Passage for Study: Acts 17: 1 - 9 … Acts 17 linked for study …
2nd Passage for Study: 1st Thes. 2: 1 - 12 … 1st Thes. 2 linked for study …
My Journal for Today: Today’s devotional from Pastor Chuck Swindoll was just for me; ... well, maybe you too. He points to an attitude which leaders in ministry must develop. However, it’s another of the Christlike attitudes modeled by the Apostle Paul, which all of us simply must learn and live if we’re going to grow in Christllikeness. And that attitude was probably best modeled by Christ when He washed the feet of the Disciples (read it in John 13: 1-17, [linked here for your study].)
The attitude and message for ministry in God’s Kingdom was, of course, choosing to be a servant first. In John 12: 26 Jesus had commanded, ”Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me.” And shortly thereafter, in the upper room, He illustrated this for His inner twelve by washing their feet.
If we’re going to be great for the Lord, we must learn to be a servant first. That was modeled by Christ and then exemplified in our passages, which are repeated again today, illustrating the Apostle Paul’s desire to be a follower and a servant first in his ministry/missionary calling.
To bring this point home in his devotional for this date, Swindoll quotes a young Senior at Dallas Theological Seminary, when Swindoll heard the young man preach a sermon. The student was giving a sermon on the foot-washing text from John 13; and as this young preacher candidate ended his sermon, he asked a very pointed question, which applies to us all. He asked, ”Do you want to have a great ministry; ... or do you want to be great.”
And I can’t speak for you, but that question, FOR ME, hits at my heart. All too often I find myself trying to please others or to be seen as great IN THEIR EYES rather than simply, and humbly, serving them as Jesus would. I’m too often vying to be first in the eyes of those whom I serve rather than just serving for the sake of my Lord. I want them to see ME FIRST rather than to see The Lord in my service. Sure, I’ll wash your feet; but am I doing it simply to honor my Lord, or am I doing it so that you’ll see me as your foot washer?
Ugh! If homebase is simple servanthood, I’m afraid I’m striking out all too often rather than hitting a homerun for Christ by simple and humble service in His Name. But thankfully, God gives me a chance to step to the plate today and hit one out of the park as I serve others in His Name.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me see the need for a servant; and then give me the opportunity to serve in Your Name. Amen