Grow Deep - Christian Community Edition - Week 6
Week 6: October 13-19
Service: Making Life Better for Our Neighbors Together
Memory verse: “And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.”
1 Samuel 20:17
It’s quite common these days when you say “thank you” to a person who’s served food, answered a question, or given directions, that you get this response: “No problem.” That sounds like their real thought is, “What’s the big deal? This is what I’m paid to do.” It’s a noticeable difference from the response given at one well-known restaurant chain. A “thank you” there always receives the reply, “My pleasure.”
These responses imply to me varying levels of commitment. The first comes off as, “It’s my job.” The second comes off as, “I’m glad you appreciate me serving you.”
The Holy Bible tells us to do good, especially to our fellow Christians. Christ Himself told His followers to show love toward others—even enemies! Clearly, our Lord calls us to reflect His love by serving our families, extended families, neighbors, and co-workers…but, He also calls us to show kindnesses even to those we don’t know or don’t like much.
Our motivation and attitude toward serving others (and serving DOES take effort) does not simply come from being told to do it, nor from feeling that it is the duty of a Christian. The Holy Spirit encourages us in these directions and reminds us that we’re merely reflecting God’s great love for us. Knowing that stimulates kind thoughts and actions. Our actions of love and sacrifice show others that we are not just hearers of God’s Word but His doer disciples following Jesus’ example. Our actions serve them—and Him!
Sunday, October 13
Read: Matthew 25:31-46
Jesus tells us that whatever we do for someone in need, we do for Him.
Reflect: Jesus wants us to see His face in the face of those we are called to serve—from the stranger on the roadside holding a sign to the people in need we know personally. What can you say to a person in need so that they feel validated rather than invisible? When has the person in need been you?
Monday, October 14
Read: Leviticus 19:33-34
The command to love your neighbor as yourself is extended to newcomers.
Reflect: We are commanded to serve newcomers—foreigners, immigrants, and refugees—as our own family. How can we take to heart their needs and show respect for them through our words and actions?
Tuesday, October 15
Read: Hebrews 13:10-16
Jesus suffered humiliation— and death— “outside the city gates” to make His people holy.
Reflect: What does it look like for us to serve “outside the city gate”? How can you leave your safe places and traditions to serve “outside the city gates”? Where is Jesus?
Wednesday, October 16
Read: Luke 10:1-9
Jesus provides instructions for going out into the harvest field.
Reflect: What does it mean to bring peace to someone’s house? To heal? To say the kingdom is near?
Thursday, October 17
Read: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
We are reminded to sow generously—and with the proper attitude. God loves a cheerful giver and provides more than we need.
Reflect: How does God’s generosity motivate and guide you to share with the poor? How will your life be enriched as you share from all God has given you?
Friday, October 18
Read: James 1:16-18
Whatever is good and perfect comes from the Father of lights, who does not change.
Reflect: How is your service an expression of “first-fruits”?
Saturday, October 19
Read: Acts 11:19-26
Persecution scattered the believers, and the Gospel went with them.
Reflect: Although this early ministry was mainly to Jews, in Antioch, some Gentiles were converted. How did the name “Christian” come to be? What does it mean today? How will you live it?