Greg Spires – Teaching Pastor
As a young boy, Zach experienced what most of us would consider a nightmare. He was home with some of his cousins, and they were (foolishly) using some gas from a near-empty gas can to create little fireballs in the air. Zach tried to tell them to stop, and in the ensuing argument, some gas was spilled on Zach that caught fire.
Fortunately, a neighbor heard the commotion and risked his own life to save Zach. Despite the flames from Zach’s clothes, the neighbor tackled him and rolled with him on the ground to extinguish the flames. After several months in the hospital, Zach was able to recover from his injuries fully. The neighbor was awarded Citizen of the Year honors for his courageous rescue.
When he was old enough, and at his first opportunity, Zach applied to be a firefighter. At his interview, one of the Battalion Chief’s asked Zach if he recognized her. He said, “Yes, you were the paramedic from the ambulance that took me to the hospital.”
When asked why he wanted to be a firefighter, Zach said he knew what it was like to need help in the worst possible moment. He wanted to be that person who could help others at the worst of moments. He knew what it was like to need rescue and have someone arrive to help. That experience inspired his desire to help others.
Notice that the Bible calls us to have a similar view in Philippians 2:1-4, “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind…Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Have we received from Jesus any comfort, love, and sympathy? Yes, we have! He has loved us through the cross. He has comforted us with the hope of eternal life. He has sympathized with our weakness. The Bible calls us to respond to Jesus the same way Zach responded to the help he received: offer what we have received to others in humble service.
We are called by God to serve others in humility because Jesus served us in humility. All God is asking us to do is pass along what we have already received. When we think about our own lives in response to Christ’s humble service for us, we experience both conviction and encouragement by the Spirit.
We experience conviction because we must recognize that when we are selfish and unwilling to serve others in humility, it reveals that we don’t fully understand what Jesus did for us. To see Christ’s humble service for what it is will move us to serve others humbly. To fail to serve others simply means our view of Christ’s work is obstructed. We need to see more clearly and understand the significance of what Jesus did for us.
We experience encouragement because we recognize Jesus isn’t asking us to do anything He hasn’t already done. Jesus will supply all we need to be able to serve others in humility because He is our model of humble service, and He is the source of our ability to be able to serve others.
It might be a good idea to take some time with the Lord to think and pray about how you can serve others in humility. Think about the places you have an opportunity to help: in your home, at church, or in the community.
There is a cost to this, and for most of us, the biggest cost is time. So let’s say it like it is: there is no time. To serve others, we must be willing to MAKE time by giving up something we want. Why would we do that? Because Jesus didn’t come as a man to save us because He had an opening in His schedule. He intentionally came at the precise time He meant to despite the tremendous inconvenience and humiliation of leaving His glory and power in heaven.
Are we willing to follow Jesus in this kind of humility?
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Philippians 2:1-11.
See you Sunday,