“If anyone serves me, he must follow me: and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
Thoughts from Amanda Cook
Behind the Scenes
In today’s world, we bristle at the idea of being a servant. We, meaning the world, are so wrapped up in what is in it for us, that we can’t even see the point of serving. What will I get out of it? Will they serve me? What if I don’t get out of it what I put into it? What if I serve more than them? What if they ask me to do something “below” me? I’ll do it, but they’re going to owe me…and on and on.
But in the upside-down Kingdom of God, we are to reverse our thinking. Mark 10:43-45 says, “…but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” That word “servant” in Greek is diakonos and is used figuratively as one who advances another’s interest even at the sacrifice of his own.
Make it Real
Gulp! Was that hard to swallow? In God’s kingdom, we are to serve others, put their interests above our own, even at our own sacrifice?!? How do we do that? How do we put ourselves aside and serve as though ALL others are more important than us?
First, we have to remember that that is exactly what Jesus did for us! He came to serve and sacrifice His life for our lives. We serve out of an overflow of gratefulness for what He did for us! When we realize the grace that we have been shown and the love our Father has for us, it becomes action in response to that.
Okay, but let’s be real – no, really real…sometimes I don’t FEEL like serving! Sometimes it FEELS better to focus on me (okay, since we’re being real – a LOT of times it feels better to focus on me – in the moment). Let’s face it, standing out in -20 degree weather waving at cars coming to church or opening a door for our guests, doesn’t feel good. Lugging full coffee urns up the stairs doesn’t feel good (ask my knees). But we have people at ACF Church that SERVE on a regular basis – regardless of how it feels. Ask them why.
Their answers vary, but it comes down to others. Some have said, “It’s for that one person that needs an extra smile.” Others, “Because Jesus gave it all for me.” Generally, they are not thinking of themselves when they serve. Don’t get me wrong, serving definitely brings blessing. But it’s not a barter system. It’s not, “God I will serve You if You do something for me.” The blessings we get are Kingdom blessings, sometimes seen and sometimes unseen. We serve regardless of how it feels because that’s what God calls us to do.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:10
End in Prayer
Thank You that You allow us to enter into Your kingdom work. That You allow us to come alongside You and serve Your people. Help us to serve even when and where it doesn’t necessarily feel good. Help us to have joy and serve out of an overflow of our gratefulness to You. Lord God we love You.
In Jesus’ name – AMEN!