Service – what is it? Today we live in an age of selfishness where the prevailing ethos is “I, me and mine” – and don’t forget “myself!” Service is “work done to meet some general, or specific, need”. In brief, it can be defined as “work done by one person or group that benefits another” and “an act of help or assistance”.
Being of service to others means that we want the best for them and that we are not concentrating on ourselves.
In the Old Testament, Jonah wanted to flee from an act of service that would save people’s lives – and he tried to get out of it (see Jonah 1:1-3).
In the book of Luke 22, verses 24-27, there was a dispute among the disciples who should be the greatest. Again, we see the problems associated with human nature. It is today, as it was then, that the top table contained the most important people – the VIPs – and yet Jesus said that He was One Who served. As we have to emulate the Saviour of mankind, we should take exactly the same stance – and be servers. What was the motivation among the disciples? To serve or be served? Obviously to be served and therefore the fruits were those of selfishness, but Christ told them to be servants. That was about 2,000 years ago, and the same is true today.
We have long understood in the Church of God that this life is our training ground for the Kingdom of God, and we must develop those Godly attributes that we will need to use after Christ’s return. And service is right there at the top of such requirements!
We are to be of service today – we are being trained as God prepares us for the Kingdom. Service is required – not being served. Do we look for jobs to do? Or are we so concerned with caring for self that we miss opportunities to serve now, or is it an afterthought?
In Philippians 2:5 we read: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” and if we have the mind of Christ, which this verse exhorts us to have, we will be following His example of service – a lowliness of mind so essential in the life of a true Christian.
Christ has been highly exalted and He is our elder brother. When we become spirit-born members of the Family of God, we will be working for and with Christ in the Kingdom of God for the good and welfare of humanity.
With the autumnal Holy Days only a few weeks away, there may be opportunities to be of service to the brethren at this time and particularly when we are all together at the Feast of Tabernacles. It might be that such things as providing transport or help in other ways could prove to be invaluable to some, and support, help and encouragement to others might just make the difference to someone to really appreciate and enjoy the Feast. Opportunities to be of service in such ways might present themselves where we can provide service that may not have been anticipated.
Let service become a habit – one that we will be able to use to a much greater degree in the near future when Christ returns.