The one spiritual gift the Holy Spirit has given to me that stands out among all the rest is the gift of serving. Nothing has given me more joy than serving others. For those of us with this gift we are the ones who meet the practical needs of others and the church. I have served the church by keeping the nursery and running the sound mixer. I have used my accounting skills to serve in administration and financial areas of the church. I have served others in practical ways by house sitting, taking care of their animals, cleaning their home, watering their plants, working in their yard, making travel arrangements, helping them balance their check book, paying their bills, and giving financial advice. I know all of this seems pretty ordinary and mundane, boring even. But for those of us with the gift of serving we are happiest working behind the scenes expressing our love for others in this way.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” Mark 10:45
Jesus said, “The greatest among you will be your servant” Matthew 23:11
My church sets aside an entire day each year for everyone in our church to serve others. A couple of years ago a large group of us went to Cornerstone School to serve. I washed dishes for four hours. I loved every minute of it. I loved every dish I washed because it was meeting a need for the school, and being able to meet a need just fills my heart with joy. I know washing dishes for most of you is not going to bring you joy, but for those of us with the gift of serving you know how I feel. Just knowing those children were going to start the school year with a clean cafeteria and that I was a part of making that happen for them made me so happy.
“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.” Acts 9:36-37
Dorcas had the gift of serving and she used her sewing skills to make clothing to meet the needs of the poor widows. When she died they sent for Peter and when he came, “All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made them while she was still with them. Peter sent them all out of the room, then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive.” Acts 9:39-41
The gift of serving should never be undervalued. Peter was used greatly by God as an apostle, a prophet, a healer and even to raise Dorcas from the dead. One might think his gifts were more important than Dorcas’s little gift of serving…but when Peter died, no one raised him from the dead.
Dorcas surpasses every other woman in the Bible. She is the only one who is called a disciple. She followed the example of Jesus by doing good and helping the poor. Her contribution may have seemed small, but God used her gift of serving to do what I long to do. Share the small things God has given to me, so that others can know His great love for them.
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Cheryl Crawford is a daughter of the Most High King, saved by grace. Her degree and field of work are in accounting, but would trade it all to farm if she could. She enjoys reading, writing, gardening, SEC football and playing cards with friends. Cheryl is a natural organizer with a heart that loves to serve. You can read more about Cheryl on her BoP bio.
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