Spiritual Disciplines // GRATITUDE & SERVICE
By Chris Bowlby
I can tend to be pretty myopic about my own needs. When anxiety or stress comes my way, tunnel vision is a pretty close companion that causes me to fixate on my own needs, my own wants, and how I need help. When I am in pain it is much too easy for me to think – “I really am the only person on this planet.” Ha! Have you been there? Has a spouse or a friend ever pointed this out to you? As we examined a season of Paul’s life we saw he was suffering a TON of hardship. He was imprisoned and likely facing his own death. This line of Paul’s has been ringing in my ears since I began studying . . .
18 At the moment I have all I need—and more!Philippians 4:18 NLT
He has all he needs?!?!?! Ummmm, you’re in prison Paul. You’re basically marching your way to your death. What about your freedom? What about your ability to minister face to face? What about your calling? I’m haunted by Paul’s level of contentment. Earlier in his letter he says, “to live is to Christ, and to die is to gain” (Chapter 1). Paul had every reason to concentrate on his own circumstances, yet he lived out his last days writing letters like the one to the Philippians that still blesses people to this very day. What would it look like for you if you devoted you time, talent, and treasure to those around, not when things were easier, but right now in the midst of your circumstances? I have a hunch God could use you in both small and profound ways as you were obedient in the midst of life.
- Take an inventory of your time. In what ways are you serving others around you?
- Do you currently serve at New Hope? Consider what it would cost for you to make yourself available to God in this way.
- We have opportunities to serve at our Kid’s Prize store, Worship Team, Food Pantry, and other areas. CLICK HERE to sign up to serve not when things are better, but right now!