You can’t out serve God

In November a dear friend of mine turned 16 years old.  For her birthday she asked her friends to do some service projects.  16 in fact.  I jumped at the chance because I’m impulsive like that.  And I really wanted to honor my friend.  After saying yes I got to work thinking of things I could do.  That’s when a slow gripping fear came over me.  With my incredibly busy schedule how was I going to accomplish this?  Well, I amazed myself and got it almost done… Along the way, I learned a few things.  Have you ever heard the phrase “You can’t out give God”? Well, I don’t think you can’t out serve Him either.  

As I considered what I was going to do, thoughts crossed my mind, like “It will take too much time or this will be out of my comfort zone.”  I’m not comfortable with that at all! Do I have what it takes to serve sacrificially with a joyful heart?  This was what I think I was most worried about.  

As I stepped out of my comfort zone I found it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  One of the first acts of service I did was to give goody bags to the police officers who direct traffic during our church services on Sundays.  I was pretty nervous to do this.  Would they think I was some crazy lunatic trying to poison them?  Seriously, these crazy thoughts kept running through my mind.  Low and behold, one of the officers actually went to our church and knew me.  (Thanks God, for your beautiful timing on that one!)  They were very appreciative.  Some of the acts of service I did didn’t seem like enough.  Like cleaning my closet out and giving clothes away or buying toys for Operation Christmas Child.   But I know there will be kids excited to get Christmas presents this year.

One of my favorite things I did was send cards to all the pastors wives at our church.  This time of year is a busy one for pastors and their families get a little slighted, especially on Christmas Eve.  So I send a card letting them know I was praying for them.

The things on my list did not cost me a lot of money, nor did it cost me a lot of time.  And as I tried to serve others, I discovered I was the one being blessed by God. I didn’t feel proud I did these things, I felt loved by God.  This is what I mean by not being able to out serve God.  God loves us, lavishly.  Even when we are serving Him, he is serving us by loving us.

 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1 (NIV) 
You see, I was blessed while doing these acts of service.  Sure it was a bit out of my comfort zone, but it was easy and fun.  

God showed me to see the world through the lens of His eyes and gave me insight into His heart.  And for that I’m very grateful.  

So thank you Kara, for the challenge and although it seems a bit weird to brag about what I did, here is my list.  Just in case you feel inspired to do some acts of service as well.

1.  Give police officers goody bags as they directed traffic for our church.
2.  I volunteered for a whole week serving moms at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Convention in Kansas City, MO.
3.  Taught a class at the pregnancy care center.  (Talked to them about MOPS)
4.  Prepared shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child
5.  Bought someone Starbucks through the drive thru.
6.  Gave clothes away.
7.  Send cards to all our pastor’s wives and told them I was praying for them.
8.  Bought breakfast for our “McDonald’s” family.  Folks that show up there everyday we are there.
9.  Purchased a T Shirt and the proceeds went to Mercy House in Kenya, Africa
10. Sent a Christmas card to a solider
11. Gave shoes to friends who were collecting them for their nephew who has cancer.
12.  Bought a Serve 16 T-shirt and the proceeds went to help needy families in Kara’s church
13.  Brought dinner to a friend that just had surgery.
14.  Contacted a single mom in our church for a moms night out. (that’s happening this week)
15.  Cooked Turkeys for families in the church.
16.  Baked cookies and gave them away.
So there you have it.  It wasn’t earth shattering, make a huge difference kind of acts.  It was fun and easy and I loved doing it.  And it probably won’t stop at 16 nor will it end in November.
Thank you to my friend Kara, for teaching me the gift of mercy.  (Something I’ve seen grow in this child since she was very young.)
Happy Sweet 16 Birthday friend.