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Lenten Devotional – Day 9 – Service Brings Joy

Scripture: James 2:14–17

Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

When I got divorced and left my job and home, I went through a long period of darkness. I kept to myself, doing what I needed to do to get by and do the best I could for my young daughter.

I knew I was starting to feel better the day I signed up to do the Scholastic reading program for her daycare. I know it’s a little thing, but helping her school was, well, helping! In my case, I served when I had enough strength to give back. But it also gave me more strength to keep on. Because service gives us life.

I’m guessing you’ve done some kind of service project before in your life. I’m guessing you even enjoyed it! I mean, your back may have hurt the next day, but it feels good to do something for someone else. It feels good to do a tangible thing that you know will help someone who needs it.

God made it to work that way. God designed us to find joy, to find LIFE in giving to each other, sharing with each other, caring for each other. Because, remember, God made us in God’s own image. And God enjoys giving to us, sharing with us, caring for us, and so gave us a bit of that same trait when mixing our human ingredients together.

Prayer: God who delights in giving, we are grateful for opportunities to serve you and your children. Thank you for creating us to feel joy when we do. Amen.

  – Jeannie Hunter – Nashville, Tennessee

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