Thursday, September 27, 2012

Serve One Another

I regularly do seemingly nice things for my husband, friends, family, and those around me. It might be cleaning up after someone else, a batch of a friend's favorite cookies, a "just thinking of you" note sent via snail mail, a homemade gift, an evening of babysitting free of charge, or even just a text that says, "praying for you today!" Why? Not because those people have earned it and certainly not because I am, in my own strength, thoughtful or giving.  But, because God has called me to be generous, loving, to serve others, and appreciate all the blessings I have been given!

We were given the ultimate example of servanthood in Jesus. "But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." - Matthew 20:26-28. So, because we are to model our lives after the perfect life Jesus lived, and he, the Most High King, came to serve others, it's safe to say we don't have an excuse! Jesus, who deserved all the praise, service, and worship, successfully modeled leadership with such humility. So how can we expect to be served, praised, and even worshipped because of who we are or what we do? Humility I think is an important factor in all of this. We have to see ourselves as undeserving before we can effectively serve others purely out of love! We are not worthy of being served by others, we don't deserve anything from anyone, and we shouldn't hold those expectations in our hearts.

It's a tough challenge we are given. "...through love serve one another." - Galatians 5:13. How do we do that? By purely loving others. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-5.  Love is not self-seeking. We can only serve one another out of love if our motivation is not to help ourselves. A non-example would be thinking, if I help them in this area, then surely they'll help me in this area, especially because I've helped them! They'll owe it to me! When we are more others-focused than self-focused, we will better lovingly serve.

Who do you need to serve out of love today? How can you grow in the area of serving without self-seeking? How can you serve others around you more/better? I encourage you, and will be doing so too myself, to check your heart motives along the way! Serve out of love!

"...let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth." - 1 John 3:18

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