A Spiritual Family
One of a person's greatest needs in life is to be part of a family. This is also true in your new life in Christ. You need to become a part of a church. A church is a group of people following Jesus just as you are. You need to join in worshiping God with other Christians.
You will grow spiritually stronger in a church, because the church is a spiritual family and your spiritual brothers and sisters will encourage you and help you grow.
Pray and ask God to guide you to the church where you should belong. You need to be part of a church where salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is preached...a church where the Bible is believed, taught and obeyed.
Being a part of a church will give you the opportunity to serve others as Jesus did. Jesus taught that we must serve other people if we want to serve Him (Mark 10:44).
In the verses you read in today's lesson, James and John, two brothers who were followers of Jesus, wanted important positions. Jesus' other followers were angry because they wanted important positions too. But Jesus taught that a person must be a servant if he wants to become great. Even Jesus, the Son of God, came to this world to serve. He came to give His life to pay for the salvation of many people. Anyone who wants to follow Jesus must serve Him.
You did not have to pay anything for your salvation. It was a free gift from God through Jesus Christ. You can't even pay Him back for what He has done for you. But following Jesus will cost you something. Jesus said, "If anyone wants to follow Me, He must give up His own desires, and take up His cross, and follow Me" (Mark 8:34).
When we serve Jesus by serving others, it will mean giving up our own desires sometimes. That is exactly what Jesus did! In Mark 14, before He gave His life for us, He prayed, "Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from me. But let be done what You want, and not what I want" (Mark 14:36).
You can serve God in many ways:
- You can serve Him with your abilities. God has already given you natural abilities to use for Him. He was working in you before you were born.
- You can serve Him with your prayers. One of the great opportunities you have is to pray for others and know that God hears and answers those prayers.
- You can serve Him by witnessing. You will learn more about witnessing in the next lesson.
- You can serve Him with your money (4:24,25). Giving is a wonderful way to have a part in building God's everlasting kingdom!
You might think that it would be much easier to follow Jesus and serve Him if you could walk and talk with Him in the same way as His first followers. But Jesus taught that we would be able to follow and serve Him better with the help of the Holy Spirit than when His followers were with Him. He said, "I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go away, because the Helper will not come to you if I do not go away ... I have many things to tell you, but you can't receive them now. But the Spirit of Truth will guide you into all truth when He comes" (John 16:7-13).