Page 13 - September 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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and inaccurate, for every believer has been   The Challenges
        made a servant. Every Christian has been   Servant challenges are many. There’s the
        given abilities and a function to carry out   all-important issue of our life’s purpose.
        in advancing the Lord’s great purposes. So   Whom will I honour and obey – the Lord
        are you involved in this great work, and   first or myself? “No one can serve two
        are you reflecting the same characteristics   masters” (Mat 6:24 ESV). Time and age
        of servanthood as our Lord Himself? As   are also a challenge. We can’t retrieve lost
        already noted, He was marked by humil-  time for service, but Peter exhorts us to
        ity and tender compassion. When none of   use “the rest of our time” for the will of
        the disciples would stoop to wash His feet,   God (1Pe 4:2). Again, the exhortation is
        He graciously laid aside His garments   clear: “Son, go work [serve] today in my
        and knelt to wash theirs. It was the work   vineyard” (Mat 21:28). Discouragement is
        of a slave – of Gentiles – but the mighty   always a pressing factor in service. Service
        Creator Himself stooped to wash the feet   can be exhausting, especially when no one
        of His own. Are we willing to stoop, to   bothers to help and few ever say “Thank
        refresh those around us, to show spiritual   you.” Martha in the kitchen can attest to
        care and love for struggling believers or   that! Failure can be a crushing experience
        for those who have no hope? It’s note-  and a tremendous challenge to overcome.
        worthy that when the prodigal son finally   Mark must have lamented leaving the
        stopped to assess his sad condition, it was   frontlines of service when the going was
        “the servants” in his father’s house that   tough but, wonderfully, he was restored
        suddenly became attractive to him. But   and became a helpful servant in the work.
        there’s also a very practical side to our
        servanthood for we are now “the hands   The Reward
        and feet” of our risen but absent Lord.   Amid great challenges, there is the
        We are His agents, His representatives,   assurance of wonderful rewards. The
        His workmen in meeting the needs of the   Lord’s own statement is so encouraging:
        work. As Colossians 3 teaches, whatever   “If anyone serves Me, him  My Father
        we do in relation to those around us, we   will honor” (Joh 12:26 NKJV). There is
        are to do it heartily for, ultimately, we   immediate reward and joy in just doing
        are “serving the Lord Christ” (v24). That   something “for the Lord.” Mary’s words to
        includes our labors in the home, at our   the servants at the Cana wedding feast are
        secular jobs, in the local church or in our   pivotal: “Whatever He says to you, do it!”
        interactions with individuals. Outstand-  (Joh 2:5 NKJV). And the result was joy and
        ing spiritual men were commissioned to   blessing for all. Millions of believers live
        wait on tables (Act 6); a diligent sister,   with little fanfare or recognition but know
        Phoebe, was commended as a “servant   that “God is not unjust so as to overlook
        of the church” (Rom 16:1); a rough fisher-  [their] work and the love that [they] have
        man, Peter, was asked to lend the Lord his   shown for his name in serving the saints”
        boat (Luk 5:1-3); a caring hostess, Martha,   (Heb 6:10 ESV). Wouldn’t it be wonderful
        invited a crowd into her home (Joh 12:2);   to ultimately stand before our Lord (as
        failing but faithful disciples were given   we all will do) and hear His words, “Well
        the Great Commission (Mar 16:15). All of   done, good and faithful servant”? I think
        us “no-namers” have been given a part in   at that point we may well think, “I wish I
        His service to be done as “unto Himself.”  had given Him more.”

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