"And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” ~Matthew 10:42
Many of you may have heard of the term “servant evangelism.” This term is nothing less that showing the love of God through our own caring and loving actions toward others. Sometimes it’s the simplest acts of kindness that have the most lasting effects. Sometimes ordinary things impact people in extraordinary ways.
In Matthew 10:42, Jesus speaks of sharing a cup of water. He isn’t speaking of just sharing a drink with someone. He’s talking about sharing ourselves; the practicality of living a Christian life; a life full of relationships, both with God and with our fellow men and women. He’s talking about the humble act of giving a piece of ourselves to others. He’s talking about sharing in practical ways and not just in abstract terms.
Sometimes thinking outside of the box to help someone else can grant the greatest rewards. Sometimes, caring for others is more important than caring for ourselves. It's about showing God’s love through the little things. The simplest of acts can have impacts far beyond our wildest dreams. I recently ran across this story...
Mark was walking home from school one day when he noticed the boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all of the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball bat, a glove and a small tape recorder. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles. Since they were going the same way, he helped carry part of the burden. As they walked, Mark discovered the boy's name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball and history and that he was having lots of trouble with his other subjects and that he had just broken up with his girlfriend. They arrived at Bill's home first and Mark was invited in for a Coke and to watch some television. The afternoon passed pleasantly with a few laughs and some shared small talk, then Mark went home. They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, then both graduated from junior high school. They ended up in the same high school where they had brief contacts over the years. Finally the long awaited senior year came and three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk.
Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met, "Did you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?" asked Bill. "You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn't want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mothers sleeping pills and I was going home to commit suicide. But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So you see, Mark, when you picked up those books that day, you did a lot more, you saved my life."
These extraordinary situations don’t come along everyday. But, everyday there is a situation that a simple act of kindness can help with. Sometimes, a simple act becomes contagious and more people share their own love with their fellow men.
Service is based on showing God’s love through our actions. This simple service is not based on who we are, but who Jesus is through us. God loves us in so many ways. He feeds us, clothes us, provides for our physical needs. He also gives us strength when times are tough and comforts us when we experience loss. He’s there when we succeed and when we fail. He shows this unprecedented love through the sacrifice of his Son for us. His grace, our reward.
But sometimes it might be hard to reflect that love that He has for us. Sometimes we might find it difficult to smile, let alone serve. Sometimes, what we do might seem inadequate, especially when compared to the sacrifices He made for us.
The challenge is that sometimes we try to love under our own power, and the power to share Jesus in practical ways comes from Christ. Paul knew this. Even when imprisoned, he knew and experienced the power of Christ at work. That’s why he tells the Philippians and us in Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. We can show God’s love for us through our actions. We can serve by accepting that Jesus served us first.
This service and sacrifice led to our salvation. But it is not by my power or any action I perform. It is by the service of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for me. We get into heaven not by what we do, but by what Christ has done for us. The power of the life we live in love toward God and others flows out of God working in our hearts.
So what can we learn about sharing a cup of cold water? Let the love that God has for you and me reflect in your actions. You are important and God showed just how important you are with this tremendous sacrifice. Jesus was a servant and we can reflect that in our own actions.
Your challenge this week is to create a project that reminds us to share the love God has for us through our actions. When uploading your project, please use keyword ODBDBVT86 and then hop over to Our Daily Bread Designs Forum and share it with us!
Supplies for this project
Cardstock: Truly Yours – White Card Base; Bazzill – Coconut Swirl, Heather
Stamps: Our Daily Bread Designs – Simple Things; Stampendous – Apangthus Thank You
Inks, Stains, Paints & Colored Pencils: Tim Holtz Ideaology – Crinkle Ribbon