June 7, 2019
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28
God’s Word is clear about service and discipleship being inseparably linked, though this goes against the grain of our consumer culture where it is all about what I want and what I need.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). After inviting us to come to Him for comfort, we are urged to be co-yoked with Jesus in service to the Father. Serving next to Jesus we discover true rest and peace.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me”(Matthew 16:24). Unequivocally, discipleship involves sacrificial service to others, doing the inconvenient and uncomfortable.
People typically start coming to our congregations to be served, but if they get it, they will grow to become more like Jesus as they are faithfully taught and challenged to serve.(See Matthew 20:26-28 above.)
All along people’s spiritual journeys, joining Jesus in service to others and God causes them to continue growing spiritually.
- Serving in the church. From the beginning, at least monthly, Jesus’ followers should find places of service that fit them. How can we possibly say we are following Jesus if we are not joining Him in serving others?
- Serving through the church. As we mature spiritually, we need to learn to go public with our faith and not keep it compartmentalized to church. Serving others in the community through the church enables us to gain confidence in living out our faith in the rest of the world where they live.
- Serving beyond the church. As we continue to mature and gain deeper understanding both about how Jesus serves others and how we are wired to serve, we need to discover ways to join Jesus in serving in our community and the world that have kingdom impact. When the needs of the world, a disciple’s own gifts and passions, and the nudge of the Holy Spirit intersect, mature disciples GROW exponentially.
If I had to describe one word for how serving has impacted my life, I would say community. The friends and mentors and lifelong companions are incredible. We NEED it! Thank God for the friends you have through serving. If you haven’t developed those deep relationships yet, get on it; they will make and save your life!