At the end of your life on Earth, you will stand before God, and he is going to evaluate how well you served others with your life. The Bible says, “Each of us will give a personal account to God” (Romans 14:12 NLT, second edition).
Think about the implications of that. One day God will compare how much time and energy we spent on ourselves compared with what we invested in serving others.
At that point, all our excuses for self-centeredness will sound hollow: “I was too busy” or “I had my own goals” or “I was preoccupied with working, having fun, or preparing for retirement.” To all excuses God will respond, “Sorry, wrong answer. I created, saved, and called you and commanded you to live a life of service. What part did you not understand?”
The Bible warns unbelievers, “He will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves,” but for Christians it will mean a loss of eternal rewards (Romans 2:8a).
We are only fully alive when we’re helping others. Jesus said, “If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live” (Mark 8:35 TLB; see also Matthew 10:39, 16:25; Luke 9:24, 17:33).
This truth is so important that it is repeated five times in the gospels. If you are not serving, you are just existing, because life is meant for ministry. God wants you to learn to love and serve others unselfishly.
Talk It Over
- What has been the effect on you when you serve others?
- Why does God want us to learn to love and serve others? What does that say about him?
What service has God called you to that you didn’t think you had enough time or energy to do?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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