The blessing of serving God and others

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1 Peter 4:10  “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”  NIV Bible

Extra Reading: 1 Peter 4:1-11.

There are women and men of courage, willing to undergo extreme sacrifice for a worthy cause. Most of these people serve in the NGOs worldwide. They make a difference in the lives of millions of people. Christ is also making a call to us. He says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 NIV). Jesus is looking for those who would go with him on a journey of the way of the cross. This call was issued by the Lord after He had indicated to His disciples that He was going to Jerusalem to suffer and be killed. Praise be to God that thousands of Christian workers and missionaries have responded to that invitation down through the ages, gladly forsaking all to follow Him. All followers of Jesus must break all ties that weaken or interfere with wholehearted commitment to Him: …”whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:33). No person or thing should come before Him, as he meant when he said that we have to renounce all material possessions, and put Jesus above all-even above our families. People in this world want to have others serve them. But Jesus Christ turns this thinking on its head by teaching that the highest goal in life is not having servants but being a servant. Could it be that the reason He places such a high value on serving is that it is others-centred rather than self-centred? This is the essence of Christian living. Serving is therefore the opposite of selfishness.

The whole idea of service seems to run counter to what we are taught-to do our own thing. We definitely need to understand what it means to be a servant. When you read Philippians 2:5-9 you come across the truth that though Christ was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. In human form He obediently humbled Himself. In a most striking picture of servanthood, Jesus humbles Himself through obedience. When you read through Matthew 20:20-28 you come across Jesus saying, “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.”  Jesus revolutionizes our understanding of leadership by teaching “downward mobility.” Jesus taught servanthood by washing His disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17). By performing the task of a slave, Jesus models how far we are to go in serving one another. The Spirit of God transforms our motives for serving. We need to give ourselves completely to God. Joshua challenged the Israelites by saying to them, “Love the Lord your God, obey His commands and serve Him with all your heart” (Joshua 22:5; 24:14-15). The greatest lesson I have learned about servanthood is that a servant is loyal and obedient to his master even when it’s not convenient. We serve God by recognizing our spiritual gifts and enthusiastically investing them in the ministry of the local church. May I add by saying that regardless of the level of our gifts and abilities, God expects us to invest ourselves boldly for His glory.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, make us servants in the advancement of Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Rev. Samuel N. Modise               

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