Servanthood Is . . .
"Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do." - (Ephesians 5:17 NLT)
Thought for Today True servanthood takes more than just compassion or even desire, fortitude, or ability. Servanthood in the life of a maturing Christian moves away from self-centered or worldly-centered service and toward God-centered service. Jesus had compassion (Mark 6:34) but stuck to his Father's plan regarding how he served (John 5:30). Your instinct may be to help others, but do you find you have difficulty saying no at appropriate times? Or do you try to gain people's friendship or approval based on what you do for them? Eugene Peters in The Message paraphrase of Philippians 1:9–11 puts it this way:
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.
Consider This . . .
We can see from this passage that we can learn to love in a way that glorifies God. The purpose of loving (and serving) others should come from a desire to make Jesus Christ "attractive to all." We grow into a healthy form of servanthood when we serve out of a "sincere and intelligent" love focused on God.
We can serve others to gain something for ourselves or in an attempt to be God in their life. Or . . . we can serve to bring about God's purposes in someone else's life in a way that results in glory and praise to God.
It's really a day by day choice. Reread today's scripture. We need to avoid acting thoughtlessly and understand what God wants us to do. When we do that, we can move in and out of others' lives according to what is best, wise, and healthy instead of trying only to fulfill their desires or our own needs.
Prayer . . .
Father, please forgive me for the times I have acted foolishly or selfishly. Help me serve others your way. Help me honor you in all I do and make Jesus attractive to all. In his name . . .
PO Box 22127 ~ Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 ~ 423-899-4770
© Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending e-mail to info@LivingFree.org.