Living for God and for others

Interview with Paul Tran

Rev Keith Garner speaks with Paul Tran about what it was that lit a flame in his life that enabled him to trust Christ.

Connecting with others with the Rev Keith V Garner AM

The power of Christian faith is most noticeable when it runs counter to the dominant culture of the day. Sometimes it seems for Christians that hardly a week passes without our being confronted with a new challenge to our faith, our understanding of human relationships that naturally emerges from it, or our view of life that lifts us above rampant materialism. Christianity, like any faith, is distinctive and its distinctions are not always palatable.

I do believe, however, that for many Christians, the most outstanding feature of Christianity’s impact on culture—and, perhaps the crowning glory of the Christian witness—is the way people live out their lives day by day. History is littered with countless Christians who have gone above and beyond the call of Christian faith. They have lived selfless and sacrificial lives to invest in the good of humanity, and have poured out love and care on those in need when many others turned their backs. The Apostle Paul described people like this as the aroma of Christ, spreading the fragrance of life among those they encounter.

I can personally testify to this kind of Christian witness and how it impacts on society. In my role at Wesley Mission, I am aware that our staff and volunteers engage in a wide range of activities, and at the heart of all our work is a concern to help others. What I have noticed over many years is that as we care for these individuals and families in need, a profound impact is often felt across the wider community as the ‘aroma of Christ’ spreads far and wide. 

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5

Day 1

What does it mean to live for God and for others?

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8 NIV

Thought: God wants you to be totally devoted to him, in the same way you are devoted to your loved ones. Because of your love for God, you’ll want to spend time with him and please him—not because you have to, but because you really want to. It’s only when you walk with God in a relationship with him that you’re able to do what’s right and love others.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for showing me what it means to live for you and for others. Please teach me to humble myself and put others before me. Help me Lord to be more like Jesus day by day.

Day 2

Am I equipped to live for others?

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.”

1 Corinthians 12:4 NIV

Thought: God gives different skills and talents to different people. Any gift you have is meant to be shared for the common good, not kept to ourselves. Think about ways you could use your talents to bless those around you today.

Prayer: Lord, whatever it is you have given me, help me to recognise it as a gift from you. Surround me with others who I can share my gift with, and who will in turn share their own. Help me to use this given gift to encourage and build up others.

Day 3

Transforming from old to new

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Ezekiel 36:26 NIV

Thought: Jesus is committed to transforming your lives by replacing your old ways with his new ways. God is making you new. It’s not by your own strength that you can move forward—it’s through his.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for making me new by giving me a new heart and spirit. Help me to give others the chance to really know me, so I can really know them, and together we can become more like you.

 Day 4

How does God want me to live?

“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:10 NIV

Thought: God is often more interested in why you serve others than in how well you serve them. He’s always looking at your heart, because that’s where you see if you’re serving willingly and eagerly out of love for Jesus and gratitude for all he’s done for you. If we have difficulty understanding our own hearts, how can we expect to understand the hearts of other people?

Servanthood and humility are not culturally attractive, and yet they are the bedrock of all positive world-changing leadership. We must never lose sight of this.

Prayer: Lord, please give me a clear mind and serving heart. Help me to put others ahead of my self by serving them in the name of Jesus Christ with humility and love.

Day 5

Key to living a generous life

“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

1 Timothy 6:18-19 NIV

Thought: Jesus lived a radically generous lifestyle – giving freely with his time and gifts. But sometimes it’s hard to be generous, and you need to be reminded to live in a way that honours God not just with your money, but your time, too. The key to living a generous life is to focus with gratitude on the blessings in your own life.

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times I’ve made others feel less valuable than me. Help me to consider Jesus every day, and show me the ways you want me to serve the people around me.

Living for God and for Others Service: Sunday 2 September

Rev Keith Garner speaks with Paul Tran about what it was that lit a flame in his life that enabled him to trust Christ.

Rev Keith Garner shares a message of God’s faithfulness in all things, and how we can trust in it to overcome challenges and difficulties.

 
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