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Service and Sacrifice
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:28 NLT
Power and position are such common pursuits in life. Entire systems are built around it. Many times, we don’t even pay attention to it anymore.
As a follower of Jesus, we are asked to think about power and position very differently through two words: service and sacrifice.
Apparently two brothers who were Jesus’ disciples had been talking with their mother about the emerging kingdom and rule of Jesus. Mom wanted to make sure that her sons had the rightful place in the new order. She lobbied directly to Jesus on their behalf. She wanted them to be right next to Jesus in position and power.
Jesus let mom and her two sons know that they did not understand what they were asking for. He then gathered the entire team together and explained that position and power is not what the Kingdom of God is all about.
Jesus came, setting aside all position and being very careful with divine power. He came to serve and sacrifice on behalf of others. Anyone who follows him would do the same.
Service without sacrifice isn’t complete. Service alone can become a badge. Service that does not involve sacrifice becomes self-serving. Remember, Jesus calls us to serve others with real sacrifice.
When sacrifice is combined with service, there is a transformation that is completely focused on the well-being of others. At that point, it is not about us. As followers of Jesus, we are focused on the people we have opportunities to help.
As a parent, I understand the desire of this mother to have her boys do well. It is quite likely that she lived a life of service and sacrifice for her boys. I don’t fault her for advocating for the future of her sons. I have advocated for the well-being of my kids and grandkids on many occasions. The key is to advocate for those we love in ways that draw all of us closer to Jesus in service and sacrifice.
Encouragement: Pursue a life of service and sacrifice in anything you do. Following Jesus is filled with caring for others, even to the point of setting your own interests aside (sacrifice). Avoid the trappings of power and position. Use influence to help others. Aspire to a life of giving and helping. This is the way of Jesus.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for living a life of service and sacrifice. Thank You for giving us a better way to live. Your sacrifice forever changes anyone who believes in You. Help us to resist the trappings of power and position. If You do give us influence, let us use the influence for the well-being of others sacrificially. In Your name Jesus we pray. Amen.
-Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center