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Ask Not What God Can Do for You

"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."1

Many of our readers will remember the simple yet profound words of the late President John F. Kennedy who, in 1961, stated: "Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country." He was calling people to a noble life of service.

Other great leaders have confirmed the rewards of service. Albert Schweitzer said, "I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."

As followers of Jesus Christ we are all called to serve, and we serve God by serving our fellow man. Doing this is what God calls "pure and undefiled religion before God." It is also laying up treasure in heaven which is what Jesus encourages each of his followers to do, saying, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."2

I recall many years ago in much younger days, how I had an accident on a construction site that put me in the hospital for a few days. When in recovery, I switched on my bed-side radio and, the moment it came on, I happened by chance to tune into the only religious program for the day. The very first words I heard were these: "If you should stand before the Master [Jesus Christ] tonight, would you empty handed go?" If ever I felt that God had a message directly for me, it was that day. On that hospital bed I said "Yes" to God and committed myself to a life of service to God. Making and following through on that decision changed my life forever—and it is why you are receiving this message to read today.

If perchance you were called to stand before the Master today to give an account of your life, would you empty handed go? May I encourage you to make a commitment to God now to live a life of service to him? This can be a part of your everyday life in being "as Jesus" in some way to every life you touch; by becoming a part-time volunteer in a community service program through your local church or another organization, by being an effective parent, by teaching a Sunday School class, by leading a recovery group, or in any one of a score of different ways. And for someone reading this message, perhaps God is calling you to become a nurse, a pastor, a youth worker, or a missionary.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, today I am asking not what You can do for me, but what can I do for You. How can I best serve You by using the talents You have given me to serve others? I am available, please make me usable and use me today and every day to be an effective witness for Jesus by faithfully serving You. Please help me to see my God-given life purpose, and help me to do my utmost to fulfill this purpose in a life of service to You. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."  

Note: If you prayed this prayer and would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ today, please let us know by filling in the response form at: Any information you give about yourself will be held in strictest confidence.

1. James 1:27 (NKJV).
2. Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV).


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.