Each week for this season our devotions will be centered around the practice of PRAYER. Like the disciples we too have the opportunity to ask Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” We encourage you to read all prayers and Psalms out loud – let the words of Scripture fill your prayers!
Devotional Thought // Pastor Chris
Serving has saved my life. Let me explain:
We live in a society that is plagued with individualism. We have a tendency to live to the end of our own values, our own ideals, our own preferences, and pursuit of our own pleasure. It’s not just in society. It’s in me. I have a tendency to live a life that thinks of myself first. What do I want to do? What would make me happy? How do I want to spend my time. This has been so normalized; yet this sentiment hardly lines up with the posture of Jesus.
25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 26 It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”Matthew 20:25–28 (NRSV)
Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. It was the night before Jesus would be hours before Jesus was arrested that he would find Himself in a garden crying out about what was about to take place where he would utter the words, “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). How do we live unselfishly in a world that tends to coax us into making life about our own desires, will, and pleasure? We serve. Serving is a subversive rhythm that holds back the tide of a culture of individualism.
When I first started following Jesus I had the opportunity to go on a Mission Trip to Mexico. It was the height of the year for everyone in the Youth Group. I couldn’t wait to participate with this life changing experience. One day, our Children’s Pastor gave an announcement for our Youth Group.
“We need a few extra leaders for Kids Camp. Now I know it’s during the Mission’s Trip, but I believe God is calling a few of you to serve some of our young campers.”
I was flush. I knew God was calling me towards this even before I knew God could communicate with me. I didn’t want to do it, but somehow I knew this is what God had placed before me. This one decision to serve God rather than my own preferences would set in motion a trajectory of ministry that I am still walking out today as a Pastor. It also has helped save me from the radical individualism that is always waiting to destroy me.
What is God calling you towards? How are you serving Him during this season? Are you serving with our Kids? Food Pantry? Youth? Alpha? Food? Hospitality? God has a purpose and a plan for your life that is bigger than you. Today consider being called into His great mission. If you are already involved, recommit to this way of life that focuses on loving your neighbor as yourself. It will change your life!
129 Your testimonies are wonderful;
therefore does my soul keep them.
130 When your word goes forth it gives light
and understanding to the simple.
131 I opened my mouth, and drew in my breath,
for my delight was in your commandments.
132 O look upon me, and be merciful unto me,
as you always do for those who love your Name.
133 Order my steps according to your word,
and so shall no wickedness have dominion over me.
134 O deliver me from those who deal wrongfully,
and so shall I keep your commandments.
135 Show the light of your countenance upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
136 My eyes gush out water
because of those who do not keep your law.
137 Righteous are you, O Lord,
and true are your judgments.
138 The testimonies that you have commanded
are exceedingly righteous and true.
139 My zeal has even consumed me,
because my enemies have forgotten your words.
140 Your word is tested to the uttermost,
and therefore your servant loves it.
141 I am small, and of no reputation,
yet I do not forget your commandments.
142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
and your law is the truth.
143 Trouble and heaviness have taken hold of me,
yet my delight is in your commandments.
144 The righteousness of your testimonies is everlasting;
O grant me understanding, and I shall live.
145 I call with my whole heart.
Hear me, O Lord; I will keep your statutes.
146 Even unto you do I call;
help me, and I shall keep your testimonies.
147 Early in the morning do I cry unto you,
for in your word is my trust.
148 My eyes open before the night watches,
that I may meditate on your words.
149 Hear my voice, O Lord, according to your loving-kindness;
give me life according to your judgments.
150 They draw nigh who in malice persecute me,
and are far from your law.
151 Be near at hand, O Lord,
for all your commandments are true.
152 Concerning your testimonies, I have known long ago
that you have founded them for ever.
Father, you sent your Son not to be served, but to serve. He served all the way to the cross as an example for all humanity. Forgive me for the ways I serve with an absent heart or wrong motive. Grant me the desire and the energy to walk out your good works that have been planned in advance. Amen