By Nathan Cockrill Pastor Christian Life Assembly of God

Have you ever had terrible service at a restaurant?

I haven't gone back to several restaurants because even though the food was good, the service was bad. One server was content to take breaks while my family waited on ourselves. I left behind some tasty chicken and some golden carrots because of that bad service. Needless to say, that restaurant is no longer in business.

Service is critical. Jesus gave His life to serve us and save us. We can never work to earn being saved, but we serve because we love Him. So how can we do that?

First, we learn in 1 Peter 4:10 that we give away what we can to serve someone else. We can't be like the power plant that gave a tour. It was an amazing power plant, but folks asked, "Where's the towers to take the power out to other places?"

The plant manager replied, "Oh, no, all this power we make is just for us to use. That's how we power the plant."

In 1 Peter 4:11, spiritual gifts help us serve others. God helps us to speak and minister (assist) with pure hearts. All Christians should serve, and we are given spiritual gifts to serve. Yet, it's not easy. Laziness, pride, and difficult people make serving harder. Instead, Peter says we look at our goal in glorifying Christ Jesus.

When I was a youth pastor, I needed to look at the goal of helping young people find the Lord, or the kids climbing on the church roof or kids getting concussions skiing weren't worth it. Paul the Apostle wrote, "I press on toward the goal." We need the big picture that God is working through our service.

Second, we serve others by using the strength God gives us.

We need God's power to serve, but He freely gives it, and joy with it. There is no greater joy than to serve. Every time I go to church, the nursing home, VBS or out at the store, I am reminded how wonderful His empowerment for service is.

What if we don't know how to serve? We ask ourselves, "What do we have?" Even if it seems very little, God can use it.

Can you smile at someone down? Can you give something to eat? Can you give a friendly pat on the back? Can you listen? Can you pray?

We can step out and do something, Then, God gives us more good to do and blessings with it. Let's never give into excuses of being too old or too young or not talented enough. One senior-related how she blessed people simply by going through the phone book and calling people to ask for their prayer needs. God sees every act of service. People also see it who need Jesus.

May we ask God how we can serve and for Him to make opportunities to serve.