Strength is for Service, Not Status
As we move into the second part of this fast, let’s recap the last 8 days, so we can have a sense of what God has been speaking to us about.
On day 1, Pastor Derrill reminded us that when the day of trouble finds us, God’s presence is already there to bring us strength.
On day 2, Pastor Donna told us that in God, we have a strong hiding place that we can run to, a shelter from every storm in our lives.
On day 3, Pastor Greg, through an unforgettable personal story, pointed us to the fact that God is our strong fortress and we can run to Him when we’re in need.
On day 4, Pastor Jordan reminded us that Jesus is right next to us when we need His strength the most.
On day 5, Pastor Bryan wrote that even when we’re physically, spiritually and emotionally drained, if we put our trust in the Lord, we will find a supernatural strength.
On day 6, Pastor Taylor reminded us that because of the greatness of the faithfulness of God – even in the hardest of days – we can live placing our trust in Him, knowing that daily mercies and the strength to go on can only come from Him.
On day 7, Pastor John pointed out to us that although we may have grown tired and weary in our condition, God can give us the needed strength in abundant supply.
And yesterday, Pastor Shane reminded us that to function in life, we must walk day to day with a firm understanding of where our strength and help comes from.
Today’s title is no coincidence, and it springs up from Romans 15:1-2 (MSG)
1-2 Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”
What must we do after we receive strength from the Lord?
When the Lord touches us and renews our strength, it is never to just sit in contempt about our condition. We don’t receive strength to just feel good about ourselves or our relationship with God compared to others. The answer in this passage is simple, as the text points out: strength is for service, not status. Those who are strong must serve those who need strength.
What I like most about this command is its paradoxical nature. The kingdom of God is one full of paradoxes; to be rich you must give it all away, those who are last will be first, and the greatest among you shall be the least of you.
In the natural kingdom, those who possess strength are more likely to seek to find status. Yet, in the kingdom of God, where our strength comes from the Lord, we are reminded one more time that we must use our strength for service. Our strength must be used for the good of others, to not focus on our needs, but instead on the needs of our neighbor; to land a hand to those who falter.
The new year allows for a spiritual, emotional and physical renewal. May it also be a year where we renew our commitment to others; to do good even when bad could be justifiable. May we seek to serve and love our neighbor just as Jesus did.
Danny De los Reyes