Serving as the Path to Blessing

Minolta DSCOn Sunday we looked at how we are called to follow Jesus. We were exploring the posture, disposition, and attitude of an apprentice. Because doing the same things as Jesus won’t make us Jesus-like unless we have the same attitude as Jesus. So we discovered that the attitude of Jesus is one of self-sacrificial service.

Jesus commands his disciples to serve others (Mark 9:33-37), he also lays down a pattern for us to follow in John 13. Here he washes the disciples’ feet, sets an example, and gives up his position and privileges to serve. This is our model and this is our example.

I know what you might be thinking… “This is nothing new”. But the point isn’t whether or not this is new, but whether or not it is true. Because if it is true that the attitude of a follower of Jesus is service. If it is true that an apprentice of Jesus is to get rid of position, power, prestige, and privilege – then we are going to need to change how we live. Remember doing the same things as Jesus won’t make us Jesus-like unless we are doing them in the same manner as Jesus. Meaning unless we are serving, humbling ourselves, choosing the last position, giving away our rights, and wrapping a towel around our waist and washing someone’s feet ~ we aren’t truly following Jesus.

This is hard I know. Peter himself struggles with it, and he doesn’t want Jesus to wash his feet. But Jesus turns to him and says if you hold onto your ideas of privilege, position, and social standing you can’t be part of what I’m doing (John 13:8). If you don’t let me wash your feet, and then be a part of washing others’ feet – you are self-selecting out.

So yes this might not be a new teaching. But it is a true teaching. And that means it’s worth thinking about, but it’s even more worth acting on. The desert fathers say, “If you have a chest full of clothing and leave it for a long time it will rot inside. It is the same with the thoughts in our hearts. If we do not carry them out through physical action, after a long while, they will spoil and turn bad.”

So this week don’t think “loving thoughts”. Don’t just talk about the importance of serving. Get out there, get a bit dirty, and start serving like Jesus. Because Jesus ends his talk with his disciples reminding them this is what you are to do…and if you do, you will be walking in the path of blessing. Blessing for others and blessing for you…

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: Service is the attitude of an apprentice

Take Aways…

  • Do you know the next step to grow with God?
  • If you have a chest full of clothing and leave it for a long time it will rot inside. It is the same with the thoughts in our hearts. If we do not carry them out through physical action, after a long while they will spoil and turn bad. Desert Fathers
  • Because we have so much…we forget who we are
  • We are called to serve everyone
  • Pride and position can stop us from looking like Jesus and following Jesus
  • Do you understand what I’ve done for you?
  • Jesus is giving us a pattern and an example of serving to follow
  • Serving is to be the attitude that shapes every action of an apprentice
  • If your life revolves only around you it will get small very quickly
  • Start serving and you will start changing lives Because you will be living life like Jesus

Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What surprised you? What made you think? What made you laugh? What did you take away? How has someone serving you changed your life? When have you served and been blessed because of it? When do you struggle most with serving? What areas in your life could you step back and take “last place” rather than first? Who is God calling you to serve in your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers? How might you do it this week?

Discussion Questions for Young Families: Talk about the importance of serving with your kids. Share with them how it brings you closer to God and to others. Ask them to brainstorm some places, or ways they would like to serve. Maybe go to a soup kitchen. Maybe plan to clean up a neighbors front yard, maybe shovel a driveway. And then go do it! Also be sure to notice and praise your kids when they take initiative in serving.

Challenge for this Week:

Go and serve

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