Among the many spiritual disciplines that have been discussed, service is one that is commonly overlooked but equally as important. Romans 12:1 describes the act of service as “…present[ing] your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” In this sense, service is not only a spiritual discipline itself but is also within the discipline of worship as a lifestyle.
Why Do We Serve?
First and foremost, we serve because we are called to live the gospel and in living the gospel, we serve humbly as Christ did. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). There is no better way to live your life modeling Christ than to serve because that is what He did. While many see service as being in conjunction with both national and international mission trips, service should even be a part of our daily lives. Acts 1:8 states, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” In the Christian world we seem to forget the first part of the verse. Our tendency is to focus on the “ends of the earth,” and we should. However, Jesus has also called us to Jerusalem, or our very own backyards.
How Do We Serve?
We serve like Jesus, humbly. It is as simple as that. Jesus is the ultimate example of this. On the night of His arrest, He humbly washes the feet of His disciples including Judas Iscariot, the one who he knows will betray Him. In this, Christ not only shows us what it means to be greatest in the kingdom (i.e. “the first shall be last” (Matthew 20:16), but he also shows us that regardless of who a person is or what they have done to us, we are to still serve them. Serving those who have hurt us is scary and uncomfortable, but we are not called to comfort in this world. We are called to be servants of Christ and to live a life pleasing to Him.
What is holding you back? Often times it simply takes an awareness and willingness to serve. Look around you today and you will find opportunities to serve others. When you find one, serve! Regardless of who the person is, serve them as Jesus taught us to serve.