February 23, 2023
Observing the Service of Others
Nehemiah - “After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers and singers and Levites were appointed. I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah, the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do.” (Nehemiah 7:1-2)
When Nehemiah needed someone to be in charge of the city of Jerusalem, he selected Hanani, his brother, and Hananiah, the commander of the citadel. Nehemiah selected these men because he understood their faithfulness to the Lord and to the tasks that had been entrusted to them. Of Hananiah, he writes that “he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do.” Hananiah was known for his faithfulness and for his service to the Lord. He was the type of man Nehemiah wanted to serve alongside his brother so that together they might oversee Jerusalem well.
When people give of themselves, it is a sign that they’re focused on the Lord and on His eternal kingdom. In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren writes, “At the end of your life on earth you will stand before God, and he is going to evaluate how well you served others with your life. The Bible says, ‘Each of us will have to give a personal account to God.’ (Romans 14:12) Think about the implications of that. One day God will compare how much time and energy we spent on ourselves compared with what we invested in serving others. At that point, all our excuses for self-centeredness will sound hollow: ‘I was too busy’ or ‘I had my own goals’ or ‘I was preoccupied with working, having fun, or preparing for retirement.’ To all excuses God will respond, ‘Sorry, wrong answer. I created, saved, and called you and commanded you to live a life of service. What part did you not understand?’ The Bible warns unbelievers, ‘He will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves’ (Romans 2:8), but for Christians it will mean a loss of eternal rewards…We are only fully alive when we’re helping others.”
We can assess people’s dedication by observing their commitment to serving. Jesus said, “Your attitude must be like My own, for I did not come to be served, but to serve.” (Matthew 20:28) The Apostle Paul writes that “(God) has created us for a life of good deeds, which He has already prepared for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) The Apostle Peter writes that “Each one should use whatever gift he’s received to serve others.” (1 Peter 4:10) No one would put someone in charge of a business, ministry, or household if that person had not served well. If people are unwilling to serve in some capacity in the ministry of the church, they won’t make good leaders within the church. These positions must be earned through godly living and faithful service.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
In your journal or on a piece of paper, write a prayer to the Lord, asking Him to help you surround yourself with others willing to serve Him faithfully. Then, ask Him to help you be willing to serve Him faithfully as well. If you are leading your family through this devotion, ask each member to write out their own prayer, similar to the one above. Then, one by one, have each member read their prayer aloud.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, when I’m choosing others to walk beside me, help me select those who serve You faithfully. At the same time, may I be willing to serve You wherever and whenever I am needed. In Jesus’ name, Amen.