“It’s my pleasure.” Perhaps you’ve heard this reply from a server at a particular fast food restaurant that is famous for its chicken sandwiches. It is part of the company’s focus on delivering outstanding customer service at each of its locations and has served as a model for other organizations.
We love to receive excellent service from others, but how eager are we to provide excellent service for others? How often do we look for ways to serve those around us? The truth is, all Christ-followers have been called to a life of service. But this call runs counter to our culture that celebrates self-fulfillment, self-expression, and self-achievement above all else.
As we learn from Jesus, service requires sacrifice. In fact, He redefined greatness when He told His disciples,
“Instead, 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, NIV)
These are challenging words. Will we choose to follow Jesus’ example? Serving others allows us to put our faith into action—the practical application of the Gospel message that our world needs.
Jesus also shared a powerful lesson about service with His disciples on His last night with them before His crucifixion by washing their feet. After completing this seemingly menial task He stated,
“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:13-17, NIV)
Jesus shows that there is no act of service that is “below” us. In fact, He equates true love with service and selfless sacrifice:
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that He lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:12-15)
This Bible study will remind us of the privilege of serving others in Jesus’ name. Our surrender and obedience in this area of discipleship with stretch and mature our faith. It will also provide pathways enabling us to take personal risks to bring the gospel to every relationship.
Click here to order your copy of the new BaptistWay Press Bible Study, Called to Serve.