Why We Serve

WHY we serve {STAND OUT: 7 traits of a counter cultural life — service}

Welcome to day 16 of STAND OUT: 7 traits of a counter cultural life. You can find an index of every post in this series here.

Y’all, I love a good cupcake. It’s hard for me to pass by a cupcake store when I’m out and about. There’s something special about having my own fully decorated little cake. My favorite cupcake of all time is the wedding cake cupcake at Gigi’s. It is beautiful and smells incredible and, oh my word, it tastes amazing.

There is only one problem with this little piece of delectable — it’s so rich I either can’t eat it all or I feel a little queasy because I made myself eat every crumb.

You’re probably wondering what in the world cupcakes have to do with service, right?

WHY we serve {STAND OUT: 7 traits of a counter cultural life — service}

Here’s what I’ve noticed about serving others, when we are doing it for any reason other than Christ, we often end up not finishing the task or completing with a less than amazing attitude.  Just like forcing myself to eat the whole cupcake results in losing some of the delight in having it, so too when we serve from wrong motives our service becomes mere obligation and we lose some of the delight in doing it.

WHY we serve matters.

In Matthew 20, we find a conversation between Jesus and the mother of James and John. If we’re really honest with ourselves, we might say we can relate a little bit to Momma Zebedee’s desire for her sons. She’s watched them leave their fishing nets and follow Jesus. She’s seen Him do great things and knows her sons have been there beside Him every step of the way. So, like mommas are wont to do, she pulls Jesus to the side with a teensy, tiny request/suggestion:

She said to Him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” verse 21

We might sit in our comfortable chairs at home with our Bibles in hand and “tsk, tsk” this selfish mom who had no clue what she was asking. And as we judge her, we might miss the times our own heart has desired for our children to receive the recognition and honor we think they deserve or the times we have tried to intervene on their behalf.  This mom realized Jesus had power and authority. She, at the very least, believed He was going to lead a kingdom and she just wanted to make sure He had considered letting her precious boys be a big part of that new kingdom.

Jesus, ever the gentle one answered her, “You do not know what you are asking.” {verse 22}

And then, because her boys were clearly right there looking a little bobble-headed as they nodded along with their momma’s request, Jesus looks at them.

Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?  They said to Him, “We are able.” {verse 22}

Oh the arrogance, right? They had no idea what they were asking, no clue what they agreeing to! So Jesus tells them He won’t be making the decision about those things but the Father will. The other disciples end up getting mad about the whole notion James and John wanted those high positions and Jesus has the original “Come to Jesus” conversation with the twelve.

But Jesus called them to Him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great one exercises authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28

They’d been watching bad leadership all their lives and rather than wanting to see godly leadership, they just want their own chance at the power. The Roman government has abused and mistreated them. Their own religious leaders are manipulative and power hungry. And Jesus tells them they are looking at all of it the wrong way.

One of the most beautiful evidences of our transformation in Christ is following His example of serving others. We serve because it is a fragrant offering to the Lord. We serve because we have been served in the most incredible manner possible — Jesus gave His life for us.

He’s calling them to an upside down kingdom. The same kingdom He invites us to join.  Why do we serve?

Because He did.

One of the most beautiful evidences of our transformation in Christ is following His example of serving others. We serve because it is a fragrant offering to the Lord. We serve because we have been served in the most incredible manner possible — Jesus gave His life for us.

We serve because it is a fragrant offering to the Lord. #StandOut Click To Tweet

In light of that, why would we NOT serve?

xo,

Teri Lynne

What are some results of service rooted in obligation or another motive other than following the example of Christ?

 

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