Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday November 19, 2016

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Free to serve, Amigos.

Several months ago, I was chatting with a friend about a mutual acquaintance in recovery from alcoholism. We were both concerned for him, as his attitude didn’t seem conducive to staying sober. My friend said this, “He doesn’t do any altruistic works.” That seemed to sum it up. The process of getting free from our difficulties, whatever they may be, is not for the purpose of allowing us to go on about life as if nothing ever happened. The purpose of the process is to make us fit to serve others selflessly.

We have visited the first six of the 7 Principles for a Transformed Life, now we come to the final, and absolutely necessary, 7th Principle: Service to others. No matter what the Lord has freed you from, He did it so He could use you, not the reverse. With that in mind, I want to share just a few simple secrets to a happy life:

  1. Jesus Christ is our example and our Lord. He came to give His life in service to others. Jesus stepped into time and put Himself in my shoes. He asks me to do the same for others. Philippians 2:5-8 / Mark 10 43-45
  2. We are created to serve one another. The only place of fulfillment is a place of service. Everything else leaves us feeling empty. Ephesians 2:10 / 2 Corinthians 9:8-9 / 1 Peter 4:10-11
  3. We carry the message that set us free, freedom through Jesus Christ. If we don’t share it, who do you suppose will? Even our troubles provide us with experience which can benefit someone else. Mark 16:14-18 / 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
  4. All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today. Giving and receiving, sowing and reaping, is the rhythm of the kingdom. You can’t keep what you don’t give away. We sow seed in everything we do, not just giving money. Start planting a new crop today. Acts 20:35 / Galatians 6:6-10 / Psalm 112:5-9
  5. We are created to reflect the nature of our Father. We are givers. The reason we work is to have something to give. Our job is part of the flow of our purpose: giving. Each of us has valuables – talents, skills, time, opportunities, experiences – which are given to us to bless others. Ephesians 4:28 / 1 Peter 4:10 – 11 / 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 / Galatians 5:13

Somebody Said: Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. Muhammad Ali

Scripture Reading: It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. (Galatians 5:13-14 MSG)

I didn’t quit drinking to be sober as I watch TV. God didn’t heal me so I could be healthy on my vacation. My victories are not so I can be victorious. Every time I overcome an obstacle I am better able to fulfill my real purpose. Anything less leaves me empty and diminishes the wonder of the work of Christ. Don’t let your victory dance keep you from fulfilling your happy destiny. Let’s get this thing done.

Pastor Virgil Stokes

Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson



The discussion guides for the 7 Principles for a Transformed Life are available from our office. Email us at fcftoffice@fctucson.org and we will send you the .pdf files. For more on living free in Christ, join me on YouTube for Principles for a Transformed Life

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