Matthew 20:26, 28 says, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant… Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
If you read my other entry categorized under Leadership, you’ll see this passage as it relates to my personal experience as a captain on my softball team. Today I want to talk about it in a different way. Because like Dan Britton says in the FCA Athletes Devotional, “Jesus never told us to be leaders, but He did tell us to be servants.”
Maybe God has not called you to be the captain of your team, a group leader, or the CEO of a company. No matter if He calls you to leadership in the formal context, there are certain things that He calls us to as His children.
At FCA tonight, my friends and I had a great conversation about this idea of serving. How do we serve our teammates? We concluded that serving is different than service. Service is done out of obligation, while serving comes from the heart. Serving is going out of our way to encourage our teammates, friends, family, and community.
Serving involves sacrifice. Have you ever noticed this? In our self-centered culture where everything around us says to strive for personal success, sometimes going out of our way to love our neighbors takes effort. It’s unnatural to put others before ourselves, at least, it is for me. But God has taught me a lesson this week: If we do not sacrifice, we will miss our calling.
This quote is courtesy of Beth Moore from my Bible Study of the book of Daniel last week and it’s just stuck with me. Of course I have thought of my calling, my calling which, if you read my blog last week, has been very much revealed to me in the recent months. My current calling is to pursue FCA as a ministry and a potential career while playing softball at KU, and to put Ephesians 4:1 into action. It’s this same calling that requires sacrifice.
As a brief example, for the past year Kevin and I have dedicated Monday nights to our “date night.” One free night to put each other as a priority and just enjoy each other’s company. God calls me to FCA, and Monday nights are the best night that work for everyone. I sacrifice this time to God because He has called me to this ministry, and I trust that He will provide a different time and bless Kevin and my relationship in this obedience!
There are sacrifices such as time, and then sometimes “harder” sacrifices, like lifestyle changes, sin… We are faced with the question: Is a Christian life worth the sacrifice? So much sacrifice… is there any gain?
If you have experienced Jesus the way I have, you know this is not even a question to ask! The life and fulfillment that comes from a relationship with Jesus far outweighs any “sacrifice.” I would sacrifice for Jesus over and over again. Why? Because He Himself was the ultimate sacrifice, an atonment for my sins. Just like it says in Matthew 20:28 Jesus, the King of Kings, did not come to be served, which would have been appropriate. Instead, He came to serve.
Nothing I can give in return even compares to God sacrificing His one and only Son so that I may be in a personal relationship with Him and have eternal life! (See John 3:16)
Sometimes our calling costs us something. But don’t you want to be a person that lives a life worthy of the calling you have received? What may be standing in your way, and could God be calling you to sacrifice this for His calling in your life?
Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.”
Jesus came to this earth to serve, and we too are called to serve according to the gifts that God has given us and according to the place in which He has called us.
See also Ephesians 2:10 and 2 Timothy 2:21.