Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Servant's Heart

“And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?” Deut. 10:12
If there is an example of someone whose life exemplified service, it is Mother Teresa. For 45 years she ministered to the sick, destitute, and unlovely. She went to the people no one else would care about or even touch—the homeless, the naked, the blind, the leper. She said regarding life and serving,
  •  "Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls." 
  • "People who love each other fully and truly are the happiest people in the world. They may have little, they may have nothing, but they are happy people. Everything depends on how we love one another." 
  • “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
  • “Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.”
Mother Teresa followed Christ's example of service to others. Jesus Christ ministered to the same type of people. Jesus is our perfect example of servanthood. I must get to know his life in order to understand how to have a servant's heart.

Who did Jesus serve?
Jesus served the common people. He was not in the court of the king and queen. He was not trying to make an impression on the elite religious leaders of the day. Rather, he served the sick and demon possessed. He served the foreigner, the outcast, and the sinful. He gathered the children around him when no one thought he had time for them. He mingled with the physically and spiritually hungry. It was people like me, but it was also those that sometimes I've been tempted to look down upon.

How did Jesus serve?
Jesus met the needs of those he served. He healed the sick. He cast out demons for those who were possessed. He spent time with the outcast and foreigner. He loved the sinner. He took the children in his arms and blessed them. He fed the physically and spiritually hungry. Simply stated, he served by loving people.

When did Jesus serve?
It did not matter what time of day it was, Jesus served. The Bible mentions him serving from early in the morning to late in the evening. At times he would seek a solitary place and the crowds would find him. I'm sure he longed for a quiet evening in a friend's home, but the townspeople brought him their sick. Though at times he was even tired, Jesus was moved with compassion and he taught, healed, and served.

Where did Jesus serve?
Jesus served wherever he was at. On the road, on a hillside, on the lake, in the synagogue, and in people's homes were just a few of the places. His service was not reserved for certain places.

Why did Jesus serve?
Jesus' purpose in life is what led him to live this life of service. The Bible tells us he came to seek and save the lost. He willingly gave his life as a ransom for many. All this in an effort to draw all men to him because of his great desire for all to be saved.

Servanthood encompassed all of Jesus' life. It occurred wherever he was at, with whomever he was with, at whatever time it was. It was a lifestyle. So many times servanthood is a segmented part of my life. It's something I do on Sunday or at some other set time of the week. Serving should be an attitude of the heart that occurs naturally throughout my day.

Personally, I think what makes this so hard is the human natural tendency towards selfishness. I get up in the morning and I have tasks I need to accomplish. My husband gets up, and he wants to discuss a new idea with me. My attitude isn't one of, “How can I serve my husband?” It is, “I have all these things to do, and he wants me to drop it all to listen to him. How does he expect me to get things done?” And I am frustrated and upset. I am in the middle of cooking supper and a child wants me to stop and help him with something. It really would only take a second, but my attitude is one of “I can't believe you would be so selfish as to ask me to stop fixing this supper that everyone in the family needs just to do that for you.” My child isn't being unreasonable. My attitude should be, “How can I serve you, my child?” The phone rings. It is a friend needing to talk. My attitude isn't always, “How can I serve you?” It might be, “I finally get a chance to sit down and relax and read a book. I sure hope this doesn't take too long.”

The world constantly bombards me with the message that I need to think about myself. As if I need taught that. It is my natural tendency. “It's all about me. It's all about how I feel. It's all about what I need.” Jesus says, “Listen to the wisdom from above. Forget about yourself. Think about others. That is where true greatness is found.”

"...whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:43-45

Linking up with:
Good Morning Girls



  1. Thanks for these thoughts. I recently was thinking that I need to practice serving more with the right attitude. As I was trying to think of a Biblical example I knew the example needed to be Jesus, but I hadn't really given it much more thought as to putting it into practice.

    1. I have a fun practical way to put this into practice that I was planning to share this coming week. Hopefully, I'll get it done, but I'm in over my head canning right now. But be looking for the post "A Joyful Heart." It's good for the whole family.