Energize your Life with Serving

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Faith in action is love. And love in action is service.” – Mother Teresa

Serving, giving of our time and abilities to bless others, bends us from spending everything on ourselves to serving God and others. Serving aligns our hearts with the heartbeat of Jesus, who said:

  • “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.” (Matt 20:28)
  • “…As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21)
  • ”…Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant…” (Mark 10:43-45)

Jesus’ life and teachings were a paradox – an apparent contradiction.  Jesus believed, taught, and lived a counter-culture Christianity that He calls us to embrace today.  Our goal needs to be turning each paradox into a life pattern.

NOTICE 3 KEYS TO SERVING LIKE JESUS:

1: If you want to be great, be a servant.

  • Read Matt. 20:20-28 (see also Mark 10:35-45).
  • Jesus taught and lived something very different when compared to the cultural mindset of His day (or our day for that matter).  To many, it appeared that what Jesus was saying was upside down.  But Jesus said that the values of His Kingdom were very different than the world’s values.  And what seemed upside down was really right side up.  If you want to be great… be a servant.
  • A paradox is an apparent contradiction. Jesus said, in My Kingdom, the way up is down!  To be great, humble yourself and put others first – in our marriages, our families, our work, our world, our lives, and more.
  • What are we doing with what we’ve got?  We need to not waste our time or our talents on just ourselves.  We are to serve Jesus and others.

2: If you want to be first, be last.

  • Read Mark 9:33-37.
  • Today we live in a time and culture where the quest for first is huge. There is an unquenchable thirst for first. It’s all about me, mine, first.
  • But not just today; it is the human condition. Consider:
    • Adam and Eve
    • Cain and Able
    • Jacob and Esau
    • David
    • Samson
  • I just returned from a missions trip to Cuba.  There I met some amazing people who beautifully displayed a servant’s heart.  Pastor El and Juney have very little and their church was terribly damaged by the hurricane, as were many others we met in Baracoa.  But these people love Jesus and others.  They have entrenched themselves in last place – by putting Jesus and others first.  It is a beautiful picture of servanthood and Christlikeness.
  • The question for all of us is:  How can we be better servants to others? We need to figure out a way to build serving into our lives. It needs to be a way of life for us.

3: If you want life, give it away.

    • Read Matt. 10:37-38 and Luke 14:25-27,33.
    • Jim Elliot’s Story: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
      • Missionary martyred on Jan 8, 1956. (It’s a very inspiring story, and one I encourage you to look up.)
    • You may not be called to the mission field, but you are no less called to live counter-culture for Jesus Christ. That requires you and me to be servants in His service.
    • Jesus tells us, “Your life is temporal.  Make sure you make it count for eternity.”  Invest it in serving others!  In that way you are investing in the eternal and making a difference that will outlast your life on Earth.
    • Make your life worth living by making your life worth giving.

As we serve, we bend our lives toward servanthood and Christlikeness.