Serve, Sacrifice and Suffer
These words have begun to echo in my spirit the last couple of days. We don’t run to hear teachings on words like these. These words don’t give us the goosies or compel us to study. However the understanding and truths surrounding these words are beautiful to our Lord Jesus!
Jesus said, “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” – John 12:26
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Gal. 5:13
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
We are to serve Jesus directly with our whole lives, but we are also instructed to serve one another. We should periodically ask ourselves what service we are providing to our brothers & sisters. What service are we giving to our leaders, to the local body. We serve God even in our serving His people.
We should be regarded as servants. Regarded or known as servants. Is this how we know one another? Do I know what service you provide, or you me? In other words does my serving show?
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. 1 Cor. 4:1-2
Servants and Stewards
Being regarded as Stewards of the mysteries of God means that we should be known to know about God. To know His ways, who He is, and how He operates. But notice servants comes before stewards. Serving is a form of sowing as well as a form of worship.
The obvious first sacrifice we must make is dying to self. We lay our lives down for Christ as He laid His life down for us. Laying our life down means submitting our will to His. Our desires must be yielded. Our timing, our wants, hopes, dreams…all these must be surrendered to God. We surrender and yield allowing His Spirit to lead and guide our lives. Just because I may “want” to take a certain career path does not mean that it is the will of God for my life. I must learn what it means to sacrifice my wants.
Serving is sacrificial, more so at times than others. Giving is at times sacrificial. Depending on the person and their financial status, giving may always be sacrificial.
“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Rom.12:1
As you grow in areas of obedience and understanding God begins to require deeper application of the scripture in your life. Before you know it, He is convicting you to eat healthier, to go to the gym, to have a healthy sleep routine or to go roll up your sleeves and help your brother move. There are numerous oppurtunities to serve and many of them are a sacrifice.
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Tim. 4:5
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2 Tim 3:1
“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,” Phil.1:29
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:2
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. …” 1 Pet.4:12-19
Suffering happens in many ways and we often don’t know what to do with our suffering because we don’t view it in biblical context. But we know we can rejoice because there is coming a day when there will be no more suffering. Suffering is temporary, Serving is neccessary, and Sacrifices are commanded of us all, but do we realize that they are all holy unto the Lord. Holy because when we know and understand, doing as unto the Lord, we do in love as He has done for us!