PAUSE: Serve God by Serving Others

Serving God by serving others is following Jesus.
John 13: 5-12

Jesus was clearly recognized by His closest followers as a figure of authority.  His disciples referred to Jesus as teacher and Lord – terms of authority and status.  On the evening in which Jesus was sharing a Passover meal with his followers, He caught them all off guard by stooping to wash their dirty feet.  Washing feet was reserved for the lowest servant in the household.  When Jesus did this radical act He burned into their hearts and minds a powerful lesson.  

After washing the last of their feet, He asked them if they knew what He had done to them.  Jesus told them that He had given them and example to follow.  He (the acknowledged authority in the group) was able to stoop down and wash His followers dirty feet – nothing should keep them from the doing the same to one another; serving one another in humility.

Jesus followed up this powerful object lesson by reminding His disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

At Lakeside we have been considering the busy life in a series of messages called PAUSE: Be still and know God.  This week we consider “S” for serve.  How can busy people serve others?  There is hardly enough time to take kids to school, sports practice and piano lessons while cramming in some kind of dinner and then homework to consider serving someone!  With school projects, work assignments, bills to pay and responsibilities to keep – where does one find the time to serve?  

In the PAUSE series we learned a life skill.  The skill is understanding that God is not asking for more time.  We all have the same 24 hours.  The life skill is choosing from among all the good things we have in life (smart phones, movies, Netflix, Instagram, X-Box, Forte Night and more) we must choose what is best.  No one gets a pass in the busy life – we make choices all the time.  The skill comes in choosing what is best from among all the good.

Where do you start?  Ok – if one is to choose to serve someone, where do they begin?  Remember, it’s not about making more time – for the busy person it’s about using the time you have wisely.  A great place to start serving is with the people right in front of you (closest to you in life).  Often times when we hear the phrase “serve others” in church we think of soup kitchens and homeless shelters or even global missions; however, I want you to slow down and rethink the “serve others” imperative.  

Usually the people closest to us are the most neglected in our thinking.  Familiarity can breed contempt and we forget those right in front of us – our family and close friends.  What if we (the busy people) started by simply serving the people right in front of us – the people we live with and already do life together with?  

2 Important Facts to Remember:

  1. The teaching of Paul to the church is that all of us were created in Jesus for good works that He has for us to do (Ephesians 2: 10).
  2. Anything short of sin can be done to bring glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

4 Points to Ponder This Day:

  1. Open your eyes to the needs right in front of you (your home, work place and school).
  2. Realize there is no job that is beneath you (re-read John 13: 5-12).
  3. You grow close to Jesus by following Him.  He said He came not to be served but to serve and give His life a ransom for many.
  4. Who is in your path today or this week?  It’s this simple:  See a need – meet it.  Something needs to be done – do it.  Empty the dishwasher, clean out the cat box, pick up after the dog, cut the grass, make the bed, fold the laundry, buy the tickets at the theater, make a meal for your family/friends, listen and don’t talk, fill someone’s gas tank, baby sit someone’s kids, bake someone cookies.  I think you get the idea.

Are you writing that doing mundane acts qualify for serving God?  Yes, I am.  Your acts of service from a heart of love are glorifying to God.  Jesus came and served without expectation of any returns… actually, it ended up costing Him His life on a cross!  

Remember, serving God by serving others is following Jesus.  Who will you serve today?  Get up, get out there and find what needs doing and do it!  Watch God change your life and the lives of those you love in the process of serving them.