Year of Calling: Serve the Least of These

 

Week 50 Word: Serve the Least of These

Week 50 Text: Isaiah 61:1 NLT

Written By: Chrystan Ferrell

 

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners freed.” (Isaiah 61:1 NLT)

 

Journey with me today.

 

Step into our make-believe time machine, and let’s look back through our year. There was celebration and sadness. There was laughter, joy, sorrow and pain. There was hard work and leisure. There was church and Bible studies. There were some fundraisers and donations made. I mean we are mostly good people right? We stopped once and held a one-dollar bill out of the window that one time. We donated our used clothes and toys at the end of the year to make room for the new things that came in our abundant Christmas celebrations. If you look at us on paper, we look pretty darn good, right?

 

Jesus came to comfort the brokenhearted and set the captives free. Have our calendars reflected setting the captives free this year? What part of our time are we using to comfort the broken and bring good news to the poor? Time. Time is a hot commodity, right? Can’t get more time. Can’t get back time wasted. It is the most precious thing we think we have, and we want to protect it. Well, we mostly want to protect it because—let’s be honest—social media is pretty distracting for us. So distracting that average Americans spend nearly two hours a day looking at their social media platforms. In one lifetime that translates to five years and four months on social media (socialmediatoday.com). Wowzers.

 

Hop back in our time machine and let’s go to Jesus’ time on earth. When your mission is “set the captives free,” you get on with it. Jesus got on with it. He was in the trenches with the most wounded, the most outcast, the most lost people of His time. He was feeding them, teaching them, healing them, taking their burdens away and casting their chains as far as the east is from the west. He served them. Even as their King, He served them. His daily calendar reflected a life being poured out in the name of the gospel.

 

How can we tweak our calendars to offer more time with the brokenhearted? Writing checks for those in need is really important. Our pocketbooks should also be reflective of our lives committed to the good work of the gospel. But swiping our debit cards in the name of Jesus should not be the only action we make. People are craving to bust out of their chains. They are longing for you to look them in the eyes and give them the freedom that Jesus offers. Serving isn’t limited to church, Christmas, or overseas missions. It should be a weekly, maybe even a daily, action. We need to lay down our own agenda, look up and see that God has logged an appointment in our calendars, and its title is SET THE CAPTIVES FREE.

 

Serving the least of these looks different for everyone. For me, it’s literally putting plates of food in front of hungry people on Monday nights, even when it’s inconvenient. For you, it may be taking in a foster child, volunteering at a free clinic, holding the hand of an addict–I don’t know where God is calling you to serve. I do know that we are all called to be agents of the good news of Jesus Christ, which calls us to serve, to be last, to be humble and kind. Set up your next year to be a chain breaker, a heart healer and a wound dresser in the name of Jesus.

 

Commit now to more serving and less scrolling. This year, play an active roll in serving the least of these in your community.

 

Application Questions:

 1. Take some intentional time to meet with God this week to reflect on your status as a servant of the least of these. Ask God to reveal how you could step up your game in this department in the coming year. Be willing to listen and make a change.

2. Commit some of that scrolling time today to scrolling for an active service opportunity in your community. I assure you, God has laid a people group on your heart. You are broken for someone broken. Who is it for you? How can you get involved in comforting and serving them this year?

3. Rally your people for change. Our communities need to see the Christians in their cities rising up and standing in the gap. How can your church, your friends, your family rise up to be the hands and feet to the least of these in your places? Once you have that call, then get on with it. Don’t wait around for the whole congregation to rally; grab your people and get on with serving.