Serving is definitely not one of the easiest topics and commands that we are tasked with carrying out on this earth. Having a servant heart can often be a struggle and we can very easily get caught up in our own pride and end up serving begrudgingly or not at all. This is not how God calls us to serve him and serve for him on this earth. God calls for us to serve with joy and to “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become
blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky” (Philippians 2:14-15). God wants to use our joyful and faithful serving as an example of him and his grace in this world and to use this example to further extend his kingdom on this earth. God wants to instil a rejoicing servant heart within us that seeks to glorify him on this earth.
Another necessary characteristic of a servant heart is humility. To serve God on this earth (whether that be inside or outside of the church) we need to act in humility and not get caught up in our own pride or in internally placing ourselves above who we are trying to serve as this doesn’t honour God or the people we are serving. God calls for us to follow the example of Jesus who humbled himself and took on the form of a servant to save us and show his great love for us. We need to serve in a way that honours and testifies to God rather than ourselves. This attitude of love and humility is summed up well in Galatians where it says “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14) I know that this can sound a bit cheesy sometimes and that the command to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ is well known but imagine how amazing it would be to be a church and a community characterised and known throughout the city for great acts of
service done humbly and in love. How great of a testimony to the Lord would that be!
Serving humbly and in joy can be a challenge sometimes but can be so fulfilling when we praise God in this way. I’m going to quickly outline some of the ways that help and assist me to serve God in this way.
Through fixing our eyes on Jesus’ example:
Jesus showed us the perfect example of serving with Joy, and if God was willing to come down and serve with joy then surely we can and should try to do it too. We can find encouragement in his example and can learn from his attitudes and the way that he lived to shape our lives to be more like him in this area.
By praying for God to change my heart and assist me:
It can almost sound like ‘cheating’ sometimes, but God wants to pour out his blessings on us and be active in our lives and all we have to do is ask. God can make up for our incompetence and shortcomings and can change even the most stubborn heart of selfishness and bitterness to one of joy. So, let’s seek him out and ask for him to change our hearts.
Through focusing on eternity and the eternal reward that we will receive:
When serving isn’t easy it can be helpful to fix your gaze on the God, know that he sees your heart and your dedication to him and know that he will reward you for your humble service to him. Focus on the eternal reward with Jesus and find joy in God’s peace that comes with it.
I want to leave you with this final challenge. Regarding serving; what makes us different from the ‘nice/good’ people of this world who aren’t Christians? Are we serving according to God’s will or are we satisfied with just being on par with the ‘good’ people of this world? Are we being counter cultural by honouring our enemies through acts of service, or through serving those deemed lesser than us in society, or by continuing to serve in difficult times and continually serving without complaint? How can you best honour God and be set apart from this world in your acts of service?