Unreached Network

Journeying with Jesus – The Servant

God has been working in me on becoming more servant hearted for many years. The biggest turning point was when we had children. I always thought that I would like to be a stay at home Mum, at least until the children started school. However, when I became pregnant with our first child, I was really enjoying my job in a great company with exciting international travel. At the encouragement of my boss, instead of resigning, I started maternity leave with the option to go back to work. As my maternity leave came to an end, my choice was made even harder. I was offered to go back to work with a promotion!

After a weekend of prayer and wrestling with God, I laid down my career and made the choice to stay at home. This was not simply laying down my life for our young son (and the daughter that would follow). It was following a call to a vision that God had put on my heart for the local community in our early church planting days. God blessed those years. Time with the children, seeing them develop and grow was amazing. I made many friends in the community at post natal and toddler groups. Our family of churches provided great opportunities to serve in new ways at our Festival.

When our daughter started school and opportunities to work opened up again, I felt Jesus remind me that what I learnt during the years at home was how to give up my life for others. Those lessons were absolutely key in preparing me to give up our comfortable life in the UK and journey with Jesus to serve refugees in Greece. In fact, I don’t think we’d be here in Athens today if I’d chosen to pursue my career instead of God’s call to let it go.

To be servant hearted is described in Philippians 2 as not looking to our own interest but to the interest of others. The best example of this is Jesus who made himself nothing by taking on the very nature of a servant and humbling himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross!

We have many opportunities to put others interests before our own. From everyday actions like letting someone else choose the TV programme, taking time to listen and praying for one another to the more difficult sacrifices of giving away our money, prestige and surrendering all that we are to Jesus.

God works in us gradually. We definitely don’t change overnight! Growth in any area tends to be a series of moments where we truly believe that something matters enough to change the way we behave. When a belief turns into action, it has become a real value in our lives.

Jesus showed us what it looks like to take on the nature of a servant when he washed the disciple’s feet in John 13 v 4-17. Here’s how the story goes: Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciple’s feet. He dried them with the towel wrapped around him. One of the disciples, Peter exclaimed, “Jesus no! You will not wash my feet!” When Jesus explained the importance of letting Jesus serve him, Peter let him do it. Jesus set the example saying that the disciples should do as he had done for them recognising that no servant is greater than his master and no messenger is greater than the one who sent him. He went onto say, “now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

Jesus’ message is simple – serve one another as I have served you! His example is not something to be admired from a distance. It’s a picture of how we are to live. We can never out give God. When we follow in Jesus’ footsteps and take on the nature of a servant in any area of life that God asks us to, we will be blessed. That’s a promise and God always keeps his promises!