August 12, 2020
1 Timothy 3:13
Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus’ kingdom may look upside down at first glance.  “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant . . .” he said.  In our success-ladder-climbing world, few people aspire to be servants.  Greatness is attained by conquest.  Or so we wrongly imagine.

We will know whether we have hearts to serve when people treat us like servants.  More than once I have been mistaken for an employee in a store.  Someone will ask me to help them find some item or answer some question.  Somehow my summer selling mowers at Sears has left a permanent mark on me.  Or maybe it was my month as a janitor.  I started zealously, but in time, as people ordered me to clean up messes my zeal began to flag.  Who really wants to be a servant?

Paul often identified himself as a servant in his letters.  Sometimes he used the word slave (doulos) and sometimes the word servant (diakonos).  By the time he wrote these pastoral letters, the offices of overseer and deacon had developed in the church.  The word for deacon is the word for servant.

What benefit could there possibly be in being a servant?  Paul says those who have served well  as deacons gain an excellent standing.  With whom?  With the only One whose opinion matters.  In the upside down kingdom, the last are first and the servants are great.  In addition, serving Christ tends to increase our assurance in our faith in Christ Jesus.  The more we do what Jesus did, the more we grow in intimacy with him, who came not to be served but to serve..  No wonder Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, “Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

So if you are wondering what to do today, by all means, serve someone.  When we serve others, we are actually serving the Lord.  And I hear the retirement benefits are out of this world!

Pray with me:         
Father, as followers of your Son who came to serve, we pray that you would give us the grace to serve you by serving others today.  Show us someone we may serve in your name today.  May our service to others point them to our Savior who washed feet and gave up his life to save us and to show us how to live.   In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen. 
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 6:22-24
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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