It’s our third Serving Saturday! Are you excited to get out there and make a difference?!…(crickets chirping…)
When I wrote the initial block of this Devotional, I had come up with the idea that Saturday’s would be set aside for serving. I had what looked like a nice Monday-Friday work week, so I figured I could easily practice what I was preaching. But I did no ground work before the New Year arrived, and that first Saturday came and I had not researched where I could serve. Then last Saturday I was away for my second job. Then I found out on Monday that I was going to have to work today for half the day. So I am right there with most of you. I have not begun to serve, and I have not even begun to find a place where I would serve if I did have the time. Serving is a big commitment. I have served in the past at different organizations. Currently, my wife and I volunteer at our Church on Sunday’s in the Children’s Ministry, but I don’t count that as volunteer work. Not volunteer work for the community, at least. Once you start volunteering you see how great the need is everywhere you go. Then you get hooked because you make new friends, form solid bonds. And when you can’t make it, you feel very guilty because those brave few that run these organizations need the help more than you could ever believe.
So the goal of 2020 is to turn your life into a life of servitude. It may take a couple months to really work in a rhythm, but once you find the right fit, you’ll be gelling in no time. And I hope you do get to the point where volunteering disrupts your life. Because, as a whole, America has not been living lives for our fellow Americans. We’ve left it up to a few amazing people to carry the torch and light the way for the last century. Now it’s time for us to step up and do our part. On the Save the World page of this site I have added a few more national volunteer opportunities. Most importantly I added the website www.volunteermatch.org which is a good tool to help you find a perfect fit. I pray God stirs your soul and lights a fire under you for the rest of the year to get you out and involved in your communities.
24He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” She said.
26He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dog.”
27”Yes, it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. (Matthew 15:24-28)
I struggled with this story from Matthew Chapter 15 for years. I could not believe that Jesus would turn away a woman asking for help. This was not the savior of the world I had been brought up learning about as a kid. This section of Matthew’s gospel seems to paint Jesus as one turning His nose up to anyone who’s not a “lost sheep of Israel.” The woman in this passage is not of Jewish decent or conversion, but just a Canaanite woman. And many critics will be quick to point out that the Prince of Peace even referred to her as a “dog.” This was a woman who was desperate to have her daughter healed from a demonic possession. I often wonder if Jesus would have blessed her plea if she had not been so quick witted and come back to Him with a clever response.
But, of course, this story, like many in the Bible has many layers. And the main point is this outsider understood who Jesus was and was unwilling to be turned away so easily. While the Jewish faith could not believe Jesus was who He said He was, this woman knew and had such strong faith that she compelled Jesus to heal her daughter. It took me awhile to understand this part of the story because it meant I had to have the same level of faith and commitment. Do you have the same level of faith as the Canaanite woman? Do you come to Jesus with all your problems and lay them at His feet?
Reading plan: Matthew Chapter 16
Deeper reading plan: add on Exodus Chapters 26-30
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and ask God to give you absolute faith that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.
Fitness challenge: Cardio day: Jog/Run for 14 minutes.
Volunteer Day 3! I hope you have found a good local cause to stay committed to this year!