Free to Serve One Another
Recently, I preached a sermon from the book of Galatians entitled "Freed by the Gospel to Serve One Another" that showed us from God's Word that we have been freed from our sin in order to serve one another. This service to one another, because of the gospel and our acceptance of it, is not motivated out of a sense of keeping certain rules and regulations for the purpose of gaining God's favor, but from a new heart that we are given, one that loves both our God and our fellow man.
Last night in Wednesday night Bible study, we saw on the pages of the Bible, the Lord Jesus demonstrate this "service to one another" to his very own disciples as an example for them to follow. In John 13, Jesus, while in the presence of his disciples, removed his outer garmet and wrapped it around his waist and began to wash his disciples dirty feet. Mind you, these feet were feet that typically wore sandals during the day and followed in the path of all manner of animals. To say they were "dirty" doesn't really describe them, the word that come to my mind is that these feet were "encrusted" with all kind of filthy "stuff." Why would Jesus their Lord, Master and Teacher do such a thing? Shouldn't they be washing his feet? Well, the text clealy tells us why he did it. He did it as an example, so that they (and we) would know how to sacrificially serve others.
Peter at first refused to have his feet washed by Jesus, but Jesus insisted because he was trying to make a point (in fact he made several points, but we'll focus on this one). Jesus' point is that things are different in the kindgom of God than in the world. In the world it is right and expected for Kings to be served by others, but in the kindgom of God our radical love for others makes it expected that those who are greatest in the kingdom wil be the servants of others.
And so the Gospel humbles us, and God's underserve love for us and the joy of our salvation motivates us, so that we can serve others as we go through our day. But radical service to others, just likes Jesus washing dirty feet is not always the easiest thing is it? Serving others means serving them when it is not convenient for ourselves. It means serving others when things are dirty and life is messy. It means denying ourselves and taking up the burdens of others when you have burdens of your own. And it will mean sacrificing time, treasure and talents for the kingdom of God to advance. As daunting as the task may be, we also recognize that there is great satisfaction and joy for us as we sacrificially serve others.
So are you ready to serve? Who in your circle of friends has a need, either physical or spiritual that you can help? Think of a way right now that you can reach out to them and serve them. Let's follow the example of Jesus and learn to serve sacrifially that we might be an example to others of Christ's love for them!