Called to serve

Jesus washing feet

Being a Christian means following Jesus' lead in serving others.

Tragedies are common place; all kinds of diseases, people are slipping away; the economy’s down, people can’t get enough pay; but, as for me, all I can say is…thank you Lord for all you’ve done for me!

These lyrics to the popular song, “Thank You Lord,” by the late Bishop Walter Hawkins have lately come near and dear to my heart. I can truly say that the Lord has blessed me tremendously and I am so very grateful. Being the first in my family to graduate from college is just one of the many blessings that God has bestowed upon me. In view of God’s goodness, I want to make sure that I am properly displaying my gratitude. After thinking on what the Lord has done in your life, I am sure you are thinking the same.

Two ways, in particular, stand out when it comes to putting one’s thanksgiving on display: praise and service. Hebrews 13:15-16 highlights both of these aspects, stating, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” In this post, I would like to highlight service as an outward expression of thanksgiving to God.

With all of the things that the Lord has done for us, we would be remiss to just keep it all bottled up to ourselves. In fact, our command is to do the exact opposite. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus commissions his twelve disciples and sends them out with the “authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness” (Matthew 10:1). In the midst of the Lord’s instructions, he utters these powerful words, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8).

Jesus’ demand on his disciples requires that they exercise their ability to help others without discretion. After all, Christ’s entire ministry was centered on service; why would his disciples (which now includes you and me) be held to the same standard? Matthew 20:26-28 echoes these sentiments:

“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—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.”

Our call as Christians is to follow Christ’s example of service, which we do in reverence to God. In fact, God gives us the tools to serve, displayed earlier in Matthew 10. 2 Corinthians 9:11-12 is also an excellent example of this:

“You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”

Honestly, based on this scripture alone, I feel like I can give the benediction—but there is more.  It should be noted that being a servant is a constant vocation, meaning that there are no vacations from a life of service to God and others; and this is not bad news for the believer, as we offer service in thanksgiving to God. Galatians 6:10 tells us, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Every time an occasion presents itself for us to be a blessing, because God has blessed us, we are to make the most of it (Colossians 4:5). What kind of disciples would we be if we did not adhere to this command? 1 John 3:17-18 proclaims, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

Our call as Christians is to show the love of Christ (John 13:35) and this love is exemplified by service. Sure, love can be expressed in mere words of adoration, but love that Christ displays and requires (John 15:12-13) calls for you to put something on it! The love of God is very much motivated by action, the greatest example being Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of the world (John 3:16).

James 2:15-16 offers this commentary: “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”

In the same passage of scripture, James implores that faith without these kinds of deeds is dead (James 2:14,17, 26). Also, James 1:27 exhorts, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

God has a genuine care and concern for the disenfranchised, for those not in positions to help themselves. As ambassadors for Christ, to who we are eternally indebted, we graciously adhere to God’s call to meet the need. After all, many of us have experienced some sort need in our lives that God has met. These typically come through other people, and I can attest to being on both the giving and receiving end.

Deuteronomy 10:18 reads, “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.” Will you show your gratitude to God by caring for those who God cares for? After all, he cares for us enough to bless us. The greatest blessing that we have received is not a car, a job or a house, but it is the fact that he reconciled us to himself that we would no longer be aliens.

Our ministry is one of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18) and our call to evangelize incorporates our call to service. We are to “love those who are aliens, for [we ourselves] were aliens” (Deut. 10:19). Because God has shown us such great love we have to show it to others, and this love is displayed by service.


~ by christianballenger on May 13, 2011.

2 Responses to “Called to serve”

  1. What a great reminder! If you have a job you get a vacation, but if you have a vocation you get LIFE! Choose Jesus!

  2. Great stuff

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