Are You Available To Others?

Are You Available To Others?

 What does being a Christian mean to you? Is it simply a label by which you claim your faith or does it mean something more to you?

Today I’d like us to consider the following passage in 2 Corinthians 5 to set up our discussion of making ourselves available to others.

2 Corinthians 5: 18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

It seems to me that this applies to all believers, doesn’t it? I kind of like the title, Ambassador of Christ, don’t you? Could you imagine going to a business mixer or a social gathering and introducing yourself in such a way? I can see it now, “Hello, my name is Larry, I’m an ambassador of Christ, and you are?” I don’t currently do this, but I may start. I may tell people about on occasion, but I may change my primary “business” to “Ambassador of Christ” and see where the conversation goes.

But this is every believers’ title, from clerks and computer guys to doctors and dentists; for those whose identity is found in the risen Christ.

Being an ambassador means that we represent Him, we are here on His behalf. People who are genuine seekers should naturally want to hear what we have to say and we should always look for ways to invite those with “ears to hear” to hear more.

Are you available to the people in your life? Are you available to your neighbor? To make yourself available to others is to make yourself available to God.

In accordance with the greatest commandment:

Mark 12: 31a The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

These verses in John seems to clarify this verse.

John 13: 34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

John 15: 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.

The Word of God allows us to easily see how Jesus loved others.

Let’s peruse some passages and examine how Jesus made Himself available to those He came across.

Matthew 19: 13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” 15 And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.

Apparently, Jesus was doing something at the time and the disciples felt that He should not be bothered. This is a great illustration of Jesus accepting all who come to Him despite others that would send them away.

Mark 10: 46 Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. 47 When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48 “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.

But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

I think this is a similar example, but what I love is the sheer determination of this man who does not allow the crowd to become between Jesus and himself. Jesus could have ignored him easily and walked on, but He chose to address the man’s needs and be available.

This next example is one of my favorites:

Mark 6: 30 The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. 31 Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.

32 So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. 33 But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. 34 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

Notice that in verse 31 Jesus wants to rest and go to a quiet place. It also says that they didn’t even have time to eat.  Something changes His plan and redirects His attention. Note verse 34, “Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” Despite being hungry, tired and wanting a quiet place to rest, He sees an immediate, and more important need and starts teaching. You see He valued their spiritual hunger more than His disciples’ physical hunger.

I don’t know about you, but when I am hungry, I want to eat. I can easily forget about other’s needs for a minute while I get a bite to eat.

Proverbs 3:
27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it
when it’s in your power to help them.
28 If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say,
“Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”

This next example is a bit more extreme:

Luke 8: 41 Then a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come home with him. 42 His only daughter, who was about twelve years old, was dying.

As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds. 43 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. 44 Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47 When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. 48“Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

Note that Jesus was on His way to heal Jairus’ only daughter, who was dying. On the way to serve in this most urgent matter, He was interrupted. The woman touched Him so that she might be healed. He took the time to find out who she was and addresses her. In the meantime, if you read on you’ll see that Jairus’ daughter dies but it’s not too late for the Savior.

As we continue to seek God and continue to be transformed as we’ve discussed, we should start to see evidence that we are becoming more and more like Him.

How do you respond to these everyday, ordinary questions?

Can I run something by you?

Daddy, can you come see what I’ve made?

Do you think you could help me move this Sunday?

I need you to pick up an extra shift, can you help me out?

I got this huge favor to ask…

Could you run me to the doctor’s office?

Daughter, could you come out to visit your Dad and I this weekend?

Do you see questions, requests, or demands as an interruption? Or do you see them as an opportunity to serve? An opportunity to love someone as God would love them? Perhaps they are ways to fulfill your responsibility as an ambassador, which is actually working for God while serving others.

Note from this verse that Jesus developed quite a reputation:

Luke 7: 3 When the officer heard about Jesus, he sent some respected Jewish elders to ask him to come and heal his slave.

How is your reputation? 

Do people come to you to ask for prayer or for advice? Do people come to you for comfort or for peace of mind?

Or do people think that you’re too busy or uncompassionate that they don’t bother going to you?

If you look at your life, are you available to others? Are you there to serve when needed? Have you considered God’s plan for you as a living sacrifice?

If we are truly ambassadors for Christ, doesn’t that make Him our employer? If we work for Him, doesn’t it make sense that he would have people come into our lives to give us a chance to bless them and perfect our love?

Before I close in prayer, meditate on these verses:

Romans 8: 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Romans 12: 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

1 Peter 1: 22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.

1 Peter 3: 8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.

1 John 3: 18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

Are you willing to serve when you are called?

