Thursday, April 17, 2014

Serving Because of Jesus ~ By Amy Vest

Real life is found in dying to self and living for Jesus and others for God’s glory.  This truth has been running through my mind this week.  This is what Jesus has done and calls us to follow in His steps.  
“For even 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 

“For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” John 13:15

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Phil. 2:5-11

Jesus emptied Himself and gave His all – so that we may come to Him.  We are called to do the same – to empty ourselves and give – by His life in us.  In this He is glorified, we find joy, and others are blessed.  We have been abundantly served by Jesus in salvation and His life in us - and have all we need in Him to turn and serve others for His glory.

We serve:

1. By His life in us – Jesus’ transforming life through salvation and His Spirit living within us, moving our hearts to serve out of love for Him and longing for others to know Him vs. our natural selfish heart focusing on our own needs and being served.  Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.” 2 Cor. 3:5
2. By His life through us – The life, love, and grace of Jesus pouring through us to others, bearing eternal fruit vs. trying to serve in our own strength, which is impossible and does not bear eternal fruit.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” 2 Cor. 4:7
3. For His glory – With our eyes fixed on Jesus, the building of His Kingdom, and Him receiving all of the glory vs. on ourselves, building our own reputation, and people thinking well of and praising us.
whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:13

As He serves like this through us; we will know Him in new ways, His Kingdom will be advanced, and the world will see something different than the norm of self-serving, which will open doors to share the One who satisfies – for His glory.

This serving is a:
- Heart attitude – wherever you are: from the tiniest little task to a major team opportunity
- Lifestyle – all of the time: not just when you get in “ministry mode”
- Pursuit – something to always be pursuing and asking the Lord to shape in your heart and lead you in

Serving takes so many forms in our lives - helping your little sister pick up her toys, or washing the dishes after a church dinner, or sharing at a conference.  Regardless of what we are doing, what is most important is why and the way we are doing it = the heart attitude we are doing it with and that we are being obedient to where the Lord is calling us to serve out of a desire to please and bring glory to Him.

This morning I was preparing to leave for a worship service and was asked to do a task that I was not planning into my time schedule before I left.  While the task was important, what was more important was if my heart was responding by the Lord’s grace in humble willingness to help and give in love for Jesus and others.

I want to daily, moment by moment live with my eyes fixed on Jesus and my heart in that place of a servant’s heart – alert to wherever He is calling me to let Him work through me for the glory of His name.

He is worthy, and, oh, the joy of His life pouring through us for His glory and Kingdom and the blessing of others!

As you reflect this weekend on how Jesus came “…to serve, and give his life a ransom for many.”, may your heart embrace His serving ransom in salvation with worshipful surrender and a longing for Him to flow through you to serve others for His glory.

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