Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
To serve, or to be served? It’s a choice we all have to make at some point. Naturally, we’re inclined to lean toward being served. Look all around at the culture of this era. Everything is about how much we deserve and how we should get it now. We don’t have to wait for anything and we can be served…even through a little window on the side of the restaurant.
But Jesus came to serve others and He calls us to do the same. Does this sound familiar? You’ve heard it before, but does it resonate? How can you serve someone today? Can you put aside something you want in order to make someone else’s day just a little bit better for the glory of God? When should we serve? How much is enough?
Paul’s letter to the Galatians instructs them never to grow weary in doing good and suggests that at every opportunity to serve one should do so. At every opportunity? This can only be done by someone who isn’t thinking of themselves. This can only be accomplished by someone who puts the needs of others first. By someone who truly loves God and serves Him by serving His people. By a disciple.
Mark 25:44-45 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
It sounds like it should go without saying, but a disciple serves God. Why does this even need to be mentioned? Shouldn’t all Christians by default be servants of God? Well, yes, but the reality is that many who are saved are not servants. Many are more interested in being served than in serving. But that’s not the example Jesus gave us.
Jesus came to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:45). If anyone ever deserved to be treated like royalty, never having to lift a finger, it was Jesus. The God Man could have had a throne and a kingdom right here on earth. But instead He spent His time here serving others, even to the point of giving His own life. This is our example, not one of entitlement and expectation, but of humility and hard work.
We may get so caught up in living life that we think we have no time to serve God, but the truth is we can be honoring Him in all that we do, even at work or at school. We can serve any and all people around us, even in simple ways, and this is indirectly serving our Lord. But loving others, we show love to the One who made them. And we point them to Him in the process.
Matthew 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
A genuine disciple of Jesus Christ follows His example and walks as closely to Him as possible. When praying, the disciple prays as Jesus would. But how did Jesus pray? What does our example to follow look like?
We all know the Lord’s Prayer, when Jesus taught the apostles how to pray, but when Jesus was alone His prayers looked different from those famous lines. When He prayed to the Father, His heartfelt desires were lifted up to heaven. But notice that He doesn’t stop at asking. Jesus, having been sent by the Father to do His perfect will, knew that the Father’s purpose was more important that His own desires. Can we pray like Jesus prayed?
In His greatest hour of pain, during betrayal, fear, and impending death, Jesus was able to put aside His own wishes for those of the Father. Did Jesus really desire for the pain and suffering of the cross to be taken out of the plan? Was He really praying that the very mission for which He had come to earth would be aborted? Or was He showing us how to pray in great times of sorrow? Was He modeling for us what it’s like to give up our own will in submission to the Father’s? This is what it looks like. This is our daily calling as disciples – to give up our own will in exchange for the perfect will of God.