Editors note: For the month of October, our focus verse is found in Matthew 20:28. It states that, “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.” Jesus is calling the disciples (and all who are in Christ) to follow the same path to greatness: humble, sacrificial service to each other.
“Can we go home now?” was the usual complaint from me on a Sunday afternoon. My family was the first ones to show up and last ones to leave any given church event. Serving was modeled for me long before I could walk it out. One of my favorite memories is getting to sneak out of “Big church” and help my mom serve in nursery, but I’m not so sure my heart was in it for serving as much as it was for the snacks.
For many years serving was something that I just did; just did to be with friends, just did to get the approval of my parents, just did to play out the “good” Christian girl. What I didn’t realize was that serving from myself and for myself would lead to disappointment and exhaustion. When we serve out of our own need for approval, we end up pouring from an empty cup. God created us with a heart to serve. It says in Matthew 20:28 “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve”. If Jesus, who was God, was meant to serve, how much more are we, who were created by God, meant to.
Serving is an inside-out reality that requires a constant connection to the Father in order to be life-giving. 1 Peter 4:10-11 says “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen”. We can’t serve without God’s strength. His strength allows us to push past our own desires and love without promise of return.
As you are empowered by Him, He will reveal the desire of where to serve. For some it will be front and center, but for others, it might be more behind the scenes. My call to serve came when I was a teenager sitting in youth group. My desire to help walk students through difficult times and watch them encounter the Gospel stirred my heart to serve in the children’s ministry and then youth. I am encouraged by the bold faith of the next generation. As pastor Brad always says, “there is no junior Holy Spirit”. The wisdom that comes from their innocent faith teaches me how to live unashamed of the Gospel.
Serving was never optional. We must consistently realign our heart to want to serve God first and through that love serve others. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try serving in a new area. God just may awaken new desires in your heart. Serving, when done from a full cup, leads to the abundant life that Jesus promises us in John 10:10.
We would like to thank Savanna Ludecke for writing this blog post.