What does the Bible say about serving others?
Scripture is full of verses that talk about serving others. We are called to love others by serving them.
It is in this expression of love that we can be a godly influence on others.
Christian quotes about serving others
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
“All Christians are but God’s stewards. Everything we have is on loan from the Lord, entrusted to us for a while to use in serving Him.” John MacArthur
“Prayer is not just getting ready for Christian service. Prayer is Christian service.” Adrian Rogers
“One of the principal rules of religion is, to lose no occasion of serving God. And, since he is invisible to our eyes, we are to serve him in our neighbor; which he receives as if done to himself in person, standing visibly before us.” John Wesley
“A person’s most useful asset is not a head full of knowledge, but a heart full of love, an ear ready to listen and a hand willing to help others.”
“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
“In matters of equity between man and man, our Savior has taught us to put my neighbor in place of myself, and myself in place of my neighbor.” – Isaac Watts
“The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service.” Billy Graham
“You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, & training them up in God’s fear, & minding the house, & making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.” Charles Spurgeon
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller
“We all know people, even unbelievers, who seem to be natural servants. They are always serving others one way or another. But God does not get the glory; they do. It is their reputation that is enhanced. But when we, natural servants or not, serve in dependence upon the grace of God with the strength He supplies, God is glorified.” Jerry Bridges
“If you have no opposition in the place you serve, you’re serving in the wrong place.” G. Campbell Morgan
“Faithful servants never retire. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God.” Rick Warren
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
We serve God by serving others
Serving God is an expression of love. It is through serving God that we can best serve others. They will see our genuine love for the Lord, and it will be a tremendous encouragement to them. On the other side of that same coin, we worship God when we reach out to serve other people. It is in this expression of agape love that we reflect Christ. I encourage you to seek ways to serve in your community. Pray that God would use you for His glory. Also, remember that when we give and serve others, we are serving Christ.
1. Galatians 5:13-14 “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
2. Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
3. 2 Corinthians 1:4 “who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
4. Matthew 6:2 “When you give to the poor, do not boast about it, announcing your donations with blaring trumpets as the play actors do. Do not brazenly give your charity in the synagogues and on the streets; indeed, do not give at all if you are giving because you want to be praised by your neighbors. Those people who give in order to reap praise have already received their reward.”
5. 1 Peter 4:11 “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
6. Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
7. 1 Corinthians 15:58 “My dear brothers and sisters, stay firmly planted—be unshakable—do many good works in the name of God, and know that all your labor is not for nothing when it is for God.”
8. Romans 12:1–2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
9. Ephesians 6:7 “Rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man.”
Expressing your love through service
Our love for others is made manifest in how we serve others. It is one of the plainest expressions of love that we can see in Scripture. This is because we are giving ourselves to one another – which is the most valuable thing we possess. We share our time, efforts, energy, etc in loving others.
When we express our love through service we are imitating Christ. Jesus gave Himself up! Jesus gave everything for the redemption of the world. Do you see the image of the gospel in serving others? What a privilege and a magnificent image to be a part of it!
10. Philippians 2:1-11 “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
11. Galatians 6:2 “Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
12. James 2:14-17 “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.”
13. 1 Peter 4:10 “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
14. Ephesians 4:28 “If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.”
15. 1 John 3:18 “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
16. Deuteronomy 15:11 “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.”
17. Colossians 3:14 “And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity.”
Serving in the church
I encourage you to examine yourself. Stop for a second and ponder this question. Are you a spectator or are you an active participant in your church? If not, I encourage you to join the battle! There are numerous ways of serving others in the church. The role of pastor is primarily a role of service. As he leads the congregation each week in worship through exposition of the Scriptures, he is serving the church body.
Likewise, the deacons, teachers, small group leaders, and janitors all serve the church in their roles. Other ways that we can serve in the church are on a safety team, by tidying up after service, by serving food at church socials.
Other ways that people can serve are by simply BEING the body. Being an active member: sing along during worship, listen attentively to the sermon instead of scrolling through Facebook, get to know the other believers so that you can encourage and edify them. By being an active member, you are being a good influence and serving others.
