Paul is encouraging the Philippian brothers to be Christ like in their service to others. Serving not out of ulterior motives but in sincere love.
I have a confession to make here. I have served out of selfish reasons at times. Those reasons were usually to be noticed by others and commended for my “fine service.” That’s not love. Yes, it is nice to be appreciated for your work but that isn’t to be the motivation.
Paul uses Jesus’ example of service for a benchmark for his readers. There is NO WAY we will ever live up to that standard but striving for it is what makes us more like Him every day.
Jesus laid EVERYTHING He had aside to become a servant of all. He was also a leader. But His leadership was based on helping others. He taught His disciples all they needed to go on after He was gone. He laid down His own comfort on SO many occasions to minister to the needs of an individual. He didn’t have to but He did. His all-encompassing task of service was when He served us all by paying our ransom.
When I spoke of being noticed for my service, I just realized that there is only one individual whose notice is worth having; Jesus. His approval is more important than a thousand screaming fans. His praise of my actions at the end is all I really need. “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
My life has shrunk to a very small sphere of interaction. As my husband’s caregiver we spend most of our time at home or at doctor’s appointments. We also occasionally see family members. I don’t have the opportunity to serve in some of the ways I used to. But the opportunities that I do have are as important as any great act of service. I show my love and commitment to my husband, no matter what needs arise. We share our home and finances with our children when they are need. I try to organize unity building activities for our blended family. I endeavor to help my husband understand better the diversity of our children. I make myself available to my mother in law for whatever needs arise for her. And I care for all the animals in our homes.
No, I’m not looking for praise by writing this list. What I am doing is showing how the everyday acts of service that we do matter to God. He sees our attitude as well as our actions. A simple song offered in my home in the morning to cheer my husband is as important to him as standing before a sold out audience singing His praise. My heart has to match His, no matter what the task I’m doing; including writing this blog. It is of no value to Him if it is not done in love and out of a heart of service.
Yes, I like hearing comments back on what I share but the BEST comments are the ones of how what you read reminded you or spurred you on to respond to His call. I love hearing how He is working in your life, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with me.
Father God, I pray that ALL my “acts of service” are done in a right attitude. I know I fail in that area more times than I want to think about. Please continue working on my attitude. Thank You for bringing all the opportunities to practice servant hood into my life. Thank You for reminding me of all of them too and seeing them as another chance to serve You. Thank You for ministering to my needs too. Thank You for sustaining me with Your strong arms. Without You I wouldn’t have it in me to serve others. Thank You Holy Spirit for living in me and letting Your fruit bloom in my life. Keep it going and growing!