A Life Of Service

Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Listen to this devotional:

John 1:40-42a – Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. (NIV)

It's been a year since the earthquake in Haiti, taking with it all the sub-standard concrete buildings that litter Port-au-Prince, and taking with it over 316,000 Haitian lives.

A month after the earthquake, a small number from our church arrived in Haiti, trusting that God would use us there; and use us, God did. We found ourselves at a makeshift hospital immediately across from the iconic Presidential Palace. The collapsed building obviously needed to be completely torn down before any thought of reconstruction could begin. It stands thus even today — as it did on that awful day a year ago — as a powerful symbol of the lack of progress in that country's reconstruction.

We befriended a number of articulate young English-speaking Haitians, amazing "hospital" volunteers. On several occasions, we heard stories of those volunteers and others who had rediscovered God, on that most wretched of days, when God seemed, in so many ways, absent.

One young volunteer told us of how he had taken life for granted, but on that day, he came to realize how fragile and precious life is. He knew he had to begin a life of serving God, and that there was an urgency about that service, a service that would provide meaning. Perhaps he felt guilty that so many around him had died, and that his life had, for reasons unknown to him, been spared. He knew that God must be calling him to something greater. So, unbegrudgingly, he began serving long hours as a volunteer, working for weeks in conditions that you and I would find deplorable.

Something similar happened to Andrew. He discovered Jesus, and he knew, through this event, that God had a plan for his life — not a life of ease, certainly, but a life filled with urgency, meaning, and glory. Excitedly, he shared his wonderful new discovery with those he loved, beginning with his brother, Simon Peter.

"We have found the Messiah!" he excitedly told his brother.

We don't know much about Andrew. He was not to be in Jesus' "inner circle" of Peter, James, and John. He was not present on the Mount of Transfiguration, nor was he called by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, as his more famous brother was. Without begrudging his brother or others such honour, he continued to introduce others to Jesus. We don't know much about Andrew, but each time he is mentioned, he is bringing someone to the Messiah.

God does not call us into greatness. We are not put here on earth to be remembered, but to receive eternal life, to be faithful with the limited gifts which God has entrusted us with, and to be prepared to volunteer those gifts, unbegrudgingly, with the dedication, urgency, and heart of Andrew.

Prayer: Lord, when we are at our best, we cannot help but tell others about You and Your love for us. Help us to be always at our best. Amen.

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About the author:

Rick Potter <rpotte@hotmail.com>
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

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