Many of us know something about service. We note right away when we are given good service or bad service. It is not hard to find “service projects” in the community, where we can participate and help out others in need. We can learn to participate as servants by watching others. However, without Christ we would be left in the dark regarding the true and highest example of servanthood. He did not participate in a few service projects here and there, no, he lived a life of serving others. It was a lifestyle, not a button to be switched off and on. He was able to do this not merely because he was God incarnate, but also because it was part of what defined his very existence and purpose.
In Matthew 20:28 we see Christ say “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” When Christ lived on earth, part of his mission and reason for being here was to serve. Again, Christ did not see service as something to be done from time to time, but it was an outflow of his very nature.
But he did not just come to serve man, he was also a servant of God the Father. “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified his servant Jesus” (Acts 3:13, emphasis added).
Paul, in a familiar section of Scripture explains that Christ was the supreme example of a servant, and because of that, he is exalted above all names:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:5-11, NIV)
Those that claim themselves as “Christians,” should necessarily be the best examples of servants on this earth, as they imitate and follow Jesus’ example. Those that do great things for Christ get this point down well – they define themselves as servants. Paul, who perhaps did more for the spread of Christianity than anyone else, often called himself a “servant of Christ.”
Questions to consider:
How would I rate my life in service to others?
Do I view service as something you do every once in a while, or is it a lifestyle?
Do I see myself as a servant of God? Do I take joy in being his servant?
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