemingly unrelated parts of your life into what he is now calling you to do. Your testimony may be as simple as “I know that God loves me and led me to serve you”. It may be that simple, but it will never be more profound. Of all the things we speak, “God loves you” is the most important. God may ask you to tell the stories of the people in the Bible who had an encounter or an adventure with God, but their stories will not sustain you during your times of doubt and crisis. Your story will increase your faith, and your story will have meaning to the one you serve.

We love stories. Children ask to be told stories and make up their own. Families rehearse the stories of their lives at reunions. “Once upon a time” and “Remember the time when” can help us rise above the mundane and enter the life of a princess or a hero, or it can remind us of our connection to each other.

The stories of our relationship with God give us perspective on our future, but they also can encourage or inspire others who are struggling with similar things. Those of us who have any experience with God can speak hope and healing and direction into the lives of those who do not know God. If you have believed and followed and known and loved and served God, you must tell those you serve what you know. Those you serve may admire your passion or your conviction, but if you don’t speak to them about God, they may never know the same healing and hope that has saved you.

John 8:28 So Jesus said, “…I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

May God give us opportunity and courage to share what we know with those who need to hear.