JOHN 13:12-17 – When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
THEME OF THE DAY: FOLLOWING THE MASTER IN ALL THINGS. While in the United States Navy, I served on various warships as the Protestant Lay Leader. My ships were too small for a full-time chaplain so this collateral duty allowed for the regular exercising of the Protestant faith community onboard. It was a wonderful opportunity for a Christian ministry. On one ship, there was a young and zealous Christian who was attending the Sunday morning worship services. After a few weeks, he came to me and said, “I want to serve the Lord here and would like to start preaching in our services.” I admired his zeal, but wondered about his motive, not judging him, but curious. I said, “Okay. Why don’t we start teaming up together. You can help me set up chairs for Sunday, get the hymn books out, greet the guys, and then help me put stuff away after the service.” He said, “No, I believe God has called me to preach.” When I wouldn’t give him that opportunity but encouraged him to start with small unseen acts of service first, he resisted. In fact, he never came back to church onboard that ship.
So, are we selective in our service for the Lord? Do we shy away from the less visible acts like my shipmate? Does the thought of being behind the scenes, unnoticed, in the body of Christ push back against our desires for public attention, notice, and affirmation from people? Maybe we are eager to sing in front of a congregation, preach to a crowd, or lead a small group but taking out the trash after a church lunch, cleaning a restroom before an event, or visiting a lonely widow without anyone knowing seems less appealing? Before we answer those questions, spend time reading and meditating over and over on today’s scripture, focusing on the service of the Lord and His words – For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
When it comes to serving the Lord, no one or no task is insignificant and all God’s people are to willingly embrace all service, even the less visible. And for motivation to do so, allow these words of Jesus be so – “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much” (Luke 16:10). Be content in the “little” acts of serving the Lord, especially the ones unnoticed by others, and allow the Lord to expand our areas of service, if He wills. Remember these sweet words from the Psalmist – For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness (Psalm 84:10).
PRAYER: “Father, help me to embrace Your Son, not only in salvation, but in a willingness to serve as He did.”
QUOTE: “A servant of Christ is in submission to Christ and refuses no avenue of service, even the lowly ones.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,