Called to Serve

“There are some doctrines in the Bible that can be difficult to truly understand. Being a servant is not one of them.”

Christ lived the life of a servant to give us an example of what our service should look like. If you’ve ever loved anyone or anything, you know that serving it is the natural response to that love. Jesus, God himself in the flesh, came to earth to serve. He hid his glory beneath the frailty of our flesh and met our needs. “Christ set the example of service because our service to God is manifested in our service to each other. He not only provided our sacrifice, he served people while he was on earth, especially the unlovely and the outcasts. He fed, healed, taught, forgave, and washed feet, even the feet of Judas.“ He did not require pomp or fawning. He didn’t seek out the most powerful or noteworthy who might help his cause. He is God; he doesn’t need our help. He came to serve because of his great love for people who didn’t know or love him.

There are lots of reasons we serve. Those who have broken the law are described as “serving their time” in jail. Certain careers, like policemen or firemen, are categorized as public service. The reputation of a restaurant can be made or broken by the quality of its servers. You can serve for a paycheck or for the attention or favor that service might give you. But when the goal of your serving is what you will receive, your service becomes self-serving. The kind of serving Jesus modeled was selfless service to people that he chose to love, many of whom were rejected by their society.

“While the world disparages servanthood, God requires it. Jesus said that our ‘greatness’ comes only from serving (Mat 20:26, Mat 23:33), and that he will judge the way we serve him by the way we serve others. Serving those he loves is like serving him.”

I find it easy to serve people I love or people who are pleasant and kind. But it is another story when I’m called to serve the arrogant, the difficult, or the demanding. My pride starts to get in the way when those I serve treat me like their servant. The gap there is remembering whom I actually serve.

My service to others may be as simple as letting them go in front of me in line, or as time consuming as listening to their story. My service may be choosing a kind response to their rude or selfish behavior. It may be investing what comes easily to me in the life of someone who needs it. It will always be choosing to share all that God has given me with the people that God so desperately loves. They deserve my service, not because they’ve earned it, but because I love the God who loves them. God loved us and sent his son (I John 4:10). When we choose to behave as his children, our love for him requires that we love and serve those he loves.
“There is an important purpose for training classes and internship programs. Serving under those from whom we need to learn gives us information and experience we can’t learn from a book. Serving God’s people allows us to see and know the ways of God. The way we serve God indicates the truth about our character and becomes our testimony. The odd thing about God’s economy is that our humble service gives us honor.”

“May what we learn in our service teach us the things of God. May we have opportunity to share those things of God with a world that so desperately needs to be served. May God grant us the thrill of a life lived in mutual agreement with our master who seeks eternal relationship with us.”

Quoted portions come from my book “He Wants You to Know” available at barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com.

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