FF40 – Day 3 on Service | From Tim Stewart

DAY 3 – Service

I Samuel 12:24 | Matthew 20:28 | I Peter 4:10-11

A new school year is beginning. So many things are happening as you move
into this new phase of your life. Finding a way to balance the many things
you’ll do over the next few years will be a daunting task, but I bet you’re up
for it.

The fact that you’re here speaks to the hard work you’re capable of, as well
as the support and encouragement you likely received on the way to this
place and time. You’re moving from a phase in your life where you were likely
a big fish in a smaller pond, into a much bigger pond with a lot of other big
fish. This can be intimidating, but let me challenge you to look upon it as the
great opportunity that it is.

As the Psalmists remind us , we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), just a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5), certainly worth more than the birds of the air and the lilies of the field as Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6). But as I’m sure you’ve heard Dr. Fisher say by now, and as our scripture passages for today remind us, “it’s not about us!”  It’s about how we give ourselves in service to others that really matters.

In his farewell speech to the people of Israel, Samuel reminds them to
“be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart” and
to “consider what great things he has done for you” (I Samuel 12:24). The
word “fear” is probably better understood as “revere” or “respect”, as God
deserves our faithful service not because we fear God’s wrath, but because
of God’s faithfulness and the great things God has done for us. When we
consider this, we can do no less than serve with all our heart.

Likewise, Jesus helps us to better understand the importance of service in
our relationship to others and to God when his disciples began to argue
about who should have places of honor next to Jesus. He reminds them that
“whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant … just as
the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:26-28).

Finally Peter reminds us that the gifts that we have been given should be
used in service to others “so that in all things God may be praised through
Jesus Christ” (I Peter 4:11). We are privileged and challenged to “faithfully
administer God’s grace in its various forms” (I Peter 4:10).

As you go through this exciting and important time of growth and
development in your life, keep in mind that you are precious to God. But just
as important, remember that God has done so much for you and you are
called to use your gifts, to serve others, for the Glory of God. We’re not here
to be served, but to serve!

Blessings on you as you do this throughout the coming year, your time at
Belmont and throughout your life!

Tim Stewart
Director of Service-Learning

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