I was talking to a friend about volunteering, and serving others at church. I thought that we should take a look at the word “volunteer”.
dictionary.com: volunteer: a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service a person who performs a service willingly and without pay.
In other words, a volunteer serves with no expectation of reward. A volunteer gives of themselves for no reason other than to make someone else’s life a bit easier, a bit better in some way. My purpose in this message is to reinforce to each and all of you, your importance as a volunteer…someone who gives of him or herself…in service to God’s children. To that end, I will employ a slight mis-quote (by me) of B.J. Palmer. His words speak an enormous truth about why everything we do, or say, matters.
“you never know how far-reaching something you think, say or do today will affect the life of someone”.
It’s undeniably true…what we think, say, or do, matters. I have no doubt that each and all of you, can remember a time, a moment when something someone said, or did, made a lasting impression on you. OK then…now please realize…you never know how far reaching something you think, say or do today will affect the life of someone .
Guys and ladies, we don’t know when we are serving someone who is simply lost and seeking, or they’re on the brink of disaster. Their impression of Christianity, the church, God, and Jesus, may hinge on their encounter with us, me, you. Based on the impression we present, their eternal fate may hang in the balance. They may feel welcomed, and therefore seek to learn more about God, or they may feel dismissed…and see Christianity as a hypocritical farce. Like it or not, our role as volunteers is important…possibly life changing…or life saving. Many near-suicide people have reported that the words or actions of one person in that critical moment, made the difference. That may sound overly dramatic, but that’s a reality. You may be the one who says or does something that saves someone. Never underestimate your role in God’s plan.
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
If we give to receive, we are doing ourselves an eternal disservice. If we give to gain recognition from our peers, we may gain it. But the tragic cost of that recognition is greater than we realize. Our “reward” vanishes when the winds and rain of time blow and wash the dust of our existence into oblivion. In blessed contrast, when we selflessly give of ourselves to others, our rewards cannot be shaken by neither winds, nor torrent…they are eternal.
Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven… but when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. Matthew 6:1,3,4
Guys and ladies, serve only to serve. Give only to give. Your earthly reward for self-seeking personal service is less than you thought. The impact and reward of your selfless, Christ-loving service is more than you think.