“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
A Heart to God, My Hand to Man
Saved to Serve, Salvation Army Band
- I will never be as cool as Phil Keaggy.
- He is looping and improvising all of the sound you are hearing (none of the recordings I’ve heard of this song are the same).
- I had the pleasure of seeing him in concert a while ago. He was amazingly humble, wonderfully genuine and much more incredibly talented in person. I can’t wait to jam with him in Heaven when I can actually decently play an instrument.
My three favorite siblings in Scripture are Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. These three single adults lived in Bethany and often opened their home to Jesus and his disciples. Jesus loved them dearly (John 11:5). Whenever He went through Bethany He was sure to stay with them. He must have enjoyed their company and hospitality. Martha, Mary and I are good friends. I relate to both of them in different ways very often. I love to study the way in which Jesus related to each of the sisters according to what they needed. With Martha He was more straightforward and assertive. He met this strong woman with Strength and helped her to have more faith in Him (Luke 10:40-42; John 11:20-27). But with docile Mary, He was gentle and tender, teaching her as she sat attentively at His feet (Luke 10:38), weeping with her (John 11:33-35), and allowing her to anoint His feet with expensive perfume (John 12:3).
I completely relate to Martha as she griped to Jesus (much like I would have) that Mary was just sitting around while she’s trying to serve Jesus and his many hungry men (Luke 10:38-42). But He had said to her that only “one thing is necessary…” and it wasn’t the food or the presentation…it was Jesus and her need to have her humbled heart sitting at His feet. And then, in that demeanor of humility and adoration, she would be able to serve others in joy and love. She needed a new perspective on what was happening in her house. Wisdom Himself was teaching in her living room; her kitchen duties were not the main attraction. It seems that Martha learned her lesson well. She had learned that she was “saved to serve.” We know this because, just a few days after Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, we find her serving her dear guests again. This time apparently with deep gratitude and no complaints:
“Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” John 12:1-3
Mary’s perfume was not the only lovely fragrance in the house. Martha was giving off a pleasing aroma to the Lord as well (2 Cor 2:14-16).
Servanthood. We are called to be servants. Jesus said that the least shall be greatest (Mark 9:35) and showed us an example to follow by becoming the Suffering Servant Himself (Isa 52:13-53:12). But I’ve found that you really don’t know how much you have assumed the role of a servant until you are treated like one. You can think you’re being servant-hearted as long as you’re voluntarily serving with joy and self-congratulations in your heart…until someone expects you to serve them. And then, at least in my sinful heart, pride and defensiveness reveals itself with a vengeance.
Servants are not always given the option to choose what they would like to do or even if they would like to do it at all. I would like to serve with such magnificent talent as Phil Keaggy and put on a one woman show to edify the church with my amazing humility and humor…but apparently that is not what I am intended to do. I am called to serve those around me, where I am with the abilities that I’ve been given.
I have in my life one particular person who regularly causes me to have to check my heart. This person does not ask me to do things, he/she tells me to do things… and sometimes without words. I am simply handed something to do and expected to hop to it. It is so contrary to what I am used to that it throws me for a loop…though I am getting better at my initial response to it. I’ve been spoiled by the many people whom I joyfully serve who make requests without presuming that I will do it and I love them for it. But when we are called to serve someone who is difficult, it is then that we are given a greater opportunity to really be a servant like Christ. He washed the feet of His disciples…even Judas’, knowing that he was about to betray Him and He allowed His own creation to nail him to a tree. Surely we can be servants to those who are a little less grateful for our service… It was for ungrateful people (us) such as these that His blood was spilled (Rom 5:10).
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13