How do we go about serving Jesus? What are the steps, behaviours and actions that represent serving Jesus?
I am sure that you can think of many of the things you can and should do to be serving Jesus, but Jesus himself gave us an interesting insight into this matter in these scriptures.
In addition He showed us an aspect of how He has His people placed to be able to serve in the manner that He chooses. We may have ideas about what needs to be done and may seek to do something about it all, but Jesus places His servants where and when he wants them.
In this section of scripture we are told that to be serving Jesus we must follow Him. It says in verse 26,
If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.
What does it mean to “Follow me?” A good example in the Bible of following Jesus were the disciples. Everywhere Jesus went, they went with him. They saw the signs, the healings and the miracles. More importantly they listened to His teaching and saw His example of obedience to the Father. They learned what it is to “Follow me” and be a Christian through His example.
Another good example we see is the 144,000 spoken of in Revelation 14:4-5.
4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are chaste; it is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes; these have been redeemed from mankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb,
5 and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are spotless.
They “follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” They are righteous and holy for it says they are spotless.
How did they reach that place? By following Jesus. To follow Jesus according to how HE wants us to follow Him is to be totally obedient to His message and His ways. It is to always put Him first and to serve Him first. To follow Jesus is to walk as he walked, do as He did, obey as He obeyed and to learn to love as He loved.
So once we understand about following Jesus, then like the disciples we need to understand about how we serve Jesus. We do this in two ways:
- How we live our life
- How we treat others
These two aspects of service can be better described as Walking in the Spirit (how we live our life), and Walking in Love (how we treat others).
Walking in the Spirit
Walking in the Spirit is about gaining control over our own flesh. It’s how we control the passions of our human nature that lead man to sin. It’s about taking every though captive to obey Christ so that we obtain the fruit of the Spirit, especially self-control. Walking in the Spirit is about our personal relationship with God and how we can come to the place where we stand before Him in Christ.
Walking in the Spirit is based upon our faith. And the good thing is we don’t have to do this alone. The Lord specifically gave us the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit to enable us to receive the gifts of the Spirit and to grow the fruits of the Spirit within us. It is up to us though to seek the gifts and then to use them to get control over our thoughts and the passions and desires of our human nature.
Walking in Love
On the other hand Walking in Love is about learning how to apply the love of God in our relationships with one another. It is all about how we treat, act and behave towards others to show the many aspects of God’s love in us. It is about the way that the Good Samaritan treated the stranger who was battered and bruised. It is about how James spoke of true religion being to provide, help and aid those in need. It is about Stephen, put to death by stoning and yet still crying out to the Lord saying, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” (Acts 7:60)
And again we do not have to learn how to do this on our own. Once again it is the work of the Holy Spirit given to us as a gift who does this work of transformation in our lives. It is He who takes us and slowly over time creates the spirit of Jesus Christ within us as we continue to walk with Christ. We know this for Paul said in Romans 5:5, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.”
And finally we see Jesus explain how this love is seen in our behaviours as he showed in Matthew 25:31-46. We serve Jesus through our service to His people. In this scripture he makes this point, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”
The Lord’s Servant
One final point from the scripture today is that we do not necessarily need to go out and find people to serve. We do not have to go and work in missions or go knocking door to door to preach the gospel.
It is OK to do those things, but not everybody is able to nor is it everyones gift to be able to do this kind of work. And the Lord makes the point here that it is after all HIS work, not ours. So we should not feel guilty or pressured into doing something that we do not feel we can or are cut out for, as some do. Every person has their own unique gifts and the Lord will use those gifts in His service when and where He wants to.
Which brings me to the scripture in verse 26. He says, “…and where I am, there shall my servant be also…” We do not lead the Lord, He leads us and we follow Him. It is pointless us going rushing off ahead of Him and expecting Him to follow us. It is HIS work and His plan that will be established.
So does that mean we don’t do anything and just leave it up to Him? Absolutely not! We have a role to play and we need to be prepared to do our bit. Paul explains it this way in Galatians 6:10, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
The key in this scripture is about having the opportunity. If and when the opportunity arises we need to be prepared to do good, whether it is to provide aid, support, encouragement, teaching or prayer. By so doing we are following Christ Jesus. And we are also fulfilling His words when He said, “…where I am, there shall my servant be also.” We will be the servant He has in place to do His work when and where He wants it to be done.
Finally, if we do try to charge off ahead expecting the Lord to follow us we will be like the people spoken of by the prophet in Isaiah 30:15-17. He shows that it is in returning to the Lord and resting in His strength that we will find salvation. But those who tear away will be left alone. Look at these words:
15 For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,”In returning and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust shall be your strength” And you would not,
16 but you said, “No! We will speed upon horses,” therefore you shall speed away; and “We will ride upon swift steeds,” therefore your pursuers shall be swift.
17 A thousand shall flee at the threat of one, and at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill.
Don’t try to tear away from the Lord and to go before Him. Don’t get on your “swift steeds” and think you can do things faster than the Lord. It is HIS work and we are called to follow him. Besides I kind of like the idea of returning and rest, quietness and trust. Especially if it means I stay with the Lord under His grace and mercy rather than standing alone like a “…flagstaff on the top of the mountain,” and without the Lord.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by Amy Burton)
You might also like:
Representatives And Rewards From God
The Servant Leader
Greatest Among You Shall Be The Least
To Serve The Lord Serve His People
Do You Give Expecting To Get
Serving The Lord
In The Lords Service
Jesus Foretells His Death And Resurrection
Temptations To Sin Are Sure To Come
The Disciples Will Fall Away