“I depend on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.” Colossians 1:29 NLT.
Serving is simply letting God touch a person’s life through your hands and heart.
My thoughts and comments today are about “serving successfully.”
Serving is no easy task. That may help explain why so few people ever experience the joy of serving. A serving lifestyle takes so much sacrifice and hard work, and sometimes receives so little appreciation. Jesus was clear about His mission and modeled the only way to serve successfully. “Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant . . 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.” Matthew 20:26-28 NIV.
Serving is a practical sacrifice for others’ benefit and God’s glory. My friend, Des, has often reminded me and others that, “It isn’t ministry unless it costs you something.” Doing the right thing doesn’t come at a cheap price. Serving is costly – costing time, effort, expense, caring, and the willingness to be second, rather than first. That may not be how you wish it were but is so basic, even obvious, when you understand serving; there is a cost to be paid but incredible blessings result to those being served, and amply repay the one who joyfully serves. A servant has Jesus’ own promise of reward. “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water . . because he is My disciple . . he will certainly not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42 NIV.
Serving restores your heart to God’s original design. Listen to Paul’s words, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT. Serving restores your spiritual DNA when you embrace faith in the Savior. What would serving look like? “Through love, serve one another . . in honor, giving preference to one another . . let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out for the interests of others.” Galatians 5:13/Romans 12:10/Philippians 2:3-4 NKJV. Selfless serving was unnatural to your old nature, but altogether normal for your redeemed life. “There must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness – righteous, holy, and true.” Ephesians 4:23-24 NLT.
Serving successfully is only through Christ’s power and enabling. My friend, Campbell, taught me this practical truth, “If you want to know how you well are doing as a servant, just notice your reaction when someone treats you like one.” A servant does not look for notice nor require applause; they just want to be helpful and effective. Serving is simply letting God touch a person’s life through your hands and heart. “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything coming from ourselves . . but from God who also made us adequate as servants . .” See 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 NASV.
Paul discovered his own inadequacy to love and serve at all times, and in his dependence also found the solution; “I depend on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.” Colossians 1:29 NLT. If you depend on anything less than God, you will fail as a servant. If you look for others’ approval and appreciation you will grow discouraged at times. A servant’s heart is content just to please the Master who called us. You too will need, and can depend upon, Christ’s mighty power to work within you, creating a heart to serve and a release of joy.
My prayer for you today is that you find serving to be joyous, not grievous.