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Serving and Glory

When Jesus washed his friends’ feet, it wasn’t just a kind action for hygiene’s sake. It was also symbolic of the need for the disciples to be fully cleansed by His work on the cross. Jesus was giving them the gospel in action.

Yesterday’s post ended with a lot of questions about serving. I’m asking us to grapple with the “why” of servanthood, so we can get to the heart of the issue. For years the Christian community has “served” others, but I’m not sure we’ve always done it with the right motive or for the right cause.

Sometimes I think we’ve been guilty of checking the box of “duty” and confused that with real servanthood. Or maybe you’ve jumped on some “politically correct bandwagon” and offered your service out of a sense of obligation. Maybe you’re just one of those unique individuals who has compassion for others and you’re willing to offer help when you see a need.

But for a large majority of us, it’s easy to serve others for the wrong reasons:

  • Tempted to serve out of “fear of man” (shamed into doing service) 
  • Tempted to serve for the desire to receive praise 
  • Tempted to serve in an attempt to gain “brownie points” with God

Serving others with those motives will not bring the joy that Jesus was talking about.

Jesus invites us to serve because of a greater cause and out of a higher motive.

He invites us to serve because of the service we’ve been shown.

He invites us to love with the love we’ve been given.

He commissions us to share life out of the abundant life we’ve received.

And that’s where this issue of “blessing” comes in. Remember what Jesus said as he was wiping grime from the last disciple’s foot?

“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

Blessing is related to joy and joy is related to God’s presence.

Track with me through these passages:

[box]In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35)[/box]

[box]For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)[/box]

[box]Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth. (3 John vv. 5–8)[/box]

I pulled out three random passages, but you know as well as I do that the whole of Scripture (Old and New Testament) is filled with the call to serve others for God’s glory. Ultimately, serving others isn’t for the cause of giving them a more comfy life, but it is to be a living example of the gospel.

If our servanthood is motivated by the desire to glorify God, by pointing others to the reality of God’s greatness, His goodness, and His sacrifice, then we’ll experience great joy. 

We’ll be experiencing joy because we’ll be walking in obedience to Him, fellowshipping with Him by abiding in His presence:

[box]“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Psalm 16:11)[/box]

If you are serving others today, be sure it is with the right motive.

Who are you serving for God’s glory today?

How are you being a living example of the gospel?