“Dear God, it is my heart’s desire to please you. I confess to you that I’ve missed many opportunities to serve others only to look back with regret. Please help me to be more aware of my responsibility as your ambassador so that I can glorify you by serving others. Will you change my heart so that I may be more sensitive to the needs of others and help me to listen closely to your voice when the opportunities arise? Thank you for the privilege of serving you, please be patient with me. In Jesus’ name, amen”

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Did you enjoy this post?     Subscribe
Have you seen my testimony?

If you desire a closer walk with Jesus, just want more fellowship or "Bible Time" come join us at We have weekly calls where our sole focus is spending time in God's Word.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
How Is Your Service?

How Is Your Service? Loving God, part XIX

In my last post: “Who Is Your Master”, I wrote about serving God indirectly as we serve people in our lives. We discussed Joseph and Nehemiah as great examples of servants. So today I’d like to explore our service to others and Jesus a little further.

For the purposes of this message, the terms servant and slave will be used interchangeably so don’t read into it. When I say I was a slave to my job, I know you won’t take that in a literal sense and you shouldn’t.

Slavery comes in many shapes and sizes. People are slaves to their jobs, bosses, hobbies, money, shopping, kids, habits, and the list goes on.

I once knew a lady in real estate that admitted that she would take a phone call while taking a shower! Isn’t that crazy? What did that say about her? The first thing that comes to mind is “fear of loss”. She was afraid that if she did not answer the phone, she wouldn’t get “the deal”. It’s interesting that the little things you know about people can say a lot about them.

I used to be a slave to a job. If I wasn’t working 50-60 hours a week, then I wasn’t doing my job (according to my employer). That job was at times very fulfilling and alluring, but it consumed me, burned me out, and left me empty.

I was a textbook example of a workaholic.

I think to a degree we are slaves/servants, to our jobs/clients, families, ministries and that’s not a bad thing. We have obligations and that is our “cross to bear”. I think it is important to determine for ourselves who we are serving, recognize that God put us there to serve and do it very well.

But before we can be great servants and follow in the footsteps of the aforementioned heroes, let’s see what it takes to be a great servant.

As a committed follower of Jesus I think before we can be great servants, we need to first understand who our master really is.

Matthew 10:37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.

This is so crucial to understanding.

If we aim to please a family member more than our Savior, then we can’t serve God effectively. Our loyalty will be torn.

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

One great thing about putting God first is that He will enable us to serve others better.

John 15: 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

So what is the fruit?

Galatians 5: 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Now take some time to apply those attributes to any position of service. Just imagine how much better our service will be if we remain in Jesus.

So what does it take to remain in Him?

Knowing that Jesus was the ultimate servant, let’s take a look at what He did:

Luke 5: 16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

Luke 6: 12 One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night.

If there’s one thing I’d like to improve about my walk with Jesus, is that I don’t spend enough time alone with Him, but every time I do spend time with Him, He never let’s me down.

This is a verse that gives me great comfort. Of all the “masters” there are to serve, which of them offers this?

Matthew 11: 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Are you serving Him?

“Dear Lord, thank you for calling me to service. I long to do your will. You are changing me in more ways than I can imagine. Please teach me how to improve in serving you so that I may do the work you’ve given me and bring glory to you. Thank you for working in my life.”

Photo by Carli Jeen on Unsplash

Did you enjoy this post?     Subscribe
Have you seen my testimony?

If you desire a closer walk with Jesus, just want more fellowship or "Bible Time" come join us at We have weekly calls where our sole focus is spending time in God's Word.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Are You In The Will Of God?

Are You In The Will Of God? Loving God, part XII

I hope you enjoyed the last two posts on the Old Testament and why it is relevant to the 21st century believer. I think it is quite incredible, and an obvious sign that the Text is Divinely inspired. When events written several millennia in the past can teach us how to live our lives today. Today let’s talk about the will of God for you.

Do you think about what God’s called you to do? Do you ever think about a ministry you’d like to pursue if you got compensated? Maybe if the circumstances were different? What about what you’re doing right now?

Have you ever considered that God has you right where He wants you? One of the most frustrating things for me is that I don’t know what God has planned for me. I know that’s what faith is all about. If I only knew what He had in store for me then I wouldn’t need faith. And we cannot please God without faith, right? (Hebrews 11:6) I have to reflect at times and say “OK Lord, I don’t know what’s happening or where you are taking me. I’ll just be still while you continue to work on me.”

Consider the prophet Elijah

 1 Kings 17:  1 Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, “As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!”

2 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3 “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. 4 Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”

5 So Elijah did as the Lord told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land.

8 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 9 “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.”

Elijah was quite bold when speaking to one of the most evil kings (Ahab, vs 1). I think God’s way of protecting His servant was by leading him to Kerith Brook to get “out of Dodge” for awhile. Or maybe in addition to that, it was to teach Elijah how to wait.

