Posts Tagged 'serving others'

Serving Others

JESUS SPEAKING

Just before the Passover feast, on the night that Jesus was arrested, he knelt down and washed His disciples feet. We read, ‘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 for 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. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.'” —Jesus— (John 13: 12 – 17)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

During the first century, nearly everyone wore sandals. The roads and pathways were comprised of small stones and dirt; making daily foot washing an indispensable necessity. Servants and low ranking members a house were usually called upon to accomplish this filthy task. And yet Jesus, being the Son of God, lowered Himself down and washed His disciples feet; creating an example for all those who may desire to follow Him. Being a Christian means embracing a life of humility and selflessness. Rather than seeking to be served, we must strive to serve others. And in turn, we will experience the joy derived from emulating our Lord and Savior.

There once lived an influential evangelical preacher named Gypsy Smith. One day he recounted the story of a woman who was interested in Christian work in London. She wrote him a letter stating, “I have a meeting I want you to come to speak to. It is only a small meeting and will take nothing of you.” He answered, “I cannot come, and it would be of no use if I did come. If it takes nothing out of me it will do nobody any good.” It is service which costs, and a cheap religion is not worth preaching […] Another Christian missionary named E. Stanley Jones once said, “The man is not greatest who has the greatest number of servants, but the man is greatest who serves the greatest number of people.”

Serving others represents the foundation of Christ’s earthly ministry. To follow Jesus is to embrace a life of selflessness and service. If we let go of our own wants and desires, we can more resoundingly accomplish God’s will in this place. Jesus said in verse 17, “if you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” The word ‘blessed’ generally refers to the happiness that accompanies God’s favor. And so He promises that a service oriented life will bring us more joy than a self-centered existence ever could. By serving others we can know God’s blessings.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we pray for the strength and desire to live a life of service; to sacrifice for Your kingdom and Your glory. May we lay down our selfish concerns to better represent Jesus Christ; that we too might be an example of Your love in this place. May we care for our fellows, may we serve others, and may we receive the blessings that accompany genuine Christian living. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

The Second Mile

JESUS SPEAKING

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I tell you not to resist an evil person.  But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.  And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.  Give to everyone who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away” (Mathew 5: verse 38 – 42.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    In the first century A.D. the Roman army occupied the Holy Land.  As conquerors they were afforded certain privileges.  One legal provision gave every Roman soldier the right to compel any Jewish citizen to carry their equipment for up too, but not in excess of, one mile.  Jesus used this commonly understood law to impress upon His followers the importance of serving others in abundance.  When a soldier asked them to carry a load one mile, Jesus instructed them to carry it two miles.  Simply put, accomplishing the bare minimum proves little; instead, the genuine love of God is made manifest when we exceed the demands, requests, and expectations of others.

    A number of years ago, a very influential Pastor named Chuck Smith went to be with the Lord.  He was 86 years old and had been battling cancer for some time.  When initially diagnosed, he began a regimen of radiation and chemotherapy.  These treatments coupled with his age, made him unsteady on his feet.  I was asked to accompany him to and from his daily radio program to prevent him from falling. Once the program had ended, we would get into his golf cart and head back to the church office.  On the way he would drive around the campus picking up garbage; he would also stop to talk to anyone in need.  One day a woman approached him in tears.  She explained that her marriage was suffering and that she had left messages with another pastor concerning counseling; however he had never returned her calls.  Pastor Chuck lovingly encouraged and comforted the woman; he then told her to speak to his secretary about setting up a counseling appointment with him later that week.  I was amazed that a man in his 80’s with lung cancer, undergoing radiation and chemotherapy was still out-serving many youthful, strong, and seemingly healthy on staff pastors.

    Like Pastor Chuck, Jesus has called all of His children to go the second mile; we must love others in abundance; we must give to one another more than is needed or required; we must serve our fellows with great intensity, sincerity, and passion.  Through our actions, others can and will come to know the mercy and love of God.  If we are obedient and continue to give glory and honor to the Lord, we will come to know the blessings of unending joy and everlasting peace.

    “Lord Heavenly Father, may we go the second mile.  May we serve and love others in abundance.  Use us to reveal Your love to the world.  Increase our faith and fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that we might accomplish Your will in this place, and bring honor to Your sacred Name.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

A Genuine Servant

JESUS SPEAKING

    But Jesus called them to himself and said, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  However, it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.  And whoever desires to be first shall be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10: 42 – 45.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    As children we are taught that dominance is better than submission, and that a higher social status means a better life.  Many therefore seek to acquire positions of great power and authority.  Yet Christ’s teachings are in direct opposition to such worldly principles.  Those who follow Jesus must deny what they have been taught, in order to embrace the doctrines of genuine faith and divine humility.  Only by abandoning the desire for greatness, can one completely and lovingly serve others. [Note: This does not mean you need to quit your job or stop seeking a higher wage or position. However, we must always be humble, no matter our station in life.]

    For years young men from across the country have flocked to the church where I used to serve, seeking to do pastoral ministry.  Many hopefuls were initially referred to a pastor named Romain, who employed a special technique designed to separate the qualified from the unqualified.  As the prospects approached, he would hand them a broom and tell them to go sweep a portion of the church.  Although many were obedient, others felt insulted and became upset.  One common response sounded something like this, “I came here to be a pastor and to teach the bible, not to sweep floors.”  Pastor Romain knew then that they did not have a servant’s heart; they had not come to serve and to practice humility, but to acquire power and authority.

    Those who follow the Son of God must give-up the desire for worldly greatness in order to pursue lowliness and humility.  Seeking to serve others rather than to be served, we become the men and women God has called us to be.  We can serve at home, in the community, at work, and in our church.  We can serve our family members, coworkers, friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers.  Only through selflessness and sacrifice can we be transformed into the image of our great Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.     

    “Lord Heavenly Father, inspire us to seek lowliness and humility.  May we hunger to love and serve others in sincerity and singleness of heart.  Provide us with opportunities to place the needs of our fellows ahead of our own, that we might be examples of Your great mercy and everlasting affection.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!


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