Bible Reading: John 13: 1-17
If there was a screen above your head that displayed all your thoughts, how confident would you be to go out everyday?
Never mind, calm down- it’s not only you! We would all probably be locked up in our houses, away from everyone. (Maybe you’d even be avoiding your spouse!)
Experts estimate that a human being averages about 6200 thoughts in a day. For me, I can relate to quite a number of those thoughts popping up in the place of serving.
What do I get for this? … Nobody appreciates me/ appreciates me enough / really values the worth of what I’m doing … They don’t deserve this… Am I not bigger than this? … Will I spend my whole life doing this?…
Maybe you spent your entire National Youth Service year cursing the government and the community you were posted to. I personally remember catching myself one Monday morning, while sweeping some office in a Secretariat clad up in my Khaki- all in the name of ‘CDS’- asking myself whether this was what I spent six years of education (with all the anointing on my life. lol!) to arrive at?
In our reading today, Jesus ends His astounding act of serving by instructing the disciples to follow His example (v 15), and pointing out that a life that serves is actually a blessed life (v 17)
There’s a blessedness that only exists in the place of a generous, poured-out life that is engaged in serving. Whether it is within a local church, or a community, or among loved ones, there’s a heart-posture of generous, self-denying, humble service that is a big mark of a life of blessing and fulfilment.
If this year is going to be a year of impact and of fulfilment for you, one of the things that must distinctively mark it is that you rise up (or maybe better put, humble yourself) in a life of service. There must be a heart posture about you that is not self-obsessed, but is generous in soul, seeking the good of others, not merely waiting to be served.
A life of serving really doesn’t start from the big acts- I think it starts from having a big heart. It’s revealed in all the regulars of life. Can you put others first when you’re driving and there’s a traffic situation? Can you allow someone else get on the elevator before you? Can you allow the pregnant woman or the elderly man be attended to before you on the queue without ranting about how even you can be pregnant? Can you pay your children’s fees without moaning about how you are their Lord and Saviour?
When Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, it was totally unexpected, unlikely and audacious. It was counter-culture. Why would He even do that? I like that Jesus not only modelled great service, He also answered some of the top questions and arguments that fly about in our minds in the place of service:
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet… John 13:3-5 NKJV
First, I Am Endowed By God
‘Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands…’
It was an awareness of what God had put in His hands that drove Jesus to serve. I think it will do the same for us. When we realize that our giftedness and skills, our resources, our time, our positions, our opportunities, and so on, all come from God, we become less self-obsessed and more generous about them. God has specifically endowed us so that we can serve!
I’m More Conscious About God Than The People
‘…and that He had come from God…’
When we make serving all about the people, we miss the point. An awareness that we are on assignment from God will drive us to serve. It’s really about God who has sent us to love and serve the people of the world to point them to Him, not about whether the people deserve it or not. If we’re going to have the right heart to serving, then we must do it out of a consciousness focused on God. Even when Peter tried to talk Jesus out of washing his feet, it really was no longer about Peter.
Third, I Am Going To Give Account To God
‘…and was going to God…’
We must also hold an awareness that at the end of everything, I am going to give account to God for my service. This leads us to strive to do all we can to maximise the possibilities of the entrustment that we have been given.
As we wait on God today, may He establish us in that blessedness of a heart of selfless, humble, God-focused service.
Something to Pray
The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me 2 Timothy 1:16 NKJV
Would you pray today for the Lord to position you and use you to be a refreshing to many
PS: Looking forward to an exciting time in church today! It’s Week 3 of our Focus Series, and it’s going to be an empowering time with family. It’s a single service by 9 am, both in the building and online.