Friday, May 22, 2020

Our best example

What a week of study!
I've had more than my usual share of tromped-on toes, I can tell ya! The Spirit got hold of me and said I needed to work on some things!
We have studied this week on ways that we can have a ministry.
Ways that we can serve. And how to have a heart that is willing -- no, let's say that a different way -- a heart that is eager to serve others.
I heard it said a long time ago, that an easy way to tell if we have a servant heart is how we act when we are treated like a servant.
Makes sense, no?
A servant is one who meets the needs of others. Voluntarily. With no judgy attitude. As believers, we are called first to submit to and serve God, and then each other.
It's easier to serve others selflessly when our hearts are so focused on loving God that they overflow with love for others. We can give of ourselves without expecting anything in return.
You can see where I'm going with this, right? Who is our best example of these attitudes and actions?
Our Redeemer and King -- Jesus Christ.
He came to earth as a servant and always put others' needs first.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)
Paul told the Philippians that Jesus "made himself nothing" and took the nature of a servant. He provided us a walking, breathing example of us to follow. We know by studying Him and trying to be more like Him, how to treat others and how to handle our relationships.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:12-17)
To have a servant's heart, we should make Jesus our role model. We also must fight our "human side," that part of us that wants recognition and power. Why? Because we must be willing to put ourselves last, as we saw earlier this week. We must be willing to serve without those pats on the back that we love to get. (Grin)  The kingdom of God is different from earthly situations. Greatness in His kingdom doesn't come from holding positions of power. It doesn't result from the praise of mortals. God is more interested in whether or not we have compassion for others; He said that the greatest would be the least, remember?
Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, (Matthew 20:26)
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35)
Just as that last verse says, we show our love for Him by loving others. Paul admonished the Corinthians to not be concerned with their own good, but to be attentive to the needs of others (I Corinthians 10:24). To use a very old analogy, we will stand out like a sore thumb in our world -- today there is a whole industry of self-help and self-interest. The believer's focus should be on knowing and loving our Lord, and compassion for others will naturally flow from that.

God has given each of us gifts and talents; He has instructed us to use them for serving others. Our serving others may be what God uses to touch their hearts and draw them to Him. Let's share His love by using our gifts, our talents, and our time to serve others.

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