“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
“Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.’” John 12:23-26
There is a glory in completely others-centered service. We’ve seen the joy. We’ve received the grace that effuses from a surrendered life, enjoyed the fragrance of every loving act, every blessing and affection bestowed. We are captivated by the glow of delight in one who serves wholeheartedly unto the Lord, because He’s present in it. The glory is all His, pulsing from His heart of limitless love. (Romans 5:5)
So much of our service is actually self–serving. We ‘serve’ because we actually like to ‘do.’ We serve because someone we admire asked and would be pleased. We get involved and work according to our preferences and convenience. But the serving Jesus modeled, and said we must follow, is a serving unto death to ourselves. It was in His sacrifice that He was glorified, and He beckons us, as His servants, to honor Him with the same. (John 13:3-5,15)
The epitome of self-giving enabled Jesus to draw all men to Himself. His surrender of spirit enabled us, by His grace and reconciliation, to give of ourselves to Him and others. His death loosens our grip on self-interest and the need to be first and right, freeing us to consider others more important than ourselves, to prefer their interests and needs. And there is such gladness when Jesus is exalted! (Matthew 27:50; John 12:32; Romans 12:10-11; Philippians 2:3-4)
Is our service snippy in our workplace, crusty among our church, always with a sigh at home? Is it clipped with attitude, huffy with resentment, or chafed at the cost to our convenience? Maybe we need take a step back and a good look at the motivation, and the end goal. Unto ourselves? Unto others? Unto the Lord? Our sovereign Master is not pleased by public displays that hanker for attention, or corrupt, manipulative hearts. Emptiness rings hollow when we’re racking points or making boast. But genuine service for the sake of our Lord raises high His name and reflects His lovely face. (Matthew 6:5-6; 7:12; 1 Corinthians 13:1-7; Colossians 3:23)
“Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee.” ~Frances Havergal (1874)
Oh Lord, may I serve You as You have served me. And may Your glory be magnified in all You ask me to do for others’ sake, that they sense it is You who have loved them well.