Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Not to be served but to Serve

“For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as One who serves.” Luke 22:27 

The measure of greatness in the kingdom of God differs vastly from that of the world. Our society idolizes the rich, the powerful, the beautiful, and the athletic. We even make celebrities out of those who brazenly flaunt their immorality. The world claims it is demeaning to serve others. However, God's kingdom completely rejects the world's measure for esteem, giving the greatest honor to the one who serves most. The person who serves selflessly, lovingly, without complaint, and without seeking recognition is highly regarded in the kingdom of God. When Jesus and His disciples entered the upper room, the disciples looked for a prominent place to sit; Jesus looked for a place to serve. As they awkwardly waited to be served, Jesus took a towel and basin and washed their feet (John 13:1–15). We Christians like to refer to ourselves as servants, but we are seldom content to be treated as servants! We are tempted to adopt the world's evaluation of importance. But when we look to Jesus as our model, we see that it takes a far more noble character to serve than to be served. The world will estimate your importance by the number of people serving you. God is more concerned with the number of people you are serving. If you struggle to be a servant, your heart may have shifted away from the heart of God. Ask Jesus to teach you selflessness and to give you the strength to follow His example. Watch for Jesus’ invitation to join Him in serving others. It will come. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

There is a different kind of joy in giving than the joy of receiving.  There is a different feeling in one who gets to serve versus one who has to serve.  

Looking at your motivations is important. 
Why do you do what you do?  Is it for yourself or for Jesus?  There is, of course,  the passage that warns about thinking too highly of ourselves.  Look to the book of Esther.  Haman was a very clear example of one who did.  He never thought nor looked beyond his status in the kingdom of King Ahasuerus.  Then came the day he thought was to be his in all its glory.  Yet the King wasn't speaking of him but of Mordecai.  In full blown humiliation he had to do for Mordecai what he dreamed of for himself. 

I have spoken of being in a play before as one of the Disciples at the Last Supper.  Acting out my part when 'Jesus' came to me to wash my feet still is indelibly burned into my memory.  Not only was I acting the part, I really wondered of the truth of arguing with God over His wanting to do than in my life!  

Yet as this world begins to cry out for a world leader, and for sure I saw it in yesterday's news from the head of the World Health Organization, the leader they seek among men will be a silver tongued devil. He will appear as a man of the people.  Yet he will be driven by serving Satan himself.  He will not be someone who serves.  Not at all like Christ. 

Satan has been working towards a day when his idea of a world leader is in play.  Until now the Holy Spirit has restrained such a one from staying on the world stage.  But know this, a time is coming soon when He will stop restraining.  The Church will be raptured and lawlessness unlike any seen in centuries will cover the entire world. 

Jesus came not to be served but to serve.  He said we ought to do as He has done.  Having experienced it more than half my life, the footwashing has been the most missed part of Communion to me in my life for the last 11 years. 

Most go to Corinthians to show only the bread and cup being observed. Yet in the Gospels it clearly shows Jesus saying, as He has done, so we ought to do to one another.  It's a command.  It's a sign of what it means to be a servant and a sign of our doing what our Lord and Master has taught us to do.  Hearing excuses about logistics, on we have too many people to do that...wow what an excuse. 

But realizing we are here to serve as Christ served helps greatly in knowing God's will in our lives.  Help as we are able to help others as unto the Lord.  

It may be in a small way on our part but may be life changing to someone else.  Maybe not even just the person you are serving.  It may be someone watching to see you to determine if you are serious about Jesus. 

People are strange about serving at times.  Most in the last several generations believe they deserve a trophy for participating in life. That the Government owes them and there's no responsibility. They don't want to earn respect let alone offer it to others.  They know not what serving is all about. 

It takes a pebble to change the course of a river.  Placed correctly it will alter where it goes.  Serving at the right time in any small or great way changes the outcome of people. 

Some think they can't do much for Christ.  He starts us out with faith the size of a mustard seed.  So we already start out on an even playing field.  Yet look what happens to it, given opportunity and water from the Holy Spirit.  Same goes in your serving no matter where you are or in what you do.  From sweeping floors to cleaning up after one who is sick.  In all we do, do as unto the Lord, Colossians 3.

As you start out today, look at your why.
Why do you do what you do?  Is it like Haman? Self-centered? Or God-centered?

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