31 Days toward Spiritual Maturity — Day 25
March 22, 2008
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SERVING WITH CHRIST — The Benefits of Serving Christ
We’ve looked at some of the costs of serving as Jesus served (self-sacrifice and risk-taking); what about the benefits? Because our Lord is a loving Lord, we can assume that anything He asks of us is ultimately going to be good for us.
Let’s start with the very practical. Serving others is the best way to feel that our lives are significant. We can have a positive influence on the people we serve. We end up feeling needed, and sometimes (though not always) we’re appreciated. Billy Graham said that the smallest package is a person all wrapped up in himself. We can’t expect people to reach out and care about us if we haven’t reached out and cared about them! We can’t expect people to miss us when we’re temporarily out of their lives if we weren’t investing in their lives when we were with them. We can choose to make ourselves important to others. An adage says that to have a friend, you must be a friend, and one of the best ways that we show friendship is by serving.
However, the greatest benefit of being like Jesus and serving as He served is that it pleases Him! The ultimate reason that a follower of Jesus should serve others is that we serve Christ by serving them! The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians, “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. . . . It is the Lord who judges me. . . . He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:3-5)
We can serve others in order to be liked by them or to have them think well of us; neither is the best motive! The best motive for serving others is that it pleases the One whom we seek to follow. We look forward to someday hearing from Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21)
We’re useful to the Lord! We’re supposed to be His hands and feet, His smile, His very presence to the people who need Him – which includes everyone! We serve Him wherever He calls us and places us. We serve Him in His family, the church, by using our spiritual gifts designated in such passages as Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. When we servants of the Lord serve Him by serving others, we have a positive influence in this world and we delight Him! That sense of personal significance can’t be beaten!