• Lori Somerville

We talk a lot about service in our church circles….but how many of us actually seek to serve…….to be a servant? You might be thinking, “a servant……….Boy that doesn’t exactly sound like something I want to sign up for.

But should it? The answer is………….absolutely………..whether you want to lead or not………… we should all, as disciples of Jesus, be cultivating servant hearts.

I did a word search in the Bible using the word serve and discovered this – the word serve shows up in the NIV Bible 289 times. Depending on what version of the Bible you use – it may be a little more or a little less – than that.

& not just by Jesus. Here are some Old Testament examples – before Jesus was even born:

Deuteronomy 13:4 – It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.

Joshua 22:5 – But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you; to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

1 Samuel 12:24 – But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

& a few from the New Testament

Matthew 20:28 – 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.

Luke 22:26 – But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.

John 12:26 – Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

Galatians 5:3 – You my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather serve one another humbly in love.

1 Peter 4:10 – Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

I think that’s probably enough to determine that service matters to God.

And if it matters to God, and we call ourselves his kids, it should matter to us.

Jesus showed us what greatness looked like. It’s described in Matthew 20:

Matthew 20:25: Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 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.”

Jesus modeled service for us. The Bible tells us that everywhere that Jesus went he served the people around him: he taught them, he fed them, he healed them, he cast out their demons, he encouraged them towards freedom. And then he carried out the greatest act of service of all – when he placed himself on the cross for my sins and yours.

1. What does Love have to do with service? EVERYTHING

If you love someone you should want to serve them. Not out of obligation but out of love.

Love is not a feeling. It’s an action. Love looks like something.

Mark 12:30-32. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this “Love your neighbor as yourself”. There is no commandment greater than these.

Love looks like something.

Service is nothing more than love in work clothes.

The Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the greatest love story ever told. It’s the story of a God who created the world with us in mind. Who created a way out when sin entered the world causing us to be separated from him. Who has a plan to reunite us with him. Why? Because he loves us. He chose us. He longs for a relationship with us. Think about that. The God of the universe created the world with us in mind. The God of the universe sent his son to die for our sins. What greater service is there?

John 15:9-13- 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Who are you serving?

Are you serving your family, your church, your community?

Let’s look at what our lives as servants should look like. It’s found in Matthew 8:14-17

Jesus Heals Many

14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

“He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.”[b

Jesus entered Peter’s house to find his mother in law in bed with a fever. He touched her and the fever left her and she got up and began to wait on him….

Other translations use the words “serve him”

When evening came……….Jesus was besieged by crowds of people bringing their sick, their demon-possessed to him for healing.

How many of those people chose to stay and serve him?

Yet they all got set free……………

How many of us choose to serve him?

How many of us choose to serve each other?

Being a servant of Jesus is what we are all called to.

We have all been given talents, gifts, abilities not to keep to ourselves or to use for our own selfish gain but to SERVE EACH OTHER with

That is what the church is all about

Where do you serve in your church? You may believe that you don’t need the church but the truth is the church needs you. You have been given gifts, talents, abilities and a heart that only you have. The modern church needs what you have to offer.

Find a church. Serve one another. Love one another through your acts of service. Reach one another with the love of Jesus through our service.

  • Lori Somerville

Matthew 14:

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Let's look at a couple of these verses together:

At 14: When he went ashore he saw a large crowd of people and had compassion on them and healed their sick

· Jesus cares about your situation. No matter how big, no matter how small, He sees you and He cares.

At 16: The disciples wanted to send the people away but Jesus responded “You Feed Them”.

· Whether the disciples were concerned about the people or just wanted Jesus to themselves what happened next was an amazing teaching moment. When Jesus responded “You Feed Them” he was preparing them for ministry after he had gone. He taught them to think like a shepherd instead of a sheep.

What is he preparing you for today? What is he refining in you for that time when he looks at you and says "you feed them".

At 17: The disciples were concerned about their “not enough”

· Not enough can become more than enough when you:

· Bring what little you have to Jesus.

