I attended and served in the Christian Life Program yesterday for our community. I can't remember how many times I've served in CLPs. All of them contains the same topic, sometimes same speakers but it becomes refreshing because each time, you get a different perspective depending on what you're dealing with in that certain time.
One of my take homes was this, "First we serve God by the way we live".
Then I pondered, do I serve the Lord by the way I live?
- Do I attend to the needs of the people around me or I'm too consumed of myself only?
- Do I tithe generously to the church, give donation to charities and give freely of my time to help the needy?
- Do I try to love the people who are difficult to love and show compassion and forgiveness to them?
- Do I park where I am supposed to park and not rob other people with disabilities or pregnant women?
- Do I show good example especially to my younger siblings or am I a bad influence to them?
- Do I honor and respect my parents especially my mom or do I fail to show regard to her?
- Do I use my time at work honestly or am I being a slug? Do I work beyond my hours and neglect quality time with my family or do I manage my time wisely?
- Do I get easily angered when I am offended or do I remain humble and kind?
- Do I submit to and honor my husband or do I manipulate him so I get my way?
- Do I lovingly correct my family and friends when they are wrong or condone their behavior?
- Do I judge and say negative things about other people before looking on my own short comings?
- Do I help in spreading the word and the love of God to the people around me or keep it all including the blessings to myself?
I must admit, to be a Christian is never easy. We are not saved only by calling ourselves Christians and going to church every Sunday. The true test of serving and honoring God is by the way we live our lives, even when no one is looking at us. God sees our each and every step, and the state of our hearts. Whenever we carry out good deeds, God is delighted. Whenever we carry out wicked deeds, the devil is delighted. Whom do we want to please? God or the devil?
God loves us no matter what and His love for us is unconditional. However, when we serve and honor God, we allow His grace to enter upon us. Here is a simple analogy:
Let's say a little boy asks his dad for a few bucks.
Son: Dad can I have 3 dollars, please?
Dad: Why do you need it my son?
Son: I want to buy a Magic card game.
Dad: Ok son, I will give you a the money if you get an A in your quiz tomorrow.
Son: Ok, I'll start studying now dad.
(the next day)
Son: I got an A in the test Dad , can I get my money now?
Dad: Good job son, here you go and here's a confirmation letter. I registered you in a card tournament. :)
When we serve and honor God, even in our own smallest ways, He acknowledges our faithfulness and fills us with His divine grace and blessings. He provides all our needs, even more than what we deserve, may it be materially or spiritually. The Dad could have just given his son the money for no reason but he wanted to give his son an important lesson. The benefit is not for the Dad, but ultimately for his son. By studying hard, he might get to a good university and get a better job in the future. Same way when we honor and serve the Lord with the way we virtuously live our lives. It's not for His benefit but for ours. The experience is humbling and the return is that we become a better person.