Friday, September 25, 2015

serve

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13)

Service...

Often I forget to live with a deliberate commitment to serve God.
I forget that my very existence was always intended to glorify the Lord, and ONLY the Lord.
But sadly, my sinfulness frequently sidetracks my heart away from my original purpose.
Instead, I seem to waste much time wanting my own way NOW.
Embarrassingly, I whine and cry and insist on gaining all things selfish with my monstrous, defiant, childish appetite.

Sigh.

What a wretched mess I am without the Lord's peace and discipline.

Thankfully, Jesus invites me to surrender my old behavior to Him while adopting His new Way.
He offers Himself as a sanctuary where I am quite literally instructed to wait upon Him (to serve and remain usefully available to Him) in order to renew my own strength.

How I truly need Jesus in every hour of my life!

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Yes, my Savior encourages me to not only serve Him, but to do so with gladness.
Consider the words of the psalmist...

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. 
(Psalm 100)

Jesus tells us in Luke 4:8, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

Wow! That packs a punch, doesn't it?
Him only shall I serve.
Only He matters.
Only His will demands that all things work together for His good.
Not my fickle made-up version of good, but His proven, universal, constant good.
This is Whom I am called to serve.
This is the One whose mercy is everlasting... whose truth endures every generation.

So, how do I serve the Lord?
As in everything, I must seek and follow the example of Jesus...

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:28)

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, "Know ye what I have done to you?  Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.  If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." (John 13:12-17)

Did you catch that last point?
Happiness is found in the Master's service!
When we claim Jesus as our Lord... when we obediently and actively choose to love one another just as Christ demonstrated to us... what are we promised?

Happiness!!!  WOO HOO!

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10)

Today, let us encourage one another to find restorative rest in the Lord as we dutifully wait upon Him in useful, obedient service!  Let's give Him everything we are, folks!  Let's surrender it all to His cause, for He is good and will indeed take care of us.  He will give us strength and bring us true, everlasting happiness.

His kingdom comes.
So, let's love BIG.

BIG!

Let's give Him our ALL.
Let's gladly, thankfully SERVE one another in Christ Jesus.
Why?
Because His Way is so much better.
Because true happiness is found only in the King's service.
Most importantly, because it will bring us close to the Lord Almighty!

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."

Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"

The King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:35-40)



Today, whom will you choose to serve?

Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:14-15)

Be His Blessing!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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