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September Focus: Attitudes of Service

I don’t know about you, but personally I have found the third quarter Living Our Mission theme of Serving the Community to be challenging and convicting.  July’s scripture readings clearly showed us that God expects His people to be on the front lines of serving those in need in our world.  In August we have seen real-life examples of people from all walks of life helping others in a variety of circumstances.  It might be tempting to think that we just need to mimic their actions and do what they did to fulfill our duty of service to God and those in need.

But the Bible tells us that pleasing God goes beyond our acts of service to the thoughts, attitudes, and motives behind them.  This truth is hauntingly illustrated by a series of events recorded in Acts 4 and 5.  At the end of chapter 4, we see the believers sharing what they have with those in need, in some cases even selling their property and bringing the proceeds to be distributed by the apostles.  A man named Joseph is commended and given the name Barnabas (Son of Encouragement) for taking such action.

But in Acts 5, a couple named Ananias and Sapphira also sell a piece of property and donate money for those in need; but instead of being commended, they are struck down and killed by the Lord.  In both cases, the same service was rendered, but the outcome was vastly different.  Why?  Because one was done in a spirit of love and generosity and the other with an attitude of greed and deception.  How and why we serve matters as much to God as the act of service itself.

So this month we will examine the scriptures to determine which Attitudes of Service are pleasing to God and which are not.  May we all heed the warning of Acts 5 and be wise in how we choose to serve.

Jan Knox

 


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