Ephesians 2:10 - For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ten years ago, I did not feel very needed in my congregation. It was a large church, full of people who had more to offer than I did, or so I thought. Being single also made me feel like I didn't fit in. I knew Jesus, but I was still lacking self-worth and confidence. I really didn't see much purpose in my life.
It was at a Bible study for singles when the words of Psalm 32:8 literally jumped out at me: "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you." God not only sent Jesus to die for me, but He has a plan for me - something He wants me to do for Him.
Since then I've discovered that He gives special gifts and talents to us to use for His service. These gifts often need the helpful balance of other people's gifts to fulfill God's plans. I began to look for areas in my congregation to use my gifts and talents, and I began to say yes when opportunities came along, even when I felt inadequate. At these times, I counted on the power of His Holy Spirit and His promise spoken in Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
I grew in my faith and confidence as I was able to give and serve. The more I grew, the more excited I became about my relationship with Christ. I took time to read the Bible more and be around others who wanted to grow, too. I have since discovered much about God's plan on how I fit in, and this is helpful in the tasks I accept. My confidence comes from the knowledge that I am working with others to do what God wants me to do.
The future is even more exciting! What other wonderful ways is He going to use me to spread His Good News? How will God work in my life to help others know more about Jesus and His love for us? I want to share with others that God uses us where we are, right now, and all we need to do is be willing to serve. He will lead us into the good works He has prepared for us.
As Jesus came to serve others with His life, so too should we be willing to assist others. To be more like Him, I try to remember to say yes when I can and to do what I can and then lean on His promises to give me all I need to get the job done. To be more proactive, I volunteer, especially when the service to be done is something I do well. And, this is really important: when the work is done, I praise God for His direction in my life.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, Your entire life was a service to us. Daily remind us that we should do the same -- give our lives to You in service to others. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
From The Lutheran Layman, June 1982 issue, "I Did Not Feel Very Needed in My Congregation" by an employee of Lutheran Hour Ministries
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