February 12, 2018

Being or Doing

Devotion for the Week...

I just finished reading Craig Groeschel's Divine Direction. I have enjoyed all of Groeschel's books that I've read so far and this was no exception. He writes in a simple, easy to understand style, but I find his stories and points make me think deeply about my life and how I'm living.

Just consider this, from the chapter on serving: "Instead of just sometimes doing good things in God's name to help other people, consider making a radical shift in thinking. Rather than seeing service as something you occasionally do, what if you saw yourself as a servant? It's not what you do; it's who you are."

That thought has been following me around for days!

I will admit that 'serving' has always felt like something on my to-do list. It is something I feel I should be doing, and something that I'm aware of when I am doing it, almost to the point of thinking, "I am serving so-and-so right now." I am especially likely to think something along those lines when however I am serving is something I really don't want to be doing!

But Groeschel is challenging us to approach serving differently. To take it off the to-do list altogether and embrace it as a part of who we are. In trying to figure out the difference, I thought of this: I hate cleaning. Always have. I clean because it has to be done, but I resist every step of the way. My mother-in-law, on the other hand, genuinely enjoys cleaning. If you are in her home for any length of time you will see her tidying up often, restoring things to their proper places and making sure the house is clean. There is no resistance in her against doing these tasks because she actually enjoys them, a fact which has boggled my mind for as long as I've known her.

What if we were to approach serving that way? What if there were no resistance in us, but instead we found genuine joy in doing things for others every chance we had? For one thing, we'd start to look a lot more like Jesus, who "made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness "(Philippians 2:7).

Just think about it - Jesus came to earth as a man to serve God and us by being the perfect sacrifice for sin and so bridging the gap between us. His sole purpose as a man was to serve! What an ideal to strive for.
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And we should be striving for it. Jesus told us to, in fact, right after giving His disciples an object lesson in serving. He washed their feet, which was usually the job of a servant, and then stood up and said, "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. Very truly I tell you, 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 13:14-17).

What would the world look like if we all embraced our role as servants?

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