I must confess that this post came about because of grumbling in my heart. I laughed out loud when I opened my Bible and read a verse that addressed my grumbling perfectly. This brought me on a journey to change my attitude by studying Bible verses about serving.
So, what was I grumbling about and how could God’s word make me laugh?
We have been focused on removing sugar and gluten from our diets. This has forced me to cut out the majority of our processed foods (I know, a good idea anyway) but it has required that I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. If you know me, you know I strongly dislike cooking.
My kids eat a lot!
Yes, I was grumbling that I have to spend so much time preparing healthy meals and snacks. Isn’t that terrible? It sounds awful now that I’m writing it out.
What Bible Verse about Serving Changed My Attitude?
After a particularly bad attitude, I opened my Bible looking for comfort and peace and I opened to
She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants. (Proverbs 31:15)
Yes, our virtuous woman from Proverbs 31 arises while it is dark and cooks for everyone. Seriously, it is in the Bible that I shouldn’t complain about this chore. Ugh!
So, now do you understand why I laughed and why I was now handed the choice of what to do with my bad attitude?
Can anyone relate to this or is it just me? Let’s explore some other Bible verses about serving. These might also come in handy as object lessons with your kiddos.
How do We Serve Others?
There are many ways in which we can serve others
We often think of serving others as a big gesture and will hesitate if we can only do something small. I know from experience that those small acts of kindness go a long way.
As moms, we are in the business of constantly serving our families and somehow along the way, this has gotten a bad rap from society. Somehow serving our husbands has become a negative thing as if that puts us in a subservient position when the truth about love is that it serves.
This attitude could not be further from what God wishes for us to embrace. I can also testify that my bad attitude about cooking made me feel moody and annoyed. If I had seen it as a kind act of service rather than a chore, I may have not been so crabby.
True love is not self-seeking. We serve our children and our husbands as an expression of love.
How then do we serve others? Let’s break this up into three categories:
- Serving our families
- Serving our church families
- Serving our communities
We serve our husbands by walking beside them and encouraging them. We are their person, their safe place. I know it sounds cliche, but by providing a loving and peaceful home, we are serving them.
The same goes for our kids. We are not shooting for mom of the year. We do not need to throw Pinterest perfect birthday parties or have the best dressed kids in class. We need to provide for their physical and emotional needs in a way that nurtures them. By cooking healthy meals (sigh) making appointments, running them to piano and karate, snuggling and reading books, teaching them life skills, the list goes on, we have the opportunity to serve them.
This is an honor, am I right?
Serving our extended families is the same idea. Running elderly parents to appointments, filling your brother’s fridge after he loses his job, playing Barbies with your niece, are all ways we give of ourselves to the ones we love. We have a beautiful opportunity to serve the people we love.
My grandma lives 4 hours away from me and her hearing is so bad that phone conversations are difficult. So I write her letters. I tell her all about my crazy life and my crazy kids and she loves them. She calls me up and says “Honey, I read your letter over and over. It’s like you are here with me”. This one simple act of service makes her whole week.
I was so annoyed one day listening to my kids’ selfish fighting that I sat down and made a list of Bible verses about brotherly love. This concept is not far from learning to serve.
Our church family is important for support and encouragement on every level. They provide spiritual guidance, emotional help, as well as meet the physical needs of their brothers and sisters in Christ. We often think of serving as preaching, teaching Sunday school classes, or playing an instrument, but the needed acts of service go far beyond these more prominent positions.
It’s opening our eyes to the little old lady with the puffy white hair sitting in front of you, opening our hearts to the man who quietly slips into the back row but never talks to anyone, and actually pausing to hear the answer to “how’s it going?” rather than making it a simple formality.
Service is providing for a need, no matter how big or small that need is.
Building relationships, encouraging and supporting one another are forms of service we all desperately need.
When I think of serving in our communities, the verse that always comes to mind is Galatians 6:2.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
When I lost my beautiful 8 year old daughter, my friends surrounded me. The whole community supported us with food, money, flowers, cards, etc. It was amazing and I’ve done everything I could to pass on that same support to others in need.
Whether you are in a financial position to help your community with donations or simply offer to babysit when your neighbor looks overwhelmed, your act of kindness will be appreciated.
What Does Jesus Say About Being a Servant?
The Bible tells us we are to serve others. James and John, two of Jesus’s closest disciples asked to sit in the highest places of authority. This angered the other disciples.
But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45)
Jesus tells us this parable and every time I read it, I can feel my brain searching for people who might have fallen off my radar and shouldn’t have.
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:31-40)
Bible Stories about Serving Others
Scripture is full of acts of servitude. Moses following God and leading a Exodus out of Egypt. Can you imagine leading such a huge number of people? David serving Saul with humility even after he had been anointed the next king, Jesus dying on the cross in the greatest act of service known to us.
A woman known for serving others is found in Acts 9:36-42 and is an incredible example of God’s power.
At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did.
But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them.
Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them.
But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.
The reason I included this story is that she was known for her acts of service. That is not why God raised her from the dead, but it was her kind spirit that caused her friends to rush to get Peter. When she died, everyone stood around mourning her and talking about how she touched other people’s lives.
I don’t know about you, but I hope this is the same scene when I die.
Bible Verses About Serving
In the Law of Moses, God instructs the children of Israel to leave the corners of their fields for the poor of the land to glean. This was a commandment. They were instructed to serve those in need. The story of Ruth and Naomi shows this in action.
Isaiah contains a lot of instruction from God about how to help and serve others.
If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. (Isaiah 58:10)
Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:17)
The attitude of service leads us to open our eyes and give of ourselves. John makes it very clear that love is connected to service and it is not enough to simply say that we love one another, our actions must also reflect this.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18)
Bible Verses about Helping Others in Need
Let’s begin our Bible verses about helping others in need with words from wise King Solomon.
He who has a generous eye will be blessed,
For he gives of his bread to the poor. (Proverbs 22:9)
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in the power of your hand to do so. (Proverbs 3:27)
He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker,
But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. (Proverbs 14:31)
For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’ (Deuteronomy 15:11)
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17)
Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. (Ephesians 4:28)
I could go on and on with these Bible verses about serving, but I think you get the point. I do believe it is a mind switch. It does not come naturally for us to have an attitude of service especially when it means a sacrifice of our time or personal comfort, but that is exactly what God wants us to do.
Like I said earlier, love is not self seeking and true love is a sacrifice. Serving others is often a sacrifice, but one that we do in honor of God.
Which of these Bible verses about serving resonated with you? I’d love for you to share in the comments below!