Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Heart of Serving

by David Miller

I know that one of the basic fundamentals that we hear as Christians is servanthood.  We are taught that to lead we must first learn to serve.  It is the idea of servant leadership.  But what is there about servant leadership that is so important. 
First and foremost, it was modeled by Christ Himself and Peter addresses it in his first book.  "Based on the gift they have received, everyone should use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, [his speech should be] like the oracles of God; if anyone serves, [his service should be] from the strength God provides, so that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen."  -1 Peter 4:10-11 (HCSB)
Bottom line -- it is hard to serve others especially since we live in such a competitive world. What does it mean to serve others?  If it had been you in the situation above, would you have turned to go back? When it comes to serving others as Christians, there are 4 P's at the heart of serving that God can use in our lives: Power, Purpose, Plan and Passion.
1. The Power of Serving:  There is power in serving others. Not natural power but supernatural power. It is not about getting power but giving power. Many people serve so that they can be served. This is not serving that pleases God. Power comes through purity. As Christians we are supposed to be different; set apart for God purposes and ready to be used by Him. In 2 Timothy 2:21-22, Paul writes, "So if anyone purifies himself from these things, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart."
2. The Purpose of Serving:  The purpose of serving is "For His Glory" -- that is, God's glory. After we have served others, they should say, "God is good," not "You are good." The purpose of serving is to lift the name of Jesus. Period. When we serve, we represent to the world what Jesus looks like.
3. The Plan of Serving: The game plan of serving is simple. Take every gift, skill, talent and ability that God has given you and use it to serve others. Whatever that talent is, use it for His purpose.  You experience joy when you do what God has created you to do. It is in serving that we truly lead. 
4. The Passion of Serving:  The passion comes from the heart. We know all about passion when it comes to our school, sports, etc. But do we have passion to serve. Does it consume us? Do we say, "Who can I serve today?" Samuel Chadwick nailed it when he wrote these words. "Spirit-filled souls are ablaze for God. They love with a love that glows. They serve with a faith that kindles. They serve with a devotion that consumes. They hate sin with fierceness that burns. They rejoice with a joy that radiates. Love is perfected in the fire of God."
So here are my challenges for you today:

  1. Is there power in your serving?
  2. Is there a purpose when you serve?
  3. Do you have a specific plan to serve others? Are you using your gifts to serve?
  4. Are you serving with a passion that consumes?
  5. Is your serving ablaze for God?

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