Being One Who Serves

Jesus Christ is our example in life.  One of the important examples He left for us is the example of being a servant.  Philippians 2:5-8 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”  Jesus was “in the form of God” and yet He humbled Himself to be a servant. 

One of the best examples Jesus gave of being a servant is when He met with His apostles at the last supper before His crucifixion.  John 13:4-5; 12-15 “(Jesus) rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.  After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.”  “So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you?   You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.’”  The task of washing someone’s feet is a very lowly service.  And yet, Jesus humbled Himself for this low task.  He washed the disciples’ feet to give us an example of how we should serve our fellow Christians.

Jesus was a servant leader.  That means that He was both our Lord and master and also our servant.  Jesus gave the following instruction about being a servant to others.  Matthew 20:25-28 “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.  Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.  And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.’” While on earth, Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons, fed the multitude, taught the way of truth, and gave His life upon the cross for our redemption and salvation.  Jesus was a servant. He is our great example on how to live a life of service.  The apostle Paul was also an example of the life of service.  He made himself a servant to others to save them.  1 Corinthians 9:19 “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more.”

We first of all serve God to do whatever He wants us to do. As a servant was often purchased by his master, God purchased you with the blood of Jesus.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 

We shouldn’t serve God just because He bought us.  We should serve Him out of love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).  Jesus made the following statement.  John 12:26 “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”  The apostle Paul called himself a bondservant of Christ.  Romans 1:1 “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.”  In the same way, James (James 1:1), Peter (2 Peter 1:1) and Jude (Jude 1) called themselves bondservants of Christ.  You too should see yourself as a servant of Christ.

One of the ways that we show our love and service for God is to love and serve others. 1 John 4:21 “And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” Therefore, service to others should become important to us.  1 John 3:16-18 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 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?  My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”  John tells us that we should be willing to even lay down our lives for a brother or sister in service to them.  That is pretty extreme; hopefully we will never need to do that.  But if we see a brother in need, and we have the ability to help, we should want to serve our brother and meet his need.

The key is focusing on the needs of others and not on what we want and what pleases us.  We can’t be selfish and be good servants.  First, we have to see the need.  I think those who are natural severs are sensitive to see what is needed.  Second, we have to have the resources to supply the need. That might be time, money, physical resources, or ability.  And finally, we need the spirit to fulfill the need – the spirit of love and service.

Do you volunteer to be of service?  Often, a need is expressed to the church or other group of people.  Do you raise your hand and say “I’ll do that.”  Or do you wait to see if someone else will take on the task and pity the person who is stuck with it?  A true servant is one who is willing to volunteer to meet a need.  When you accept a task, serve with gladness.

The mother who cooks meals for her family is serving.  The father who labors to earn a living for his family is serving. The family member who washes the dishes or cleans the house is serving.  The brother who speaks to edify the congregation is serving.  The one who gives a coat to someone who is cold is serving.  The one who visits the sick or the needy is serving (James 1:27).  The one who gives a cup of cold water to someone who is thirsty is serving (Matthew 10:42). What acts of service can you think of?  The list is nearly endless of how we can serve.

God wants each of us to be a servant.  We first of all serve God and secondly serve our fellow man.  I encourage you to see yourself as a servant to others.

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