Serving With Joy

September 23, 2018
by Martin Wiles

Galatians 5:13b – Don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. (NLT)

I noticed the handicap van that they drove, and I knew that it was my time to serve.

One Saturday morning when my wife and I were in the middle of packing for our move later in the month, we ran out of boxes. She suggested that I stop by McDonald's and grab us lunch after I had picked up a few boxes. As I waited in the drive-through lane, I noticed an older couple in a handicapped-accessible van pull slowly through the parking lot and take their place behind me.

Monthly, my daughter pays for the person behind her when she buys food from Chick-fil-A®. I had never done this before, but on this day, I felt God's Spirit nudging me. I questioned myself. What if they have ten more people in the van with them? I decided to act rather than to doubt. When I approached the window to pay for my food, I told the attendant to put their tab on mine. It was an insignificant amount, but the feeling that I received by obeying God's prompting was unsurpassed.

Believers have been freed from sin's penalty. The blood of Christ has washed our sins away. Rather than using that freedom to indulge in sinful practices, Paul says that we should use it to serve others. By doing so, we are obeying the second greatest command: serving Christ and advancing God's kingdom.

Serving others will bring joy if I do it with the right attitude. Serving with reluctance won't work. When I serve reluctantly, I feel hesitation because I'm doing something that I really don't want to do. Serving with joy requires letting God change the way that I look at situations. What I give through my act of service is not being forced from my hand. Rather, I'm allowing the act to slip away as a form of appreciation for what Christ has done for me.

Nor should I serve with ulterior motives. If I brag about what I've done, the spotlight shines on me instead of on God. Jesus said not to let my right hand know what my left hand was doing. He also warned about standing on a street corner and announcing what I've done for Him. My motive in serving is for God to receive praise, not me.

Let's serve with joy, not because we feel forced or because we want recognition.

Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us opportunities to serve others in Your name. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Well said!


    Amen Martin!


    Amen! Blessings to you and yours on this Lord’s day.


    Thank you, Martin, for reminding us of just how wonderful it is to not only serve others, but serve with joy!
    Your daughter sounds like a wonderful person. May the Lord bless you.


    Thank you, Martin. It’s tempting to keep those acts secret always, but by sharing you seemingly insignificant act of service, you have encouraged me and given me yet another ‘picture’ (of you paying for the people following behind you) that will help me to ‘hear’ God’s call to me!!
    God bless.


    This is a big issue for me.
    I have friends who do something for others but expect it to be returned in some way.
    I often say the good we do returns to us but not necessarily from the same source.
    And for me, expecting a “return” kills the joy.
    Thanks for sharing.


    Martin – Serving With Joy – what a lovely title for a devotional. If I’m honest I sometimes serve because it needs to be done like a chore! What a difference joy makes to this picture! Sometimes we need a little eye opener to remind us what Jesus said and why we are placed on this earth. I thank you for reminding me and others with your story of going through a drive through. By the way, you must have taught your daughter well through words and actions!
    God Bless.


    Thanks for sharing this devotional reminder with us. Blessings.


    Dear Martin Wiles,
    May all of us Christians learn to serve with joy for Jesus’ sake.
    Thank you very much for the devotional.
    Keep writing.


    Martin Wiles.
    I loved this devotion.


    Hello Martin,
    Your devotional is a beautiful and powerful message. Thank you for sharing it, in all the points which the Holy Spirit has led you to include.
    Blessings.

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