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.