Disciplines of Grace: SERVING
In the bible you would find 767 instances of the word “Servant” across the 1,189 Chapters in the bible, that’s 65% per chapter. The word “love” in the bible is only 686 instances and 610 instances for the word good. This just shows how heart of a servant is a central characteristic in the stories in the bible. Leaders such as Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, and Isaiah has always been a servant throughout their lives. In the New Testament Paul, Timothy, James, Peter, and Jude in their letters introduce their selves not as leaders but bond servants (doulos). They love God, and through His grace can able to disregard their own interests to give fully themselves fully to be used for Christ Jesus glory even to the point of death. They know that they have died and Christ Jesus is living in them enabling them to have a servant’s heart.
Each one of us as members of a church family have been called to serve God and our neighbour. With the love that God is giving us, we are able to love and serve others as well. Within the church family we have our own gifts and calling. These gifts and calling given to us is something that we should be utilising as a service to the Lord and for our church family. Like a body that has many parts, we are positioned to at the perfect location and we should function to the best of what God has called us to do (1Cor12). All the types of service and ministry in the Church are equally pleasing to God. We should all be honoured and humbled that we are able to serve more than a worldly King or Queen, a prime minister or president but the King of Kings Christ Jesus. Majority of the people in the bible was not qualified to serve if you look at how they were. God calls personally us to serve, and it is only through receiving and believing in Jesus that we are qualified to serve. And not only within the church family we should serve (Matt25), similar to evangelisation; we can also use our service as a form of demonstrating the Good News to others outside our church. Let us be a model of God’s goodness to others (Matt5).
We should serve, not to make ourselves look good, but serve to make God look good. Be cautious of flaunting yourself in social media (Matt 6). Don’t serve to please others, as you cannot make everyone happy. Serve to please God and to make Jesus glorified (Col 3; Col 10). As we serve, we should not look on our position and pride, but let’s serve with humility and love. Jesus washed the feet of the apostles as he as King of Kings humble himself to be the lowest of servants (John 13). He did this not only with humility, but Jesus also washed their feet with unconditional love (even Jesus already knew that His apostles will betray, denounce and abandon Him after). Let’s serve not only those lovable but also the unlovable (Gal5).
Christianity is an upside down mentality where leaders are servants and the humble are exalted (Matt20, Matt23, Luke 22, Mark9). Serving is not about our convenience, we should be willing to commit and sacrifice as we serve. Serving God and our neighbours is not only on Sundays, but it should be a habit. We should not just give our crumbs of time and support, but our whole heart to God as we serve (Deut10). We should not count our sacrifices or time that we have given. We should be sensitive to what is needed.
At the end of the day we should always ask ourselves, why are we doing these? We can see this from our motives and what is in our heart (Josh22). And having a servant’s heart should be focused to our love to our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. We should always depend on the Holy Spirit’s filling in us in our lives for us to do service to the God with a full heart (Rom12).
We are designed by God to do good works and serve (Eph2). We should continuously remember that serving is not about us. We are able to serve because it is an outflow of what we have received from Jesus and what he has given (Luke12). In the Old Testament a slave’s ear is nailed to a wood of the door post. The same doorpost where the lamb’s blood was spread before Passover (Exod12&21). All these were fulfilled in the New Testament where Jesus willingly became the servant of servants. Jesus was nailed to the wood, and his unblemished blood poured out on us to make us clean (Mark10,Heb9). Even if we have betrayed, denied or abandoned God; God with his unconditional love and never gave on us and served for us to the fullest. With this, Jesus is the reason why we joyfully serve (1Cor15).
1. What is it about serving others that you find hard to do? What are some things that have prevented you from serving others in the past?
2. How do you demonstrate an attitude of humility when serving others in your life?
3. What “needs” are you aware of right now in the lives of others? What can you do to meet those needs right now?
4. If you only had a short time to live (realize that the clock is ticking for all of us), how would you spend your time in service?
5. Have you ever served an enemy or someone who is still hurting you, what enabled to serve willingly?
6. How important are our actions in communicating our allegiance to Jesus? Give an example of a past service you have demonstrated that effectively created more disciples for Jesus?