From the Evangelist Desk November 2010 article
Servant or Leader? That is the question.
How many people are truly willing to serve others? How many would much prefer to be the team leader?
(Purpose Driven 7th October 2010)
We are commanded to serve God. Jesus was unmistakable: “Your attitude must be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life.” (Matthew 20:28 LB)
For Christians, service is not something to be tacked onto our schedules if we can spare the time. It is the heart of the Christian life. Jesus came “to serve” and “to give”—and those two verbs should define our life on earth, too. Serving and giving sum up one of God’s purposes for our life. Mother Teresa once said, “Holy living consists in doing God’s work with a smile.”
Jesus taught that spiritual maturity is never an end in itself. Maturity is for ministry! We grow up in order to give out. It is not enough to keep learning more and more. We must act on what we know and practice what we claim to believe. Impression without expression causes depression. Study without service leads to spiritual stagnation.
The old comparison between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea is still true. Galilee is a lake full of life because it takes in water but also gives it out. In contrast, nothing lives in the Dead Sea because, with no outflow, the lake has stagnated.
How many people are there in the world that are like the Dead Sea, always taking in, but never letting anything out. How many people do we know that are always willing to take, but never willing to give?
‘Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.’ If my heart is the wellspring of life, then I need to ensure that my wellspring pours out love and service to others. I must also ensure that my wellspring does not run dry because it is not being refilled. Like the scales of justice we need to keep the balance in our lives, ensuring that our wellspring of life has sufficient to be of service when called upon but also to be there of use to bathe and refresh ourselves when we need it.
Are we there yet????
The passage below could have been written to people within society today. How many people do you know that love themselves? How many chase money? The passage brings to mind the message from the Pope during his visit to the United Kingdom.
I look at the passage, reflect on my local area and districts around about and think maybe we are there! Can the situation be changed? Can we make an impact within our districts and places of work?
2 Timothy 3: 1-5
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
Some time ago I took some Evangelist colleagues to Cardiff on a Friday night, no drinking I can assure you, just a venture that struck me. ‘Binge Time’. My colleagues and the priest with us asked why we were there? They felt threatened. Vulnerable and at risk. I asked them to look around them at all the people. Notice what they were like. Then the penny dropped, no one was happy, smiling, or really having a good time. They were all out on a mission, not a church mission, but they were looking at enjoying spirits of sorts, Vodka and alike. No one out and about looked happy or at ease, heads were down and they were heading for where they needed to be, ready to ‘Binge’ the night away. Once the ‘Binge drinking’ starts then self-control is often lost, brutality can kick in. in fact quite a few of the statements within 2 Timothy can come true when someone gets a few drinks down their throats.
Enough from me, I am going of to meditate and reflect and ask the Lord to turn the tap on to top up my wellspring. Then ask that He places me with someone that needs to take from my wellspring. Share and share alike.
God Bless you all.
© Rick Hayes, November 2010