God Uses People to Care for People
Serving Willingly and Eagerly – Part III
Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:1-11
Key Verse: 1 Peter 5:2b NLT
…Watch over [the flock] willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.
Continuing from yesterday’s devotional, I want to study the third element that is essential to love and care for people with the right motive: genuine faith.
The word “faith” can have two meanings in the New Testament. One meaning is the things that we believe, our theology of God. The second meaning of faith is when we believe God for something for which we are praying.
It is the first meaning, the things we believe, that the Apostle refers to by “genuine faith”. Another way of saying this might be: truly believing what you say you believe!
The key word is “genuine”, which is defined as: “truly what something is said to be; authentic” (Oxford Languages). One is not being genuine when they proclaim God’s purity but are living with a sin in their lives. One is not being genuine when they proclaim we can live without anxiety, but secretly are anxious about many things!
Who makes the best salesperson, no matter what they are selling? The answer is the person who has used the product and truly believes in it. When we find a product that we really believe in, we usually become “great salespeople” for that item because we tell our friends all about it, and we did so willingly and eagerly!
Our Key Verse tells us to serve people willingly and eagerly, we do that best when we are genuine in our faith about what God can do through us!
After pastoring for 40 years, I recently had to come to grips with the fact that I far too often allowed fear to live in my heart and mind! If I was going to have a genuine faith, I must truly claim God’s peace that He has promised to all His children. Now, every time fear starts to creep into my thoughts, I refuse at once to think that way, and start claiming God’s promises!
The good news is, there is a promise for every kind of fear that evil one wants to use on us, we just need to study God’s Word to find it and then claim it for ourselves.
Are there any areas of your stated faith that the Holy Spirit might be pointing out to you that you are not living in your life? Be careful to never proclaim something that you are not living up to in your life.
Sometimes our best witness is admitting our weaknesses and acknowledge that we are working on those areas. Do not allow pride to keep you from being genuine in your faith. Remember what the Bible promises us:
Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will exalt you. (James 4:10)
Father, please show me any areas that I say I believe but do not live it. Help me to be humble enough to admit it and deal with it. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.