I like to think that I can relate just about any lesson worth learning to fountain Diet Coke. I’ve been drinking it since I was 15 and hardly ever drink it unless it is SPECIFICALLY from McDonald’s (no lectures on how bad it is for me – you’re going to ruin the lesson here… 😉 ). There’s something just so perfect about their magical mixture of ice and the bubbly goodness! Basically, it’s a glass filled to the brim with the best ice ever, and then all the empty spaces in between the ice are filled up with super carbonated soda!
That’s something special right there, I’ll tell you!
I just love that image and how it relates to the spiritual discipline of service and the outpouring of lovingkindness into this world. Basically, it’s like this: We see a “glass” that has empty spaces, and we use what we have fill it up.
This past Sunday, the Gospel reading at Church was Matthew 25:31-46. Go ahead and click that link and read it for yourself! Pretty powerful instruction on how we are to SERVE here on Earth, don’t you think?
Jesus is basically saying, when He returns to take us home, we will be called to account for how well we LOVED this side of Heaven – how well we poured out of ourselves and into the lives of those around us in need. Right there in the middle of the passage, He lists for us the myriad of needs that exist in this world: hunger and thirst (physical and spiritual), loneliness and isolation, captivity, needs of all kinds, sickness. And He makes it pretty clear that we have the power and obligation to serve anyone whose needs sound anything like those named on that list.
Girls, we are called to be traveling, mobile embassies for Christ; we maintain an open door policy to invite His people in – regardless of who they are and what their circumstances – and to pour out His love into and onto everyone He chooses to put in our path.
We fill in all the empty spaces with love. And in turn, He refills us so we can keep the good stuff flowing. That’s the miracle of service!
Here’s the thing I’ve come to know-that I know-that I know about the practice and discipline of service. First of all, it’s closely tied to the concept of calling. I believe our calling is our chance to marry up our birthright gifts (these are the gifts God gave you when He thought you up!) with our passion. When we can do that, that’s our “calling”. For example, I was blessed with the gift of teaching. I also happen to have a passion for Jesus. So I soar in my calling when I teach others about Christ! YAY! 🙂
So, calling = gifts married up with passion. And when we operate in that zone, the outpouring of our calling is renewed though God continuing to fill us up so we can keep it going on. You know what I mean, right? When we operating in this supernaturally, “spirit led zone”, we do not get depleted. We get things done. We excel. We soar.
Similarly, service (as a discipline) also taps into our birthright gifts and talents. But instead of leaning into our passion, we soar in service when we marry up our gifts with what breaks our hearts. And that list we just talked about up there in Matthew 25? That’s chockful of things that break our hearts. Jesus is just asking us to pick one and serve by filling in the empty spaces of someone’s heartbreaking situation. That’s a miracle, girls. And once again, the flip side reward of that miracle is the refilling of ourselves so we can keep pouring out.
And here’s a really cool thing, too. Our calling and our call to service often change throughout our seasons of life and circumstances. And you know what? I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be that way.
Marry up your gifts and talents with what inspires you right now-that’s calling.
Marry up your gifts and talents for what currently breaks your heart-that’s service. And your biggest impact will be where your heart opens the widest.
Take some time and talk with God about your gifts, your passions, and what breaks your heart. See if He doesn’t give you a little insight on how you can weave those things together to make a difference not only in someone else’s life, but YOURS too.
Following along with our Come Closer series? Would you believe we only have ONE MORE WEEK to go?! Spend this next week finishing up your Enjoying Jesus book and get ready for a final lesson next week on WORSHIP! YIPEE!!! And stay tuned – we’ll announce what’s coming NEXT soon!!! 😉
Enjoy the weekend, sister friends!
Peace, love and JOY!