Summary: Service with a smile—it makes a difference not only in the person who is served but also in the one who serves.

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When you go to a restaurant to eat does it make a difference to you if the server offers a smile or not? I think most of us respond better to service with a smile.

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Johnny was staring up at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church. The seven-year-old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, "Good morning son."

"Good morning pastor" replied the young man, focused on the plaque.

"Sir, what is this?" Johnny asked.

"Well son, these are all the people who have died in the service," replied the pastor.

Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque.

Little Johnny’s voice barely broke the silence when he asked quietly, "Which one sir, the 8:30 or the 10:30 service?"


1—Realize that I am on this earth to ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ ________________________.

“What on earth am I here for?”

Worship the Lord your God and serve him only. Luke 4:8

Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served…. Matthew 20:27-28 (Msg)

How Often do you and I look around to see what others are doing or not doing? But I have my own individual calling and each one of you has your own individual calling. You and I are responsible for following our own individual callings in life—not looking around to see what others are doing. As some of you may have learned from Rick Warren’s writings you have been placed on this earth to fulfill a purpose—to serve in some way.

Through service you enrich others, bless your own life and glorify God. The first way to give service with a smile is to realize that you are here to serve. The second way to offer service with a smile is

2—Look around for ways to simply help others and make a ________________ in their lives.

“It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.” Mother Teresa

All you need to do is look around at the people around you—at work, at school, at home, in your neighborhood, in your dorm and in the different groups that you are involved in at church. Ask “what can I do to make a difference in that person’s life?” That’s how you make a difference in your life.

So many were shocked by the recent revelation that Mother Teresa felt the absence of God in her life for so many years while she served so many individuals. That a religious leader supposedly beyond the clutches of doubt wrestled so personally and persistently with it, touches people both religious and nonreligious, because doubts of all sorts are so common to the human condition.

Her refusal to give in also inspires not only because of the immense good that came from her perseverance, but because it is only persistent striving and loving that can relieve the burdens of the human experience.

"Where is my Faith -- even deep down right in there is nothing but emptiness & darkness..." – Mother Teresa

From all walks of life, and at all levels, people struggle with doubt on a daily basis: youngsters facing their first day of kindergarten; alcoholics struggling to recover; presidents with world-shaping decisions to make.

John Wesley founder of the Methodist movement one time was ready to give up preaching because he was so despondent over a failed mission trip to the Native American Indians. Fortunately he was willing to share his doubts with a friend, a Moravian preacher.

"Preach faith until you have it, then because you have it you will preach faith." -- Peter Boehler, to John Wesley

"Feeling is just a patchwork by-product of faith." – Karl Barth

Watch for the small, simple opportunities to touch other people’s lives—that will make the biggest difference in the world. Through service you enrich others, bless your own life and glorify God

3—Impart what I do with _________________ and __________________.

“It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.” -- Mother Teresa

“Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.” – Kahil Gibran

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