Devotional-Your Serve

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
–Philippians 2:3-7

I have a friend who regularly whips me at racquetball. He’s kind enough to let me serve first most of the time, and today I thought about that word as President Stewart spoke. He tosses me the ball–“Your serve,” he says. I serve the ball, and it wouldn’t be easier for him to hit if I just tossed the ball in his direction. That’s service, right?

Then I thought of the four years Kristi and I spent living near Chicago. We made a trip into the city now and then, and after getting off the train, we’d usually head up Madison Street and cross the Chicago River. The bridge always hosted at least one person with their hand out. A homeless person, most of the time, someone who held a foam cup or McDonald’s cup in the hope that someone would help.

I wish I could say that I never looked the other way, never fixed my gaze on my companion or where I was going or an imaginary speck of lint on my sweater. I wish I could say I always did everything I could to serve them.

That’s what service is, after all: making someone else’s way easier, their burden lighter. The apostle Paul says “Don’t just look out for yourself.” We’ve probably heard it a thousand times, but once more won’t hurt. (Much.)

In keeping with our president’s message today, focus on Jesus as our example for service. Paul goes on to say, “Be like Jesus.” Jesus’ mission was to serve, and he did it again and again, performing countless acts of service during his walk among us. From making wine for a wedding to washing dirty feet at a farewell dinner, Jesus served. From his birth in a barn to his death as a criminal, Jesus served. From the throne of heaven to a borrowed tomb, Jesus served.

But what if he hadn’t?

What if Jesus had treated us as I sometimes treat others? The cashier I ignore or berate. The person who buses the table after I eat. The man who sits in the same place every day, his whole life in a bag at his feet, his hope in an empty cup.

Thanks be to God that Jesus didn’t find something better to do, someone better to serve. He didn’t shy away from the dirty business of redemption, even though it meant he would have to die. And he continues to look toward our needs and the needs of those around us who suffer. What will you do?

It’s your serve.

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3 thoughts on “Devotional-Your Serve”

  1. There are so many days when I look around campus and see Christ. It’s never because I see someone being honest, or refusing to drink, or preaching a message. I always find Jesus in the guys holding the door for 15 or so people as they walk by without a “Thanks” or the girl that leaves the lunch table asking, “Can I get you guys anything?” We may never learn to stop our sin, but if we will serve others can still see Christ. Thanks Jamie, for the good word. And thank you Jesus, for the great example

  2. This is such a challenging concept. We are so selfish and so self-centered that it’s easy to miss the small opportunities to serve others. It’s a mind-boggling thought to think of Jesus, the very Son of God, being willing to wash someone’s feet, or spend quality time with them! If Jesus could do that, what makes us think that anything we have going on would be more important?

  3. this is definitely an important subject. something that he said this morning that really hit me hard was when he said that the greatest test of our servanthood would be how we react when someone treats us like a servant. if that’s really what we are, then why does pride flare up when our needs are put last? yep…needs some work. but praise God for the wonderful example He gave us in Christ!

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