Why do you think that serving others is such an important thing to Jesus? Does it let Him more clearly separate the sheep from the goats? Does it allow Him to relax a little knowing His work is being done for Him? Maybe He gets a kick out seeing people try to earn their way into heaven.
If you’ve taken any Christian instruction at all, you know that none of the above is true. Jesus doesn’t rejoice in our service to others for His own benefit, He rejoices because of what that service is doing within us. To serve Christ in the greatest way, to worship Him most effectively, we show His love for mankind by serving each other. This, in turn, draws us closer to Jesus because we have become His hands and feet and mouthpiece to the world.
A wealthy American traveler visited a hospital in Southeast Asia. He walked in just as a young missionary nurse was cleaning the sores of a sick, dirty, elderly man who had been found lying in a gutter. The rich man said to the nurse, “I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars.” She answered quietly and firmly, “Neither would I.”
We serve Jesus best when we serve each other. This nurse wasn’t there because she sought what it would do for her, she was there because it was the right thing to do. Money couldn’t buy her extravagant devotion to Jesus. Her life was broken and spilled out for the love of Christ.
1 Peter 4:10 urges us saying, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” We were created to serve each other and when we veer from that into self-centeredness, we miss out on all that serving gives. Though our old Adam tries to convince us that we should focus on ourselves, Christ has instilled in His people an urge to find their joy in greater ways through serving one another. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it.
By grace God has seen fit to serve us, even though we deserve none of His many gifts to us. By grace, God allowed His only Son to die for us, so that we might be equipped with everything we need to gain heaven. By God’s grace, he has wiped our slate clean of sin so that we might be free. With that freedom, we are allowed to serve Him and each other in His name.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Galatians 5:13-14).
When Christ came to be with us, he did so, not as a warrior king but as a suffering servant, “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 20:28). By His example we can see the power of serving others with unconditional love. By His example, we can see what God wishes to see from all His children.
And He promises you that your service will not go unnoticed. From Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you use it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). This is not a call to works righteousness but it does show us that God loves a cheerful giver and that they will be remembered for what they have done.
Serving others is the greatest form of worship, so worship God everyday in your service. Imagine if everyone had their minds set on serving others. I guess that would be heaven. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for serving us, most unworthy people, from a love we could never imagine for its greatness. Help us to rejoice in our service to others in Your name and lead us to new opportunities to be your hands, your feet and your mouthpieces to the world. Amen.