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How to Serve Others on a Christian Gap Year

You want to serve the people God places in your life in a way that is both makes a positive difference in their lives and represents the character of who God is. Often, our fear of doing the wrong thing can stop us from serving others.

On this week’s World Race blog, Devin Helm, who is currently serving on World Race: Gap Year, reveals what she has found as the best way to serve others on gap year mission trips.

Because Loving is Important

The Lord has been challenging me with the idea of how to love. How to love people, how to love myself, and how to understand His love. I have been walking in this lesson of “ how to love” for years, literally, & When the Lord called me to do the Race, He told me my job is to step out in love.

My job here is not to convert every lost soul to my own beliefs. It is not to be strictly religious or shove the Gospel down the throats of different people. It is not to walk around boasting about how my God may triumph over another.

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It is to love. To love like Jesus loves. To share the way that He loves not just me, but every single person on this planet. To show how much He loves us. To be His physical hands and feet. To voice His love to others that are oblivious of it.

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To love on the people who are unknown. The people you just met. Maybe the person who is secluded away from the crowd. Or ya know that person the Lord is telling you about but you have no idea who they are yet… LOVE on every single one of them because loving is important. I think it’s funny when people ask if love is an action or emotion or decision then try to justify if it is one or the other. Because when it comes to God it’s all three.

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When I lay my hands on someone in prayer or lift them up to the heavens. That is what acting out in love looks like for me. I decide to do those things because I want to show people that I love them & that I am there. It is not a hard decision to make though; when you know a God who is just as loving. The joyful tears that stream down my face & my widening smile as I sing His praises. Just more actions that are led by a flood of emotion. An overflow of love. And when I lay my head on my pillow every night to sleep I can’t help but feel so loved by the Lord & the people surrounding me.

Feeling loved & showing love used to be such a foreign thing to me. For some it comes naturally, However in my mind, God asking me to love on others was like Him telling me to jump off a cliff. Which at that time I would have much rather jumped, but God continued to reveal His love to me over & over. How awesome is it that we serve a God that never gives up on us. He has been walking with me as I learn.

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Learning how to love is not an easy thing, and nobody said it would be. If it was easy then we would all be loving so effortlessly like the Lord does. To step out in love has become a want not a task. Personally, I had to find my joy in the Lord first & build a relationship with Him to where I genuinely have that desire to love everything/everyone because it all comes from Him. So that when I am preaching about love; I am preaching about Jesus.

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How silly would it be to sit with the Father at the end of the day & He asks “How did you show my love today?” & you’re hesitant to answer because you have no idea. Sometimes I hear questions like that & I’m like “Dang. What am I even doing? How can I sit here & talk about how much I love Jesus. Then try to reveal His nature to others when I can’t even love on them!” It just doesn’t make sense. When that is what He commands us to do and there is a whole Bible about how much He loves His people.

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“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us.1 John 4:16-19

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I love because Jesus first loved us; & loving is important.

How did you serve others and show His love today? Share your story in the comments.

Spread the love of God with World Race missions. Applications for August 2021 routes (and Summer Semesters by World Race trips) are closing March 30! Apply today.