18. Mark 9:35 “And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
19. Matthew 23:11 “The greatest among you shall be your servant.”
20. 1 John 3:17 “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
21. Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
22. Hebrews 6:10 “God is not unjust, he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
23. Hebrews 13:16 “Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.”
24. Proverbs 14:31 “Insult your Creator, will you? That’s exactly what you do every time that you oppress the powerless! Showing kindness to the poor is equal to honoring your maker.”
Christians serve because Christ served
The ultimate reason that we serve others is because Christ Himself was the ultimate servant. It is through serving others that we learn humility and express agape love that He so perfectly expressed towards us. Christ knew that He would be betrayed, and yet He washed the feet of the disciples, even Judas who would betray Him.
25. Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
26. Romans 5:6-7 “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.”
27. John 13:12-14 “After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.”
Be the hands and feet of Jesus by serving
We become the hands and feet of the Lord when we reach out to serve others for Christ’s sake. This is one of the primary functions of the church body. We gather together to study Scripture, sing praises, pray and to edify one another.
We are called to meet the physical and emotional needs of our church body. This is being the hands and feet of Jesus. Meditate on this glorious grace-filled truth. You are a co-labor with God in His purposes of restoration.
28. Matthew 25:35-40 “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
29. John 15:12-14 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.”
30. 1 Corinthians 12:27: “You are the body of the Anointed, the Liberating King; each and every one of you is a vital member.”
31. Ephesians 5:30 “For we are parts of his body—of his flesh and of his bones.”
32. Ephesians 1:23 “Which is his body, filled with himself, the Author and Giver of everything everywhere.”
Using our gifts and resources to serve
God has gifted each of us uniquely. For some people, He has gifted them with financial resources. For others, he has gifted them with special abilities. God has called us all to use our gifts and resources to serve others.
Whether it is making monetary donations to help the church serve or whether it is using your carpentry or plumbing skills. Each and every person has at least one gift which can be used to serve others in the name of Christ.
33. James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
34. Acts 20:35 “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
35. 2 Corinthians 2:14 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.”
36. Titus 2:7-8 “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
Serving through prayer
We are also called to serve others through prayer. God instructs us to pray for others. It is a way for not only us to grow in sanctification but also for whom we are praying for to be ministered to. Are you using your prayers to serve? If not, then start today! Take notepads and write the prayers of others on them as a reminder. Call and text your friends and family and see how can you be praying for them.
37. Philippians 2:4 “Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.”
38. Romans 15:1 “We who have strong faith should help those who are weak. We should not live to please ourselves.”
39. 1 Timothy 2:1 “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; interceede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.”
40. Romans 1:9 “God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son.”
41. 3 John 1:2 “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”
42. 1 Timothy 2:2-4 “Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.”
43. 1 Corinthians 12:26 “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”
The blessing of serving others
Serving others is a tremendous blessing. William Hendricksen said “What is promised here (in the book of Luke) therefore, is that our Lord, at His second coming, will, in a manner consonant with His glory and majesty, ‘wait on’ His faithful servants. Jesus loves us enough to serve us, for it is a blessing. Likewise, when we serve others it is a blessing to us. The Lord will bless those who bless others.” When we serve, we don’t do it for what we can get out of it or to be seen, but there are blessings we experience when we serve. Serving allows us to experience God’s miracles, develop spiritual gifts, experience joy, become more like Christ, experience God’s presence, promote gratitude, inspire others to do the same, etc.
44. Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
45. Proverbs 19:17 “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”
46. Luke 12:37 “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.”
Examples of service in the Bible
There are a plethora of examples of people serving in Scripture. There are many examples seen in the life of Ruth. Check out, who was Ruth in the Bible? Let’s take a look at other acts of service in Scripture.
47. Luke 8:3 “Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.”
48. Acts 9:36-40 “In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.”
49. Ruth 2:8-16 “Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. 9 Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” 10 So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” 11 And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. 12 The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” 13 Then she said, “Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.” 14 Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back. 15 And when she rose up to [b]glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not [c]reproach her. 16 Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.”
50. Exodus 17:12-13 “But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.”
Let us love others by way of serving them faithfully. For this is glorifying to God and edifying to one another!
Q1 – How does giving reveal to us a picture of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Q2 – Are you struggling in the area of service? If so, bring it to God.
Q3 – How are you seeking to cultivate and express a heart of love for others?
Q4 – Who in your life can you serve today? Pray about it.