This week as part of our Creating Culture series we looked at serving; we reminded ourselves that it's impossible to serve God in any way that will help him, or enhance his existence in any way. God is creator, designer, owner, he is before all things and will be here long after there are no more ‘things’. He is God. He can't be served in that sense (see Acts 17:25).
Not only can he not be served in the sense we might think of it, but he’s actually working for us, for our good, to protect us, to bring us to a place of plenty, to satisfy our hearts’ desires. Jesus himself said these words: “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). So, in actual fact, it sounds like he is the one serving us, if we’ll allow him to.
But we can serve God. It says so too often in the Bible to suggest otherwise (see Joshua 24:14, Matthew 6:24, John 12:26, Psalm 2:11 for example). But faithfully serving God can only come about when we allow ourselves to be served firstly by Him. Jesus is both servant and Saviour; he will have it no other way. Yes, he calls us to follow his example, and serve others, but Jesus promises so much more than a great example to those who will believe. Jesus had a mission; to serve, by saving! Only He could ‘give his life as a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45).
So service starts by recognising we are being served. And not just recognising, but allowing Jesus in, every day, to serve and to save. Served by allowing Him to shape us, change our hearts and attitudes, strip away our pride and lead us down the Calvary road of self-forgetfulness and sacrifice. How often do I hold up my ‘works’, my service, my deeds for Jesus as a way of deep down trying to impress him, or gain more favour! Serving God is a privilege, and genuine service in God's kingdom is only ever an overflow of our faith. James 2:14 says ‘faith without action is dead’. Jesus saving and serving me creates a passion and drive in me to do likewise; to follow Him in loving and serving others.
I’m thankful I belong to a church community of servers. People who are living out their faith overflow and turning it into Godly works. May we grow in this grace of being served by Jesus, and in turn serving both God and others.
Questions for reflection:
- How is Jesus serving me in my life right now? Where am I letting Him in to do His work?
- How might God be challenging me to let my faith overflow? Where is there a need in my life and my church to put my faith into action?
- What changes am I going to have to make in my life or schedule to do that? How is it going to affect my life, for the better or possibly even make things a bit inconvenient?