How to Serve
A World Changing Servant lifestyle has to be rooted in and driven by something greater than the need, the anticipated response, religious obligation, or how good it can feel.
Have you ever helped somebody only to feel unappreciated, unnoticed or even burned? Jesus can relate. He healed 10 lepers and only 1 came back to say thank you. When He rode into Jerusalem to save His people, He was greeted with praise. By the end of the week, crowds were shouting for his crucifixion. He washed Judas’ feet. Judas betrayed him. He washed the other disciples feet. The disciples deserted him.
A world changing servant lifestyle has to be rooted in and driven by something greater than the need, the anticipated response, religious obligation, or how good it can feel. If you’re driven by need, you’ll get burned out because the need is never ending. If you're driven by people's responses, you’ll find yourself discouraged and bitter because people will not always be appreciative. If you're driven by religious obligation, you’ll become resentful.
John 13: 3-6 says "Jesus, knowing that God had given all things into His hand, and that he had come from the Father and would return to the Father, rose….. and began to wash the disciples feet." What Jesus does flows from who He is and His loving obedience to His Father. Faithful, persistent, powerful service is rooted in knowing who you are and who you are becoming as a child of God; it's driven by love and obedience to Jesus.
While we’re called to love others, we have to love Jesus more.
We serve because we love Jesus and Jesus loves the people we’re serving even when they’re difficult, unappreciative or hurtful. This doesn’t mean we don’t practice wisdom and discernment and establish healthy boundaries, or evaluate how we’re serving, but it does mean that we don’t allow ourselves to become hardened and unresponsive to the needs around us.
Remember, when we continue to serve in the face of adversity, we are sharing in the sufferings of Jesus. He is working not only through you, but in you. People may not always appreciate you, but God delights in you. People may not always see what you do, But God sees and will reward you. You may get shortchanged, but God promises to take care of your every need, and to bless you. You may not always see the fruit, but God promises to complete the work that He has begun, in you and those you serve.
Be faithful, be strong, be courageous, and when you see Jesus face to face you’ll hear Him say well done good and faithful servant.