Back to Reach | Devotion #6: Fervent Stewards
Justin Dean | Student Director
When it came to church, serving was what my family did. Truthfully, it sometimes felt like all we did. I can not tell you how many chairs I have had to stack throughout my time in church. Growing up, I never truly understood the point of serving. When I was a child, I blamed my parents for staying around church talking for too long. In middle school, I thought it was because we were just trying to be nice people. When I high school, I realized it was just my dad using us as free labor. As I began to spend more time coming into my own and taking a look at what biblical serving looked like, I realized it was more about my heart while serving than anything else.
Take a look with me at 1 Peter 4:8-10, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
It took me a while to truly grasp the reason for and importance of service to people. I did not get it, and that shaped the way I served. I served with no purpose, no drive, and without fervency or understanding. I want to take a second to break down this passage of Scripture. There is a great picture in this verse of why and how we should serve.
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly…” What does this actually mean? People often talk about love, but no one ever clearly defines it. It is left as this amorphous, impractical, abstract ideal that we do not know how to implement into our lives. Now I am not going to spend time trying to define it (I will leave that to someone with the Pastor title), but I do want to look at how we can use it practically. I think the key to that is the word earnestly, or a word I think fits the Greek a little better, fervently. It is the idea of enthusiastically and passionately loving others. When we show people love, by serving them, giving them compliments, or by being kind, are we doing so with enthusiasm and passion? Do we dread doing it, or are we sitting on the edge of our seats excited to show them love and care the way our God has shown it to us?
“…use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” As humans, we have natural giftings. Some are wise teachers; others are fiercely compassionate. The way we serve can look drastically different yet, in the end, achieves the same goal – to help point people to the grace of God. As God’s people, we are stewards of a multitude of different things, but above all, we are stewards of God’s grace in our lives. As such, we need to serve with that in mind. We are showing that grace to those we are serving and our service needs to be with that same fervent love that God graciously showed us.
Ultimately, we serve at the River to see people come to know the grace we know as followers of Christ. Everything we do, in word or deed, should reflect that goal as stewards of Christ. We serve, together, unified, with our giftings to point people to the grace of God, that they may seek Christ as their Savior. I encourage you if you are not currently serving, to join us in serving our Lord.