Girlfriends in God - August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012
Saved to Sit and Sour?
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing (Ephesians 2:10, NCV).

Friend to Friend
I recently decided it was time to clean house … I mean really clean house. I gave my husband fair warning and gathered my supplies. I bought a huge box of garbage bags along with just about every kind of cleaning product imaginable. I was serious!

I made my plan. I would attack one room a day and thoroughly clean every square inch of that room. I went through every drawer, cabinet and closet in our home – cleaning and organizing. If it had not been used in the last year, it was either tossed or given away. I put on my favorite praise music and scrubbed and cleaned like a mad woman.

Of course, I had a list. With each passing day, the list grew shorter while my sense of accomplishment and satisfaction increased. At the end of each day, I wearily but happily marked something off of that list.

But when I got to the kitchen and began to work on the cabinet underneath the kitchen sink, a foul odor slapped me in the face and stopped me in my tracks. I could not imagine what was causing such a nasty smell. And then I spotted it. A few weeks earlier, I had cleaned the oven with an old sponge. Evidently, I hadn’t squeezed all the water out of the sponge and had just tossed the slightly damp sponge in the back of the cabinet and forgotten about it. The sponge was now slimy, nasty and stank to high heaven.

When we come to Christ, He fills our lives with blessings and then wants us to share those blessings with others. When life puts the “squeeze” on us, what comes out should be a sweet smelling aroma – not a stagnant and rancid odor. We are not saved to sit and sour. Jesus wants us to get up and go – sharing what He has done in our lives – letting His joy and love spill out of our hearts into the hungry and searching souls of others.

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing (Ephesians 2:10, NCV).

The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are made of the same water that flows down, clear and cold from the heights of Hermon and the roots of the cedars of Lebanon. The Sea of Galilee is a place of great beauty because it has an outlet. It gathers in its riches and then pours them out again to fertilize the Jordan plain. However, the Dead Sea, with the same water creates horror. The Dead Sea has no outlet. It gets to keep.

When we come to God, one of our first “natural” responses is to serve Him. In fact, our service to God should be spontaneous, enthusiastic and tireless. If there is no desire to serve or we find it hard to serve, then there is something wrong in our relationship with God.

We were created to serve God and to worship Him – here on earth and for eternity. Worship and service cannot be separated. When we worship God, we will naturally serve Him and when we serve God, we are worshipping Him.

There are many Christians who are doing nothing, but there are no Christians who have nothing to do. When we think of a servant, we may think of someone who reports to work for a specific amount of time and is paid a specific wage. That is an employee - not a servant. The word “serve” comes from the Greek word “latreuo” and is often translated as “worship.” It is not the picture of a slave serving a master. It is the picture of a love relationship that compels action.

Romans 12:1 (NIV) “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.”

We worship God by pleasing Him in the daily routines of life. In other words, we should consider each day as a worship service to God.

·         Cleaning house
·         Cooking meals
·         Making beds
·         Taking care of children
·         Helping a neighbor
·         Buying groceries
·         Teaching a bible study
·         Listening to a hurting friend

Service begins in the heart where it was conceived in love and then works its way out in daily life as an act of praise and gratitude. No doubt about it, girlfriend. We were saved by God to serve – not sit and sour.  

Let’s Pray
Father, thank You for sending Your son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place and pay for my sin. I can never thank You enough for Your grace, mercy and love. I want to serve You with my whole heart. Please lead and direct me in the way You have for me to go. I want to be Your servant.
In Jesus’ name,

Now It’s Your Turn

  • List several talents and gifts that you recognize in your own life.
  • How are you using those talents and gifts to serve God?
  • Ask those who know you best to identify your strengths. You may be surprised at their response.
  • Look for ways to serve in the areas that give you the most joy.

More from the Girlfriends
Need help? Check out Mary’s weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. The current topic is “Stop! Drop! Roll!”Learn how to set goals and priorities that honor God and give you peace and purpose. Join now and have access to all of the topics covered in 2012.

And be sure to drop by Mary’s online store where you will find MP3 downloads, CDs, Video downloadsand E-Book Bible Studiesthat will equip and empower you to live a life of victory. Connect with Mary on Facebookor through email

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Girlfriends in God
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Matthews, NC 28106

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Originally published Monday, 27 August 2012.