“Ministry” is from the Greek word diakoneo, meaning “to serve.” At my church, our pastors believe that every member of God’s Church is a minister, so obviously that would mean that every believer is called to serve- serve Jesus and serve His Body. Jesus was the servant of all. In fact, He was the Servant King. Christ shares in the gospel of John of the importance of serving and following Him as He serves others.
“If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him”(John 12:26, ESV).
Jesus asks us as Christians to lay our lives down continually, denying our wants and desires, or as the Apostle Paul said to do, “die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31).
Do we know how to do that?
It is human nature to seek after what our hearts and flesh crave, but we do not have to give into that kind of nature for we have a new nature in Christ Jesus (Colossians 3:10/ 2 Corinthians 5:17/ Ephesians 4:24).
Some people have wrong thoughts about God and service, perhaps believing their service doesn’t matter because others have it taken care of. Or perhaps they see pastors as the ones who are qualified for service and ministry, so they don’t need to join in. But we are all priests to our God (1 Peter 2:9)! When we put our hands to the plow, so to speak, in ministry, we are worshiping God. Those who are saved by Christ will eagerly and joyfully serve Christ and His people. We have been clothed in Christ’s righteousness to match Him and follow Him. What clothes are you wearing- the world’s or Christ’s?
No matter the excuse or wrong thinking regarding ministry and service, we can ask God to help us see the importance of serving the Lord and others. The Holy Spirit empowers us to set aside our selfishness and learn how to be selfless like Jesus, preferring others above ourselves. That kind of lifestyle starts in the mind, in the way we think, as we learn to think of ourselves less and look for ways to put others first. The Lord promises that the Father will honor the one who serves Christ by serving His people. As we learn to prefer others above ourselves, the Lord fills us with His love to the overflow to reach more people for His Kingdom. Let us ask God to help us value the call to serve so we can look more like Him.
You are selfless, humble, gracious, and merciful and You ask us as Your children to follow Your example. I cannot do that in my own strength. Thank You for empowering me with Your Holy Spirit and with Your grace to be able to deny my own desires and selfish ambitions. When I mess up or find myself walking pride, thank You for convicting my heart of my self-seeking nature. I need Your help to prefer others above myself. Your Word transforms my mind so that I can learn how to think less of myself and seek to serve You and Your people. I trust that You will help me see what that looks like specifically in my own life. My heart longs to be the servant You have called me to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.