What Can I Do?
En Chia Hsieh—Singapore
There is a children’s hymn, entitled “We All Can Do Something for Jesus”. The hymn reminds us that everyone can serve the Lord, even if it is just through a word of kindness, a simple hymn or a cup of cold water.
WHY SERVE FROM YOUNG?
In addition, the hymn tells us that serving the Lord requires training, which needs to start early. From Israel’s history, we can see that the earlier the next generation was trained, the better their quality as servants.
Serving the Lord is to bear the yoke for Him. Although we may not be able to bear a heavy yoke at a young age, we must be willing to be as a soft lump of clay, ready to be molded by the potter.
Every wise farmer knows that an ox needs to bear the yoke from young, while he is still flexible and able to learn. In this way, he will work hard, learn to bear hardship, and will eventually be of optimal help to the farmer. On the contrary, an old ox is stubborn in his ways and difficult to teach, less efficient, and may even end up as a burden to the farmer.
When a farmer trains a young ox, he usually puts him together with an experienced ox, so that the younger may observe and learn from the older one. Under the influence of the older ox, the young animal will gradually learn the skill to serve and develop a spirit of longsuffering.
The same pattern is evident throughout the Bible: When Moses talked to God in the tent of meeting, Joshua would be there, listening too. Elisha served Elijah before he was handed the baton. Paul chose Timothy at Lystra to accompany him on his missionary journey. Observing and learning from others will help us realize our strengths. For this reason, we should take up the opportunity to accompany experienced workers and participate in various church works, learning on the job.
HOW CAN WE GET INVOLVED?
Today, holy work is much more diversified compared to the time of the early church. The purpose, however, is the same: to cater for the believers’ needs and to create a better worship environment. Today, we can serve God in many different areas of church work. The following are starting points, from which we can delve into further fields of service.
Youths are one of the groups most receptive to the gospel. So, as youths we are the most suitable candidates to preach to our peers. Youths are also often perceived as the engine of the church. If we do not have the enthusiasm to preach, who else can the church count on for such zeal? We may feel that we lack the ability to evangelize, but we can all share personal testimonies, how our families came to believe and our experiences of the Holy Spirit. Even merely inviting our friends to “come and see” can lead people to the Lord. Most importantly, through our actions, we can touch those around us who are yet to believe.
2. Bible studies and sharing:
Moreover the church often lacks members who are willing and able to care for truth-seekers and to lead truth-seeker Bible study classes. Only those who truly love the word of God and have the heart to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Tim 15) are competent enough to take on this task. Willing youths can shadow their elders who are experienced in this field to answer queries and expound the truth regarding Christianity, as well as the True Jesus Church articles of faith.
3. Work in pioneering areas:
Today there are many pioneering areas that require pastoral care. Those who work in this field need to contact members, sermonize, lead Bible studies, and visit local members and truth seekers, including those in developing countries. Visiting such places can broaden our horizons and help us develop a better understanding of service to God. Quite often, members who visit brethren in less-developed countries will gain a wider perspective and realize how insignificant their own problems are in comparison. Moreover, while these brethrens’ lives are not materially abundant, they may be more joyful.
4. Care for the elderly:
Due to the aging of society, there are more and more elderly members in church who need our care and concern. As physically able youths, we should extend a helping hand to those who use walking sticks or are bound by wheelchairs, and talk to them during free time on the Sabbath day. When the church arranges visits to the homes of those with long-term illnesses, the presence of youths can add vitality and joy. At the same time, youths can learn from the wisdom and experience of the elderly.
WHOM DO WE SERVE?
Youths must also understand whom we serve, so as not to strive to please men more than God. We do not serve to receive men’s praise. King Saul was more concerned about the voice of the Israelites than about God’s voice; he was more afraid to lose the support of the people than the abidance of God. Thus, Saul went beyond his authority to offer sacrifices, losing the abidance of God and, eventually, the heart of his people.
We must therefore examine our attitudes: are we afraid to hinder the divine work or are we afraid to lose face? In other words, is our service to God motivated by the desire to glorify God or ourselves? The skills for serving God can be cultivated—we need not worry. More importantly, we must adopt the correct mindset as we serve the Lord. Service that pleases God is not to do what others do or are pleased with, but to understand the needs of the church and to do our best without shrinking back when others criticize us.
“I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH”
Sometimes we may feel we are not qualified to serve God because we think that we are not charismatic, eloquent or educated. Yet we need to remember that God looks at our hearts, not our abilities.
Mary of Bethany might not have been able to do what the disciples did, but she gave what she had: she freely broke that expensive alabaster flask of fragrant oil to anoint Jesus, while everyone around her was staring at her. These people did not understand why she had done so, and even rebuked her for her action. Yet Jesus praised her because she understood the Savior’s heart. Other such examples from the Bible include Abigail who counseled David and prevented him from doing harm to others in his anger, the Canaanite servant girl who advised Naaman to seek help from the Israelite prophet, and Dorcas who cared for those whom nobody wanted to care for.
All these people made use of the opportunity to do something for the Lord while they were able. For this reason, God remembered and blessed them.
So, let us “remember now [our] Creator in the days of [our] youth, [b]efore the difficult days come” (Eccl 12:1), and seize each opportunity to serve God. Let us serve Him to the best of our ability, no matter how great or small our task may be—for we all can do something for Jesus.