The Reason We Serve
By Rick Warren
— May 19, 2011
“For we are … created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
We need to teach our children that God put them here to make a contribution, not just take up space watching TV or playing video games. It is only in giving our lives away that we find out what life's all about.
No matter whether your kids are 5 or 50, they need to know they are shaped to serve God. The Living Bible says this: “It is God himself who made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others” (Ephesians 2:10 LB).
One of the things we are going to do when we get to heaven is serve God. So guess what God wants us to do while we’re here on earth? He wants us to practice serving.
So we need to encourage our children to start serving others in God’s name. If we don’t know how to serve him here, how will we be prepared to serve him in heaven?
We need to teach our children that God put them here to make a contribution, not just take up space watching TV or playing video games. It is only in giving our lives away that we find out what life’s all about.
What will be your contribution? What will be your children’s contribution? You need to help your kids answer this question. How will they give back? How will they use their God-given talents? Will they use them just to benefit themselves or will they use them to help others?
Everything in our society teaches us to use our talents for ourselves – make a lot of money, retire, be comfortable and die. That’s the dream. But deep down inside we know we were made for more than that. We know instinctively that there is a bigger purpose in life. It’s that deep desire inside us. We may have covered it up with our fear of failure, but it’s still there, the desire to make a difference.
What will be the contribution of your life? The Bible says, “God has given each of you some special abilities. Be sure to use them to help each other, passing on God’s many kind of blessing” (1 Peter 4:10 LB).
Help your kids look at their spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality and experiences to figure out what they would be good at. That’s one of the greatest things a parent can do, helping their children find where they can make the greatest contribution.
Help your kids define themselves by saying, “Am I going to be more in giving or getting in life?”
Pastor Rick is leading us through a series on parenting right now, and we thought you’d be interested in this new curriculum at Saddleback Resources: Raising Your Kids without Raising Your Blood Pressure.