Saturday, May 25, 2019

Don’t Expect Service - Martin Wiles

Series: The Road to Humility

Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. John 13:5 NLT

She loved to cook, but she never sat until everyone was served.

Early in the morning, my maternal grandmother started breakfast. If she didn’t plan on fishing that day, she’d begin lunch almost as soon as she finished cleaning up the breakfast dishes. Then, after a few hours break, she started supper. Other than a few days at the river each week, it seemed she did nothing but cook.

But one thing she’d never do: sit with the others who she cooked for. If it was only my grandfather eating, he ate alone. If my family or my cousin’s family were eating with her, we ate alone too. While we did, she served, constantly asking if someone needed a refill of sweet tea or another helping of food. If we let her, she’d even fix our plates. Often, she washed dishes while we ate.

When everyone had finished their meal, gotten up, and gone about their business, she sat and ate. Funny, my mom followed the tradition … almost. She would sit with us, but after everyone had almost finished eating. She, too, served us while we ate.

In their servant model, my mother and grandmother followed Jesus’ example. Just prior to the Passover meal with His disciples, He arose, removed His outer garment, poured water into a basin, and washed His disciples’ dirty feet. A job reserved for the lowest slave.

Having a servant attitude doesn’t come easily. I have to change my attitude about myself. Instead of thinking I deserve to be served, I must remember I don’t. Jesus served the world through paying for our sins—but we didn’t deserve it. Greatness, according to Him, arises in a person when we serve others, not when they serve us. Through serving, I follow the example of the greatest servant.

To serve as Jesus did takes intentionality. My selfish nature craves for others to serve me. God will give us opportunities to serve others, but we have to ask and look for them. When we do, we’ll find they abound all around us.

Ask God for chances to serve others. Then, open your eyes to all the possibilities He’ll place around you.

Prayer: Father, give us a servant’s heart so we’ll want to serve others as You served us.

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