“SERVE” Matt. 20:26b-28
INTRO – (Pic of Bro. Mack’s “Ready to Serve” crest – this is the crest of the 87th USARMY Reserve Support Command Unit) – Why do people join the military? Different reasons, but one of the foundational reasons is to serve their country. Bro. Mack served his nation honorably for 24 years as a chaplain in the Army Reserve. You don’t join if you don’t want to serve.
- Why do people join a volunteer fire department? Different reasons, but one of the foundational reasons is to serve their community. You don’t join if you don’t want to serve.
- Why do people join organizations like the Junior Auxiliary, Lions Clubs, & other socially-minded groups? Different reasons, but one of the foundational reasons is to serve their fellow man. You don’t join if you don’t want to serve.
- Why do people join the church, the Body of Christ? Different reasons, but the one of the foundational reasons is to serve the Lord. You don’t join if you don’t want to serve.
Continuing series of sermons on our church’s strategy to Develop Devoted Disciples.
- CONNECT to God & other believers as we worship the Lord privately & corporately.
- GROW in our walk w/ the Lord through consistent Bible intake. Simply will not grow in our relationship w/ Christ if we aren’t getting into the Word & getting the Word into us.
- SERVE God & others through the multiple opportunities of service we offer through the ministry of the church
- GO into all the world w/ the Gospel – Acts 1:8 (NLT) – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Let’s talk about that SERVE aspect today.
WHY WE SERVE – We serve b/c Jesus served. Simply put: We are never more like Jesus than when we serve. He was the ultimate Servant, the perfect Servant, & we are to follow His example. We will stumble & fumble our way through as we strive to follow His example. But the call on our lives as Christ-followers is to serve b/c HE served.
Jesus showed His humility when He served – Do you know what humility is? It is recognizing your complete & utter dependence upon God. Andrew Murray called humility “the place of entire dependence upon God.” Goes on to says, “It is simply the sense of entire nothingness, which comes when we see how truly God is all, and in which we make way for God to be all.”
Phil. 2:5-9 – “This is the practical message of the text, ‘Have this mindset, this attitude, among yourselves which was in Christ.’ If we are to comply with the admonitions found in verses 1-4 we must possess the same mind or attitude as Christ. Verses 5-11 show us how that is to be done by describing a servant from the example Jesus set. It is consistent with your new nature in Christ. You cannot allow Christ to live through you and not be a servant. Only through servanthood can you be obedient to God’s call on your life.” (http://www.lifeway.com/Article/sermon-what-jesus-wants-humble-service-philippians-2)
Jesus showed His humility when He served, & we do, too.
Jesus showed His obedience to God when He served – John 6:38 – “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but to do the will of Him who sent me.” And what was God’s will for Jesus? Matthew 20:28 – “…the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve & to give His life as a ransom for many.” He came down to us, laid down His royal robes & put on the work clothes of a servant, & perfectly obeyed His Father as He served.
Jesus showed His obedience to God when He served, & we do, too.
Jesus showed His greatness when He served. And if you want to live a great life for the Lord, then you have to serve. Same passage – Matthew 20 – v. 26-27 – “…whoever would be great among you must be your servant, & whoever would be first among you must be your slave.”
Jesus showed His greatness when He served, & we do, too.
Jesus showed His love when He served – John 3:16 – No better verse to describe the love of God displayed through Jesus than this verse. You see, when Jesus served, it wasn’t JUST the healings, & the casting out of demons, & the raising of people from the dead. No, HIS service to US led Him all the way to the cross when He perfectly & permanently displayed the perfect & permanent love of God for all mankind & for all to see. Kevin DeYoung – “Jesus healed. Jesus cast out demons. Jesus taught about the kingdom. But all of that was to the end that he might serve his people by death and resurrection. Not just service broadly conceived as blessing people with his care and compassion, but service in the best way possible way, and in the way only Jesus could fulfill, service through suffering on a cross.” (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/he-came-to-serve/)
Luke 9:23 – “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily & follow me.” That’s the call to discipleship. That’s the call to daily death to self. That’s the call to service for us.
Jesus showed His love when He served, & we do, too.
HOW WE SERVE – We’ve already answered that in part by considering how Jesus served. Humility demands that we put ourselves last. But that also means that some other things first. So, how do we serve? We serve by:
Putting God’s commands first – Obedience is key in serving God. Whether it’s Old Testament – Josh. 24:15 – “…as for me & my house, we will serve the Lord” – or Jesus’ teachings – Matt. 4:10 – “You shall worship the Lord your God & Him only shall you serve” – or Paul’s writings – Rom. 12:11 – “Never be lazy, but work hard & serve the Lord enthusiastically” (NLT) – or Peter’s writings – 1 Peter 4:10 – “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another” – it’s clear that God’s will is for us to serve.
We also serve by putting others first – So clear that, if we are going to follow the example of Jesus, this is what we must do. “If you and I are ever going to be servants, if we are going to have the same attitude as Christ, we are going to have to give up our rights, give up our privileges, in deference to others. This is what Jesus did and if we will follow Him, this is what we must do. Servanthood means giving up my rights for others.” (http://www.lifeway.com/Article/sermon-what-jesus-wants-humble-service-philippians-2)
We also serve by putting God’s glory first – Serving is never about us. It’s not about our recognition, our accolades, or our prestige. It’s all about giving God the glory. Matthew 5:16 – “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works & glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
WHO WE SERVE – Pretty simple answer to this: We serve whoever is in need. And who is in need? Every person you meet is in need in some way or another. In others words, we need to be ready to serve whoever the Lord brings into our path.
Good Samaritan – Luke 10:25-36 – There will always be someone who has been beaten up by the world in some way. We have a decision to make: Will we walk on by, or will we stop?
WHEN WE SERVE – The answer to this is also pretty simple: We serve whenever there is a need. But there some things we need to know. Back to Good Samaritan:
- Service must be intentional
- Service can be inconvenient
- Service will be invaluable
I don’t do poetry very often, but found this poem to end this message:
“There’s a clever young guy named Somebody Else,
There’s nothing this guy can’t do.
He is busy from morning till way late at night,
Just substituting for you.
You’re asked to do this or you’re asked to do that
And what is your ready reply?
Get Somebody Else to do that job,
He’ll do it much better than I.
So much to do in this weary old world –
So much & workers so few,
And Somebody Else, all weary & worn,
Is still substituting for you.
The next time you’re asked to do something worthwhile,
Just give this reply:
If Somebody Else can give time & support,
My Lord, so can I!”