Are kidding me, fed by Ravens?

While by the brook Elijah was fed by ravens until the brook dried up. We don’t know exactly how long this took, a few weeks, months? That’s wild, isn’t it? Hanging out by a brook, being fed bread and meat by ravens morning and evening? Do you think he might’ve been wondering what he was doing there or what would happen if the ravens forgot about him? I don’t know. I’d like to believe that Elijah was perfectly content and didn’t have those questions. I look forward to asking him someday. 🙂

The widow does what God said she’d do

We read further in verse 9 that he was told to see a widow in Zarephath. Let’s read on:

 1 Kings 17: 10 So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”

12 But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.

13 But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”

Can you imagine?

Her reality was that this was going to be her last meal, but God had other plans. God sent Elijah to minister to the widow in her time of need, just in time, God’s time.

Taking a step back and looking at the big picture, we know that Elijah was a much-revered prophet, in fact, other prophets bowed before him (1 Kings 18:7). We also know that he had the respect of kings and performed many great miracles.

So what is a great man of God doing in such a remote place with a widow?

A great prophet who is accustomed to being in the presence of kings is now living with a widow? This is his ministry for this season of his life. He is in the will of God for certain.

Only if you are familiar with the Old Testament or familiar with this next verse you might understand exactly why this new ministry for Elijah is near and dear to God’s heart…

James 1: 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

He was exactly where God wanted him.

The widow in this story could represent an aging parent, a sickly child, or maybe a person that needs special attention. I love how this story demonstrates that it doesn’t matter what you think you should be doing or what you are qualified to do, but as long as you are doing what God asks of you, whatever that is, it is exactly where God wants you. The time spent by the brook tested his faith and prepared him for his time with the widow. I think if I experienced ravens feeding me for a period of time, it would certainly build my faith, how about you?

If I can only keep focused on Jesus

Do you ever think, “What about that other guy, the one that has a flourishing ministry?” Be careful not to compare yourself with others. I am guilty of this, but I’m always reminded of this exchange:

John 21: 21 Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”

22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”

This verse is like the Shepherd’s staff pulling me back from the treacherous ditch I’m heading for. If I can just keep focusing on Jesus and following Him. I know I’m on the right path and that will be more than sufficient for me.

Will you continue to follow Jesus?

“Dear Lord, thank you for continuing to teach me your ways. Your ways are not my ways. I know that you have a perfect plan for my life and that you know what’s best for me. You are the Creator of heaven and earth and I will continue to put my trust in you. Thank you for leading me.”

Did you enjoy this post?     Subscribe
Have you seen my testimony?

If you desire a closer walk with Jesus, just want more fellowship or "Bible Time" come join us at We have weekly calls where our sole focus is spending time in God's Word.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

There’s a First Time for Everything

Before I share something very personal with you. I’d like to highlight some notable “firsts” that we find in the Bible…

There are so many “firsts” in the Bible which made this difficult to narrow down, but here are three popular ones:

The first time a donkey talks:

Numbers 22:28 Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam.

(Keep reading and you’ll read about the first time someone talks back to their donkey!)

The first time a man walks on water:

Mark 6: 48 He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water.

The first time Peter preaches:

Acts 2: 14 Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem!

Really, Larry, Peter preaches? Along with talking donkey and Jesus walking on the water?

Absolutely. You see, Peter wasn’t a preacher, remember, he was a fisherman.

Matthew 4: 18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living.

As if this isn’t enough, he is the one best known for denying even knowing Jesus.

Matthew 26: 74 Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed.

A fisherman, known for lacking courage and is notably ordinary (Acts 4:13).

He was a fisherman, however, that dropped his net and followed Jesus.

This is another great example of God being true to His Word and transforming the ordinary into doing things that are not ordinary, at least for them.

As it was for Peter, it is for me today!

Not preaching, but writing.

You see, I was never a writer. The only time I wrote was for class projects when I had to. My writing started in 2009 and it was like it came out of nowhere. God started giving me ideas and I wrote them down and felt led to share those ideas with others. This started a 3 year run of weekly messages that will be revised and some rewritten so that they are fresh. They are all filled with lessons God has taught me from His Word.

God has done something special in my life and I am convinced that He wants to do something special in everyone’s life, should they repent and seek Him diligently.

Are you seeking God? Are you doing the work He wants you to do? Because He will give you more to do if you continue to serve Him.

Luke 16: 10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”

Did you enjoy this post?     Subscribe
Have you seen my testimony?

If you desire a closer walk with Jesus, just want more fellowship or "Bible Time" come join us at We have weekly calls where our sole focus is spending time in God's Word.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.