Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This was on the heels of a mom asking Jesus if her two sons (James & John) could be seated at His right and left hand in Heaven. It seems that most of us want to enjoy the benefits of a lofty position: status, power, authority, people serving you. It feels good to be at the head of the line, doesn't it? Unfortunately, that is the last place Jesus wants you to be.
This idea of "serving others" cuts to the heart of what it means to follow Christ. When we do it out of genuine love it is a beautiful example of how our Savior lives within us via the Holy Spirit…but when we do it out of a sense of "duty" or thinking that it will "earn" us God's favor, we miss the point altogether. Serving others is a natural expression of loving them, and placing their worth above your own. It is one of the surest signs that someone's heart has been transformed by the Gospel and validates our faith to a watching world (John 13:35).
When you get into a lifestyle of serving others, it helps you to get over yourself. When you get over yourself, it frees you to exercise the love that the Father has placed within you. When you begin to exercise that love, the Gospel's power will explode in your life and you will be amazed at the transformation. Think about it: our preoccupation with self is at the center of most of the conflict and stress and pain in our lives. We are like walking nerve endings and it doesn't take much to get our attention, good or bad.
Jesus came to set you FREE from all of that. He sets you free to LOVE and SERVE and SACRIFICE…and that (the Gospel) is what leads you to the abundant life He promised each of us. I love what Pastor Tullian Tchvidjian, Billy Graham's grandson, says about this Gospel:
"What are you going to do when you find out you don't have to do anything?"
Serving others is not a matter of pleasing God…it's not an exchange or a merit-based system…it's just the natural expression of the love He has shown you on the cross and the love He has placed in your heart. The only thing standing in the way of that is…you.
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