Browsing the archives for the Serving tag.


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John 13-14: Jesus Washed the Heel Lifted Against Him, Will We?

Christian Living, Jesus, John, Serving

It’s been a tough two weeks for Give Attention to Reading–computer problems and schedule conflicts abound. However, I think we’ve got it together enough to finish out this six-month trek through the New Testament. We are in our final month, wrapping up by looking at the writings of John. Thanks for being patient with us.

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Hebrews 3-4: Get Help From God’s Grace Right Now

Christian Living, forgiveness, grace, Hebrews, Jesus, Overcoming Satan, overcoming sin, victory, Victory in Jesus

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Matthew 25-26: What is the Difference Between those in Heaven and those in Hell?

Christian Living, eternal life, Hospitality, humility, judgment, Matthew, salvation, Serving

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Luke 21-22: Shut up and Serve

Christian Living, humility, Luke, Serving

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Luke 19-20: Use It or Lose It

Blessing, Christian Living, Growth, Luke, Responsibility, Serving

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Luke 13-14: Serving Those Who Can’t Serve Back

Christian Living, Luke, Serving

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Luke 21-22: The #1 Key to Leading Like Jesus

Kingdom of God, Leadership, Luke

Luke 21-22 (ESV) by Wordle*

Today’s reading is Luke 21:1-22:71.

“And he said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves’” (Luke 22:25-27).

To the carnally-minded, being the leader means  using other people to get me where I want to go. That is exercising lordship. Not so among us. In God’s kingdom, being the leader means serving others to help them get where God wants them to go.

How are you leading people?

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading? You can be part of this conversation by clicking here.

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*Today’s illustration was generated by the creative tool at Wordle.net. You can find all my wordles here.

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Luke 13-14: It Is Most Blessed to Give Without Receiving

Hospitality, humility, Jesus, Luke, Relationships, resurrection, Sacrifice

Luke 13-14 (ESV) by Wordle*

Today’s reading is Luke 13:1-14:35.

“He said also to the man who had invited him, ‘When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just’” (Luke 14:12-14).

Too often we develop relationships to get something in return. We are willing to serve, but only when we think someone will return the favor. We give gifts in hopes to receive gifts. We offer hospitality in hopes to receive hospitality. We extend friendship in hopes to get something out of the friendship. Jesus suggests a different course.

Certainly this is hyperbole. Jesus is not absolutely opposed to inviting friends over for a get together. After all, we consider the feast that Levi held for a large number of his tax collector friends back in Luke 5:29. But, we must not think the hyperbole here lets us off the hook. To whom do we extend our friendship? Who do we serve? Why do we do these things? Are other people a source of something for us? Or are we offering ourselves in complete service? Are we looking for some immediate and present day reward or recognition?

How much serving do we do for those who can’t possibly repay us? How much volunteering do we do for which we will not ever get paid and never receive notice? We’ve all learned it is more blessed to give than to receive. But Jesus here points out that even more blessed is giving when there is no possible way to receive repayment. Why? Because God will repay us in the resurrection.

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading? You can leave your comment by clicking here.

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*Today’s illustration was generated by the creative tool at Wordle.net. You can find all my wordles here.

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Matthew 23-24: The Highest Rank in Christianity is Servant

Christian Living, humility, Matthew

Today’s reading is Matthew 23:1-24:51.

Just right out of the starting gate, today’s reading smacked me with an open can of humility.

Speaking of the Pharisees, Jesus said, “They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:5-11).

Certainly, we go to other passages to learn that there are roles within Christ’s body. Ephesians 4:11 says God gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. There is nothing wrong with calling someone who is a teacher a teacher or who is an evangelist an evangelist. Jesus’ point was not so much about titles as it was about attitudes. 

Sadly, those of us who are evangelists, teachers, pastors or some other role can very easily jump into arrogance. We can look forward to someone introducing us, “Oh, you just have to meet my preacher.” “This is so and so, he’s one of the shepherds in our congregation.” “This is sister such and such, she’s one of our top Bible class teachers.” 

Sure, we have roles to fill within the congregation. We all have roles. But not one role is above another. There is no role that makes us higher or more important than anyone. The highest rank in Christianity is servant. 

The question for me today is not how great of a preacher I am. Rather, it is how can I serve someone today?

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

P.S. What struck you in today’s reading?

P.P.S. Just a reminder: I’m sorry about being sporadic. However, my family and I are in countdown mode. In 6 weeks, we will be moving to Brownsburg, Indiana. Right now I’m covered up with working on our house and trying to get everything in order to move. That is significantly impacting my writing and internet time. Please be patient with me and keep praying for us.

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Mark 9-10: Who Will be the Greatest?

Christian Living, humility, Mark, Serving

first place by  cliff1066™Today’s reading is Mark 9:1-10:52.

Twice this year already, I’ve had opportunity to travel with some other preachers to hear a series of lectures by multiple preachers. On the way home, I noticed how easy it was for us (the preachers who had not been asked to be in these series) to talk about the mistakes the presenters had made. (To be fair, we also talked about the great lessons we heard and learned.)

One of the fellows traveling with us on both occasions was a young man who has just started working in a training capacity with a friend. Recognizing how much we were talking about the supposed mistakes of our brethren, I turned to the young brother and said, “Don’t mind us, this is the part of the trip in which we try to make ourselves feel better about our preaching.”

Sad, but that is often the way it works. Fortunately, on one of those trips we got to hear a great lesson on envy. That helped keep us in our own skin a bit.

However, I can’t help but think of this when I read of Jesus’ disciples arguing about who is the greatest in Mark 9:33-37. I still seem to get that backwards. Too often, I want to be the greatest, the greatest preacher, the greatest teacher, the greatest pray-er, the greatest song leader, the greatest whatever. That is not what being God’s child is about. God isn’t looking for the greatest. He’s looking for servants. He’s not looking for people who can prove how amazing they are. He’s looking for people who are asking, “What can I do next for others?”

The fact is, the preachers we heard in those two series did a great job. They didn’t do everything the way I would, but then why should they? God didn’t put us here to compete with each other. He put us here to serve as best we can. That’s what I need to do today.

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

P.S. What struck you in today’s reading?

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