Read John 12:25-26
"Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him."
Why is serving others in God's name so important?
How do you and I get a new glimpse of Jesus? Mother Teresa said it is Jesus we serve in the poor, so as we get closer to them and each other, we get closer to Christ. Richard and his team only reached out to one man to start with, and their efforts may seem like a drop in the bucket with the worldwide problem of AIDS. Mother Teresa felt the same way. "I picked up one person," she said. "Maybe if I didn't pick up that one person I wouldn't have picked up the others. The whole work is only a drop in the ocean. But if we don't put the drop in, the ocean would be one drop less. Same thing for you. ... Just begin ... one by one."
Here are two ways we can begin, one by one, to get a fresh vision of Jesus through serving others and especially the "least of these":
1. We must take care of those at home and ask God to expand your heart. "Love begins by taking care of the closest ones--the ones at home. Let us ask ourselves if we are aware that maybe our husband, our wife, our children, or our parents live isolated from others, do not feel loved enough, even though they may live with us." But as you love those close to you, don't neglect to look around to those who are sick, those battling with addictions, those who are poor or lonely whom you could care for, befriend, or join with others to minister to. Ask the Lord to expand your heart beyond the borders of your own family and fill it with His love for the broken and needy. It is in doing the work of Jesus and allowing Him to love others through us that we experience Him in new ways.
Ask God to make you willing: "Lord, let me be Your hands and feet. Show me what's on your heart for those around me and give me a servant's heart, a surrendered heart, and eyes to see people the way You see them."
2. Be open to different ways the Lord Jesus may reveal Himself to you. In J. B. Phillips's classic Your God Is Too Small, he said, "We can never have too big a conception of God, and the more scientific knowledge ... advances, the greater becomes our idea of His vast and complicated wisdom." Our spiritual lives are hindered by putting God in a box and only expecting to experience Him in church or in an activity designed to nurture our own souls. We may expect to sense His presence when we are listening to an inspiring worship music, participating in a special conference, or worshipping at an extravagant Christian concert.
Lord, bring people on my path who You want me to serve. Give me the wisdom and courage to love others in Your name. Amen.