Luke 22:26-27

Matt Summerfield on why serving changes you, the Church, and the world.

Matt Summerfield
Matt Summerfield

So here's the big idea: I want to suggest to you that when we serve other people - when we meet a need outside of ourselves - that is a sacred activity, and that sacred activity has a powerful life-giving and, dare I even say, life-saving impact on our lives.

So, why is serving a sacred activity, and why will it save your life?

1) Serving changes you

I can remember like it was just yesterday the day that my eldest son, Andy, came home a few days after he was born. He was exceptionally demanding. It was like the whole world revolved around him. At any moment he expected us to feed him, bathe him, clean him and change him. He came into the world with the cry "Serve me!" But old habits die hard, and it's amazing how easy we still cling to the mantra "Serve me."

But Jesus shows us a different way. He came to serve. He came to put others first. And He provides the ultimate evidence that He is other-focused when He dies on the cross to pay the price for our rejection of God.

When we serve, when we sacrifice, when we suffer - for the good of others - we change - we become more like Jesus - and the more like Jesus we become - the more healed, the more whole, the more fulfilled, and the more at peace we become.

Serving changes you! It breaks the power of self-centredness and embraces God-centredness.

2) Serving changes the Church

Now remember, when I say 'the Church' I'm not talking about a building or a service. When the Bible talks about the Church it's talking about the family of God on the mission of God.

The culture of the world is about power and authority and fame and celebrity and popularity. It's about being number one and being served. But Jesus says His followers - His family - are to be deliberately different. We don't just serve individually, we serve together. We're committed to compete in acts of out-serving each other, out-loving each other, and out-giving each other.

When Jesus returned to Heaven 2,000 years ago, 40 days after His death and resurrection, we, the Church, the family of God, became like His physical body; we become His heart, hands, mouth, ears, and feet. When we physically serve, it's like Jesus is serving through us - in the power of the Spirit we become His physical presence and so every act of service matters. It's sacred!

3) Serving changes the world

We serve and love the family of God, in order that the family of God is equipped and empowered to join Jesus in ultimately serving the wider world.

When we say yes to Jesus, we're saying yes to justice, we're saying yes to mercy, we're saying yes kindness, we're saying yes to action, and we're saying yes to generosity. We're saying yes to what God wants to happen in our workplace, in our street, in our community, and in our family.

To serve God through the world means that you'll wake up every morning and say to Him "Whatever you're up to today Lord, count me in."

It's a sacred activity. Start today! CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.