Scripture: Philippians 2:
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Observation: If we really want to follow Jesus’ example, we have to look outside of ourselves and our present circumstances, and serve God by serving others.
Application: If you think about it, there is nothing you can do for God other than serving others. You may live a life of pure piety, you may obey all restrictions, attend every service, or pray beautiful prayers of adoration but until you actually reach out to others, it is all vain. Even if you have the ability to build a beautiful temple, or put a cross the size of a building beside the highway, unless you are reaching out to others, it is nothing.
It is only and always about serving others. I may study for years and gain great insight and wisdom, but unless I share it in some way for the benefit of others, it is of no profit, it returns to the earth as a work unfulfilled.
There is a saying that was quite popular a few years ago – WWJD – “What Would Jesus Do?” people wore bracelets, and bought bumper stickers and T-shirts with this slogan on it. I’ve heard people say that it is irrelevant in many cases, because Jesus didn’t have to face many of the situations that we find in today’s world. But I think it’s still a good question, however it’s not something you need to analyze through the lenses of the world, you have to see the heart of it without debating it from a historical or intellectual point of view. The answer to the question in every case and in every situation is that Jesus would always do what was best for others. He always put others before himself, he came to serve mankind by sacrificing himself on the cross. And the question then becomes, “How far will I go to serve others?” Will I go as far as Jesus, even to my death?
And who are the “others” that we are to serve? Is it just the people that go to the same Church as we do? No, it reaches beyond that doesn’t it? Are we to serve people of the same denomination but exclude those of differing doctrines? Again – we have to reach beyond those boundaries. Well where does the “others” end? What about different faiths, different nations, political views, or lifestyles that conflict with our own beliefs, can we exclude any?
Not if we are trying to imitate the example of Christ; we can’t leave anyone out. Christ came to the cross for ALL of mankind, every man woman and child, whether they accept it or not are the objects of Christ’s love for them. And we are to do the same with our love. Our love is to be non-exclusive and ever reaching to all.
It’s not about ME – its about those I can serve.
Prayer: God of us all,
I thank you that you have placed me in a position of service. Help me to be faithful to my calling and serve you by ministering to those who you place in my path. I thank you for your example of Jesus that I can turn to and learn from and I pray that you forgive me when I fail to live up to the example as I should.
Yield: I surrender my thoughts of it all being about me.