Serving “Jesus-style”

2019-09-30
2 Corinthians 6:8 NLT

Kelli B. Trujillo writes: “‘I’m not your servant!’ I half-grunted, half-spoke to one of my kids as I got on my hands and knees to pick up pasta he’d decided to deposit on the floor…Then a thought struck me: I sure hope Jesus didn’t hear me say that! Unfortunately, this attitude towards servanthood extends beyond cleaning the floor. Most of the time, serving others just rubs me the wrong way. If it’s some extra-meaningful project where you can practically hear the soundtrack of inspirational, feel-good music…and experience a rush about how great you are…it’s not difficult. But what about the service Jesus talked about…that involves getting no credit…and waging a battle against your selfish impulses?” Harry E. Fosdick said, “No steam drives anything until it’s confined. No Niagara is turned into power until it’s tunneled. No life grows great until it’s focused, dedicated and disciplined.” Serving “Jesus-style” means saying, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20 NIV). Paul was jailed, whipped, stoned, shipwrecked, and robbed, yet he said: “We serve God whether people honor…despise…slander…or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others” (2 Corinthians 6:8-10 NLT). The Bible says Jesus “for the joy set before him endured the cross…and sat down at the right hand…of God” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV). And that same Spirit enables you to serve others by drawing on His strength.

Soul food: Num 29:1-6; Matt 24; