FF40 – Day 18 on SERVICE | From John Gonas


Proverbs 19:17 | John 13:12-14 | James 2:14-17

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. (2nd Corinthians 9:12)

I often pray that we, the Belmont faculty and staff, can steward
our students to take what they’re learning in the classroom and
unconditionally give it away within the campus, Nashville, and even
broader national and international communities — for no other reason
than to be an “expression of thanks to God” and be an extension
of His love, grace, and mercy. More and more I am encouraged and
humbled to witness so many of our students committing countless
hours teaching and mentoring the homeless, refugees, and other
disenfranchised people in our community – simply motivated by
knowing that they have been blessed and privileged with resources,
knowledge, and past experiences from which others can draw
guidance, and that their service is simply a form of giving thanks.

When I entered undergraduate school in 1985, serving someone other
than my own self was the furthest thing from my mind. I simply viewed
a college education as a stepping stone to a stronger resume, a first
job, and professional opportunities with economic benefits. There
were times when I would serve in a soup kitchen for the homeless,
but those opportunities were usually motivated by strengthening my
reputation or resume. Not until after graduate school did I experience
the incomparable joy of serving simply out of thanksgiving to the Lord.

It was then (and continues to this day) that I was reminded how
blessed I am to have the intellectual and physical capacity to engage
in service for Christ. Whether helping refugees find employment or
teaching a struggling metro school student how to read, I pray that
I can continue to serve “because of the surpassing grace God has
given…and for His indescribable gift” (2nd Corinthians 9:15). I also
pray that we, the Belmont community of students, faculty, and staff,
will continue to embrace opportunities to share God’s love through
service – out of thanksgiving for all He has given us. To me, that’s what
is special about Belmont and the opportunities we have to “engage
and transform the world.”

John Gonas
Associate Professor of Finance



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