Why Serve?

“Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.  For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”  Mark 10:43-45

Want to figure out who God is?  Christians answer this question by always looking to Jesus.  Jesus shows us some surprising things about God, stuff we would never come up with on our own.

One of these mysteries is that God is not all interested in status and power, but the same God who created the universe has a servant heart.  Think about it.  In Jesus, God became human, experiencing firsthand the suffering of the world, what it’s like to be hungry and sad and even angry when things aren’t as they should be.   In Jesus’ ministry, he hung out with the social outcasts and people no one wanted to get close to, healing and forgiving them and bringing them back to their families and communities.  And more than anything else,  God in Jesus gave up everything on the cross so that no one would be lost to sin, evil, and death.

Serving in the name of Jesus, reaching out to the forgotten and neglected in our communities, nation, and world sometimes makes us feel good, like we are receiving more than we are giving.  But sometimes, when we experience places that are outside of our comfort zones or meet people who are really different than we are used to hanging out with, or if we really dig deeper into the issues that put people into the messes they are in, we can find that serving is sometimes uncomfortable, inconvenient, and requires sacrifice.

But just as new life was revealed three days after Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice, we also discover a whole new life when we take time to serve in Jesus’ name.  And yet we don’t serve because of some reward that awaits us, we serve out of thankfulness for how God’s love has saved us from our own sin, and out of a desire for all people to experience grace, the powerful love Jesus freely gives that heals our wounds and gives us hope to start again.

What experiences, interests, skills, or passions do you have that might be used to share the Good News of Jesus’ love?  What is one issue or need you feel called to address?  These two questions will help you to find where God is calling you to serve.

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