Day 3

Worship Through Service

Matthew 25:31-46, Isaiah 58:6-11, Mark 10:35-45

BY Guest Writer

Have you ever wrestled with what it means to serve? In my own life, I’ve found it’s far easier to seek out what’s fun or brings comfort. Life gets tiring and stressful, and the only way we can survive is by putting something “fun” on the calendar, something to look forward to. Our family does this, and I don’t believe there is anything wrong with it. But I wonder if our craving for fun is masking a deeper desire for joy—the kind of fulfillment that comes from serving others.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says that when He returns He will know who loves Him by the way that we help others: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in” (Matthew 25:35).

We’re tempted to read this verse and say to ourselves, “I need to sign up for a food kitchen” or “I need to give that homeless person a dollar the next time I see them.” These are all good things, sure, but is this the kind of service Jesus is really talking about in this passage?

Jesus also said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45). These two passages are bold calls to live our lives wide open to constant, regular, and sacrificial acts of laying our lives down for others. Jesus’s words beckon us to worship Him not through obligatory service, but with guttural prayers asking the Lord to allow us opportunities to love in His name.

Why does Jesus ask this of us? Jesus loves us, came to die for us, and knows that the only way for us to have the full, free, and joy-filled life that we so deeply desire is through the laying down our lives for others (John 15:13).

What does this look like? It might look like embracing an interruption in our already busy day. Or perhaps it looks like bravely praying that God would send someone your way to love in His name. It might look like asking Him to reveal opportunities to worship Him through service to others. Maybe you’re called to embrace the uncomfortable and not shy away from that call because you are afraid of the unknown.

When we create margin in our lives to serve others, we realize that any sacrifices we make to worship God in this way—whether it be through our time, resources, or creativity—all pale in comparison to the joy we receive as a result.

I pray that today, God would show us ways we can serve as Jesus served, and that the joy that wells up when we do would create an unquenchable desire for more!

Maria Furlough is a wife and a mother to one amazing 11-year-old daughter, three rambunctious boys, and one baby boy who lives in the arms of Jesus. Formerly a full-time youth pastor, Maria now teaches women’s Bible studies and works as the Missions Team leader at Lake Forest Church in Huntersville, North Carolina. Maria is the author of Breaking the Fear Cycle: How to Find Peace for You Anxious Heart and Confident Moms, Confident Daughters. You can find Maria on Instagram or Facebook @MariaFurlough or online at

Post Comments (78)

78 thoughts on "Worship Through Service"

  1. Jen says:

    As today’s study is about worship through service because Jesus came to serve I wanted to share a humbling verse that we can think about as we serve others.
    I recently read Philippians 2:3. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. NIV

    That is powerful. If we serve this way we have to concidar the poor, prisoners, hungry, thirsty, naked, strangers, or sick ………….better than yourself. Wow
    Thats humbling.

    1. Lisa Emily says:

      Wow Jen thank you for the reminder that really hits me hard! I needed that reminder <3

    2. Cloe Shelp says:

      Thank you for sharing that verse!

    3. Breanne Anderson says:

      Ouch. That one stings a little doesn’t it? So contrary to the way the world around us works. Thanks for the reminder.

    4. Abbie Darst says:

      Jen, that is so true, and we all struggle with humility in that way. We like to think we’ve done something great through serving those most people ignore, when in reality we deserve no pat on the back. We struggle to see people through God’s eyes and in humility realize we all fall short of the glory of God!

  2. Sarah D. says:

    Thank you all for the sweet wishes on my baptism on Sunday!! I just wanted to share a prayer request…I went to my church’s going adult group last night, and I just felt like I had a lot of unnecessary anxiety/akwardness. I feel like it may have been the enemy trying to distract me from what was important, making new friend and worshipping the Lord together. Just prayers that I would not over think things and that not be afraid to be myself, not thinking of the opinions of others. My time is in Hawaii is coming to a close as well…I leave in a week and a half! So crazy. Please pray for peace and that I would use the rest of my time here wisely…as well as just reflecting on all God has done this summer. He is so good, even during the hard times. Thank you Lord for everything. Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am yours.

    1. Cristy Harris says:

      You’re on to him. I see the enemy doing all he can to isolate people – and he’s really crafty at using any means he can. He knows we are stronger together. I would encourage you to make those connections with people despite how you’re feeling at the moment. Congratulations on your baptism – lifting you in prayer right now.

    2. Patricia Arevalo Villegas says:

      Praying for you Sarah!

    3. Amy Dye says:

      Praying for you, Sarah!!!

  3. DeJana Parker says:

    Dear God, as an adopted member of your family through Jesus I know that I have a responsibility to love and care for the hungry, thirsty, naked, homeless, sick and afflicted. Your love for me fills my heart and should be poured out on others so that they can see You. I pray that You help me to access more opportunities to serve.

  4. Leslie G says:

    Serve and love others! Pray for help and opportunity to do these things! I think this is what Jesus wanted us to know above all else. We are to love the ones the rest of society casts aside, those who are seen as “less than.” Everyone we see every day is a child of God and someone Jesus died for. This is not always easy, but it is what we have been taught by Jesus to do. All will know we are servants of Christ by our love.

  5. PamC says:

    Churchmouse I’m so grateful to hear how well Julia’s surgery went. As I struggle with the cumulative results of aging I found your post today brought such comfort and peace. Thank you so much for sharing. You are in my prayers.

  6. Nancy Hubbard says:

    As a Flight Attendant, I encounter so many people with not so kind attitudes. I try daily to show compassion but at times, I’m truly challenged. I can feel myself falling into a carnal response with some. I felt like today’s devotion truly hit home w me. I’m headed back out today and hope to make a difference.

    1. Candice Lofton says:

      So much grace to you, Nancy, as you seek to show the Lord’s favor to those still in rebellion!

  7. Maura says:

    Reflecting on the true servants I have witnessed and the joy I have seen through there service, not just to those they are serving, but in their eyes. When God tells us to love others and Jesus has shown us so clearly how to do this and that loving the least of these is loving Him. What else do we need to know? I know that when I have a servant’s heart that is when I have felt closest to the Lord. Lord God, may I see the opportunities you put in my path daily to love and serve as you and help me to give you the glory. Help me to see you in the disheartened, the hungry, the tired, the naked, the lonely, the outcast and imprisoned. Fill me up that I can be poured out to those you put in my path. Thank you Jesus that you love us sinners so overwhelmingly. Thank you Jesus for me what love looks like. Please bless all the teachers this day, give them words that uplift and bless these precious souls you are placing in their care. May you Lord be praised in our schools for your prescence there. In your holy name Jesus I pray. Press on sister’s, our King is mighty!

    1. Sharon W says:

      Beautiful prayer this morning. May all our teachers be prayers for their classrooms and the precious God we serve to get them through the long days and place hope in Jesus in their students lives. JOY = Jesus, Others & You ✝️

  8. Jen says:

    SRT. I am unable to reply to another’s comment on my device. When I touch the reply it doesn’t open. I can post on the reply at the bottom(where I’m posting this) but that reply isn’t directed to the person I want to reply too. Is anyone else having this problem? Any suggestions?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *