Welcome One of many weak areas in my own spiritual life is living a life of service to others. I often find myself making excuses or rationalizing how I spend my time, but it’s an area I am willing to study, pray, and work on. In the nature of service, in addition to our Bible study today, I have a list of 25 Ways to Serve and a soup recipe that can meet the needs of some we serve.
And I am proud to serve you a healthy recipe today, because let’s face it, we can’t eat cheesecake and brownies all the time! Disclaimer: I may receive compensation from affiliate links or advertising in this blog post. See my terms and disclaimer page for further information.
Food for Thought Who am I, but your faithful servant? I wish I could speak these words to God without any doubts or hesitation. But who am I? I am no one…I am not a good servant…I live a selfish existence. So how can I be a woman of faith without service? I cannot, so I have to make a conscious effort to seek out areas where I can serve. It is true that not every area of service is right for everyone. My shy, introverted self would fret to the point of anxiety if I had to deliver items door to door for strangers, but I feel very comfortable working behind the scenes sorting and bagging food for those in need. We all have talents and skills, time, and money-more in some areas than others. So in what ways can you give or serve? Do you have a skills that can be of service? Being a teacher of young children, being a Sunday School or VBS teacher always seemed to fit naturally for me, so I spent several years serving in this capacity. Now I’m ready to look for some new ways to serve.
Another reason I’ve started to feel strongly about service is that I want my own child to see the benefit of serving others. Not only will she understand the feeling of doing good, but I think it is important for her to see how blessed she is compared to those in need. Some of the service our family has participated in this past year included bagging the “backpack snacks” for local school children to take home on the weekends and shopping for underprivileged children during the holidays. I would like to think that the anonymous recipients were blessed with a feeling that someone cared about them and their circumstances. The key is to not be performing acts of service for reward or recognition, but serve because you genuinely want to help someone. Again, there have been times in my life that I thought the longer my service list was, the better my standing was with God. It does not work that way, and God certainly knows my heart and motives when I’m serving. I have a long-time friend who made a comment on Facebook awhile back. I know he intended it to be humorous, but there is so much truth in this statement: “If you do a good deed, and don’t post it on social media for others to see, did the good deed still happen?” The same is true in all areas of our spiritual life. Remember yesterday when I talked about the hypocrites in Matthew 6 praying to be heard by men? The same principle applies with our service. Are we acting for approval of man or approval of God or are we acting out of love for one another?
Service to others is also noted in many places regarding self-care and mental health and is as beneficial to the one volunteering as to the one receiving service. It helps us focus on gratitude instead of greed and volunteering improves our social capacities by developing our sense of self in relation to others. For more information about this, you can check out the book 8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Andrew Weil, M.D. So when all is said and done, there really are just not enough excuses to make service seem like a bad idea. If you are interested in serving, and need some ideas, check out my list of 25 Ways to Serve, or share your ideas in the comments section today. (This link and price were verified on 7/13/17 at 1:00 pm CDT)
Today’s Scriptures In Matthew 24, Jesus shares a story about a master who leaves a servant in charge. The servant does not know when his master will return, but has two choices. He can either be faithful and wise in his actions (vs. 43) or he can wicked and spend his time eating and drinking and beating the other servants (vs. 49). If the servant chooses to be working and serving the other servants of the house at the proper time, “It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns” (vs. 46). If the master returns and finds his servant being lazy and making poor choices, “He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (vs. 51). Of course this is a lesson used to teach us that we do not know the day or the hour of our Lord’s return, but it will be much better when that time comes for us to be caught in the act of serving others than caught in the act of being lazy and unwise.
In Matthew 25, Jesus shares the parable of the talents. The story refers to a man’s servants that have been given talents, or money, in his absence. The men who had received more talents used them to increase their master’s earnings. Their master replies “Well done, good and faithful servant! you have been faithful with few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and enjoy your master’s happiness” (vs. 21, 23). The man who had been given only one talent, buried it and did not use it. His master was not pleased and called him “wicked, lazy servant!” in verse 26. The master continues in verse 30, “And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Jesus told the parables as lessons that we can learn from and apply to our lives-they are metaphors, but they hold deep meaning for our attitudes and behaviors as Christians. God is the master and we are the servants. When God has blessed us with talents, either money or skills, He expects us to use them and not bury them or hide them from helping others. I would much rather have God say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” than “You wicked, lazy servant!”
Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Today’s Recipe Creamy Chicken Corn Soup Okay, this probably qualifies more as a chowder, but at our house we try not to split hairs between soups, stews, and chowders. We just know that we like them, year-round, because of their budget value and heartiness. This soup is actually a lot healthier than it sounds or looks, because it has no cream, butter, or cheese. If you have fresh corn this summer, you could cut off the kernels and upgrade the taste factor. I, however, do not have access to much sweet corn right now, and honestly that is a lot of work! And not only is this a great healthy soup to feed your family, it’s a great option if you choose to serve by delivering meals to others.
Creamy Chicken and Corn Soup
- 3 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced thin
- 3 large celery ribs, sliced thin
- 2 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 pkg Italian seasoning mix
- 1 can whole kernel sweet corn, undrained
- 2 cans creamed corn, undrained (there’s no cream in this either, but there is sugar and corn starch added)
- 1 can low-fat evaporated milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- In large soup pot, saute’ onion, carrots, and celery in olive oil over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Once the potatoes are boiling, turn down to medium heat and simmer 10 minutes. When potatoes are soft, add cooked chicken and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine. Add cans of corn and milk, stirring to mix. Continue to simmer on medium low heat for about 15 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.