· Believe that Jesus can (and will) move in your situation and

bring forth abundance out of your lack

· Believe that Jesus can bring the supernatural into your natural circumstances.

Who is he telling you to feed today? What miracles does he want to do through you? Who is he trying to reach? Let's change our mindsets from one of sheep to one of shepherds. Let's be the church.

I love you and pray you are well during these difficult days.

  • Lori Somerville

Today we are going to look at what forms our identity. There are so many different factors that make each one of us who we are. Here are just a few:

· Childhood. Whether we had a great childhood or not – we were molded in part by our past experiences. Parts of my childhood were wonderful & parts were truly awful. And whether I like it or not those experiences left a mark on me. I have done a lot of healing but honestly there is probably more to do. My experience has been that the more I heal from my past the more room I have to receive God’s words about who I am.

· God’s word. God tells us over and over again in the greatest love story ever told what HE thinks of us. What he did for us out of that love. But so often it seems the world is shouting so much louder………….

· Things we were told about ourselves (even those that weren’t true). My son had a speech delay when he was little and he stuttered. Most people couldn’t understand a word he tried to say & because he couldn’t express himself well he had a number of teacher who wrote him off as stupid. & he believed that. That lie followed him for years – he hated school. Homework was a battle field in our house. He had things he was really good at – football, video games, computers but regular school work wasn’t it for him. Then he started going to Essex Tech and football and found a different way of learning and he did really well and gained a ton of confidence. When he left after high school to attend Masters Commission in Maine he had to deal with the scars that those experiences had left on him. And once he had dealt with it my son started talking. That boy can talk your ear off today – but he’s got years of being silent to make up for because he believes the lie that no one wants to hear what stupid has to say. I’ve noticed something else when he’s preaching to the teens or praying out loud for someone…………there is no hint of a stutter in his speech at all.

· Expectations of others. Growing up I spent a lot of time and energy trying to be what I thought other people wanted me to be. It wasn’t who I was or even who I wanted to be but I took on those identities because I felt it was expected of me. And the result was that I ended up lost and broken and in desperate need of a savior who would love me just the way I am.

· Wrong expectations we place on ourselves (supermom, appearance etc). When Paul and I got married I had this idea in my head that to be the perfect wife you had to keep a “perfect” house and serve the “perfect meals” and do everything else perfectly. Well there was only one problem. I’m not perfect. But I almost drove myself crazy trying to be. Thank God I have a husband who would rather spend time with me than have an immaculate house. One of the few regrets I do have today – is that when my kids were really little I spent so much time cleaning when I could have spent more time playing with them and making messes.

· Expectations thrust on us by the world we live in. You can’t turn on a tv, move a mouse or open a magazine today without being confronted with the world’s idea of the perfect woman. I was watching something on tv the other day and it was showing the actors backstage getting their hair done and their make up on. They were quite ordinary looking. And those cute models………….they are so thin they don’t even look healthy. This idea of perfection is thrust at us from every direction and when we look in the mirror we can only find ourselves lacking, not measuring up, failing.

· Lies of the Enemy from birth. What lies are you believing? Maybe it’s the lie like my son believed – that he wasn’t a good student. Or maybe it’s the lies you were told as a child. For me – it was that my Dad wanted a son when I was born. Now that part was true. My Dad hoped for a son – you know the whole carry on the family name, work on cars, play baseball and basketball, hunt and fish with kind of thing. But what the Enemy did with that was to whisper in my ear my entire life that my Dad loved my brothers more than me. That was just not true and I didn’t really learn what a lie that was until it was almost too late. When my Dad got sick and was dying I experienced the depth of his love for me and recognized that lie for what it was. Now was my Dad perfect – nope. But he loved me the best he could with everything he had.

· This is not an exhaustive list. I’ve only shared a few. These may not be yours but don’t let that stop you from discovering and seeking healing from your own list.

God is inviting you to step out of all these things and be the you that he created....the you that he had in mind when he created you. Let's pursue that instead of the false ideas of who we should be or ought to be. YOU ARE ENOUGH IN EXACTLY THE CONDITION THAT YOU ARE IN. Live life to the fullest and just be you.