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Now Serving

Monday, November 14, 2016

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:19–21, esv).

Are you serving Jesus Christ?

You say you love Him and are following Him, but would you say you live to serve Him?

“Joy is found in selflessness, and selflessness is evidenced in service.”

Timothy was a young protégé of Paul, like a son to him. When Paul was in prison during the writing of his letter to the Philippians, his desire was to send Timothy to visit them at some point, both as an encouragement to the church and as a means of reporting back to Paul how they were getting along.

And what better person to send, really, since as Paul said to the Philippians, “You know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel” (Philippians 2:22). Timothy modeled what a servant’s heart looks like. He didn’t know, for instance, exactly when Paul was hoping to dispatch him on this traveling errand. He didn’t know what he might be busy doing when the message came from Paul to go. But when it did, he knew he’d be ready to pick up and leave, because his own likes, wants, personal desires, and agendas weren’t going to hold him back from serving Jesus.

True servants just do. They don’t look for excuses. They don’t see if you can wait for a more convenient, conducive time. Do you need something from them? Just ask. And consider it done.

Who doesn’t love people like that?

Being a joyful follower of Christ comes from worshiping Him and walking with Him, but also from working for Him. Not just going to church every week—not just living out the basics of the Christian life—but actually shouldering some kingdom responsibility.

If you’re a fairly new believer or haven’t been attending your church very long, I realize it takes a little while to adjust and plug in, to find some work that feels like yours to do. But if you’ve been there for years, and you haven’t yet found a place to serve—what’s going on? When you were looking for employment, did you just sit at home waiting for the phone to ring? No. You understood that you had to take some initiative.

There’s plenty to be done by people who are eager to be servants of Jesus—everything from entry-level positions to other service opportunities that you can grow into as you go. No devoted follower of Jesus Christ should be unemployed in kingdom work. And no one who selflessly gives themselves to it will keep from finding the joy of bearing fruit.

Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:24–25). Joy is found in selflessness, and selflessness is evidenced in service.

That’s not only how you serve others. It’s how you serve Jesus.

Journal

  • What’s holding you back from serving Christ with a ready kind of freedom?
  • When you think about other things you’re devoted to doing, what’s the biggest payback you can expect from them? And how does that compare to serving Jesus?

Pray
Lord, thank You for providing a way for us to experience true, lasting joy in this life, and for being faithful to tell us the secret to finding it—that great joy is found in serving. Give me the faith to step out in obedience and serve You well, to serve You diligently, knowing that You will flood my heart with joy as You make serving my lifestyle. Thank You for reserving these kinds of soul-satisfying blessings for those who follow You as Lord. Thank You for the honor of devoting my life to the work of Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.


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