Blessing and Being Blessed :) – Joy in Serving – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 2a) [4]

Paul defines serving in Philippians 2:3-4.  He says,

  • DON’T be selfish

    sharing

  • DON’T live to try and make a good impression on others
  • DON’T think only about your own interests, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing

                      blindside

  • DON’T think that you are better than other people, be humble

   prison ministry

I think Paul’s definition is interesting.  Instead of telling people to do, do, do, having a what’s in it for me attitude, we’re told instead, don’t, don’t, don’t.  Reinforcing others before ourselves.  Reinforcing that we will experience joy through serving.  Through sacrifice and humbling ourselves.  As we bless others, we are being blessed in ways we would never have thought possible.

HERE’S AN EXAMPLE MY FRIEND, SARAH (NOT HER REAL NAME), SHARED WITH ME —

Sarah began bringing over meals to Pam (not her real name), who was diagnosed with cancer.  Pam shared with Sarah how much her efforts meant to her and her family.  She’s receiving healthy food, aiding in her recovery, as well as quality time with Sarah.

As a result of Sarah’s willingness to give her time to Pam, she has also been blessed. She’s learned to prepare delicious looking, and tasting, vegan food.  She’s also found a confidant who has prayed with, and for her, as she’s going through her own emotionally difficult trials.

Although Sarah and Pam’s pain/suffering, are different, both woman have been blessed by each other in ways they could never have imagined.  They may never have connected in this way if it weren’t for the pain/suffering each woman is experiencing.

Sarah put her own issues aside to care for her friend.  And in her opinion, has been blessed far more than she’s been a blessing.  And I bet if I talked to Pam she’d have the opposite response – Sarah has been far more of a blessing to her, than she’s blessed Sarah.

        two friends

Isn’t following God’s ways interesting?  🙂

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In the last two posts, we learned that we can experience joy in suffering, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-mF, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-no.

As we begin to look at experiencing joy in serving, we see that suffering and joy are sometimes connected.  Pain/suffering is something God promises to go through with us, Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. – Psalm 23:4

We have an opportunity to serve and bless others, and in turn be blessed.  Allow God to use your pain/suffering to make a difference in someone’s life.

2 Corinthians 1:4 —-

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Heal My Illnesses Lord…

Lately, there seems to be more and more people who have been diagnosed with cancer.  More and more people who are battling various strains of the flu, cold viruses, and a variety of other diseases.  More and more people generally feeling “not quite right”.

The breakdown of the physical body was never God’s intention.  When Adam and Eve lived in Eden, all was perfect.  They were physically strong and healthy.  It was not until they gave into the serpent’s, Satan’s, temptation – choosing to eat the fruit God commanded them not to, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”  – that life, as they knew it, began to crumble.

  •  their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. – Genesis 3:7
  • they hid from the Lord God – Genesis 3:8
  •  women would feel the pain of their pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. –  Genesis 3:16
  •  men would now be working in pain all their lives, to get food and survive – sweating from dawn to dusk – Genesis 3:17
  • Then, the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden… – Genesis 3:23

Thankfully God, because of His love for us, put into motion a means by which we can be saved.  And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. – Genesis 3:21  This verse foreshadows Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for all humanity, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life –  John 3:16

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THERE IS HOPE –  for there will be a time when God will be among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people.  And He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. – Revelation 21:3-4

Until that time comes, God has given us many verses in the Bible.  When we pray back the Word of God, we are praying according to His Will.  And God promises, …that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. –  1 John 5:14

< For more on praying and seeking God’s will, see my post, I Pray, Does God Hear Me, Does God Answer Me?? – (Part 1 of 3) – http://wp.me/p5nZpi-hK >

Below are some verses to get you started.  Pray one, or all of these, throughout your day and experience for yourself hope, healing, encouragement, and comfort.

 May the Lord bless you
    and protect you.
 May the Lord smile on you
    and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
    and give you his peace.  –  Numbers 6:24-26

 

Slide1    **For more encouraging boards see my tab – The Mortar… – http://wp.me/P5nZpi-7R**

 

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