“For he who serves Christ . . is acceptable to God and approved by men.” Romans 14:18 NKJV
Humility prepares you to serve; pride prevents you.
My thoughts and comments today are about, “qualified to serve.”
Serving is an art, not a task – elevating, not demeaning. Serving benefits others, while making you better. Serving well has rewards, some are external to others, and many are internal to yourself – such as, personal satisfaction, practical usefulness, and character development. However, the purest motive for serving is simply because it honors God, reflects His nature, and serves His purpose. Serving is just the right thing to do, an expression of love for another and evidence of a redeemed nature.
Admittedly, serving does not seem to come natural to any of us and therefore, we have mixed feelings and misconceptions about serving. Our fallen, and self-centered, nature prefers being served rather than being the one serving. Read Luke 22:24-27 NKJV. By His own teaching and example, Jesus set the standard high; “I am among you as the One who serves.” Luke 22:27 NKJV. In the Kingdom of God, serving is not relegated to the under-qualified; rather, serving is reserved for those who are well qualified.
Even ungodly Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, knew there were qualifications for the best servants. Upon conquering Jerusalem, his instructions were to bring to Babylon the best and brightest: “Bring some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility – young men . . showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s place.” Daniel 1:3-4 NIV. Consider the king’s high standards for those who would serve: recognized potential, practical knowledge, native intelligence, and proven abilities. Would God expect any less of those who serve Him? “Servants . . whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men . . for you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:22-24 KJV.
The Apostle Paul wrote to Christ-followers in Rome, most or all of which were servants literally, even slaves, in Roman households, “For the Kingdom of God is . . righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things [righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit] is acceptable to God and approved by men.” Romans 14:18 NKJV. Serving Christ. Acceptable to God. Approved by men. Those are quite the accolades, and could be said of you? And the result? “My Father will honor anyone who serves Me.” John 12:26 TEV.
Practically, how do you “serve” Christ? Jesus is clear, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these . . you did it for Me . . whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.” Matthew 25:40/45 NIV. I have often quoted the wise counsel of my friend, Campbell, “If you want to know how you are doing as a servant, watch how you react when someone treats you like one.” Humility prepares you to serve; pride prevents you.
My prayer for you today is that you treasure humility and practice serving.