Monday, March 5, 2012

Being a Servant

Yesterday we were so blessed to have the Director of Skyview Ranch in Millersburg, Ohio, Jeremy Hales with us for the morning at our church. He preached from 2 Timothy 2 on the subject of the seven choices a servant of Christ must make. It was very interesting timing in my life to hear the message. About a 45 minutes before Jeremy preached I was sharing with my teammates who are going to Haiti about “Going with the Right Heart” and my thrust was that we must go in the mindset of Jesus. By that I meant that we needed to adopt Jesus’ mentality that Paul shares with us in Philippians 2. Jesus chose to take on the form, the role of the bond-slave. It didn’t get any lower in that culture than to be a bond-slave. Thinking about this reminded me of John 13 (the passage of Scripture that we will come to this coming Sunday (3/11) at we continue our journey through John at JIBC.) In thinking about what Jesus was trying to accomplish, I do not think Jesus was trying to “show up” the disciples or embarrass them… that wasn’t Jesus’ way. No, Jesus clearly stated what His intention was, it was to set the example for His soon to be “leader-less” followers. The way they would best function would be to learn to serve one another. That still holds true for us today, the way we function best as the body of Christ is to learn to serve Christ and to serve one another. This is accomplished by giving up our rights, our dreams, our agendas for the sake of another, for the sake of Christ. Servants do not get to choose what their tasks will be, when they will get to perform them or how they will be done. Servants do what they are told to do, how they are told to do it and they do it when they are told to do it. In Jesus’ case, feet needed to be washed. They needed to be washed before dinner, they needed to be to be done by a servant. I can only imagine how the disciples, who had just earlier done their best to avoid be the “one” to have to wash feet now must have thought as they saw Christ, the Messiah, their Lord, take off his outer garment, wrap a towel around His waist and start to wash the hard, dirty and most likely gross feet of each disciple. Jesus knew this and we need to know this too, the way up is to go down, the way to rise is to serve… I think it is hardest at times to serve the ones we spend the most time with, our families, our friends, our brothers and sisters in Christ. In my case, I can get pretty motivated to go and serve in Haiti, but I do not get nearly as excited to wash the dishes for my wife or go and visit a shut-in, or I could go on, but you get the idea… It all comes down to my motivation. Am I motivated by a sense of duty? Duty can be a pretty hard motivator. Am I motivated by pride or a desire to be known as a servant? That completely undermines my service… Or, am I motivated by love, yes, love… A love for God that motivates me to love others, including the others closest to me… Love will motivate you and me to pick up a towel, move toward the dirty feet and imitate our Savior… Happy washing!

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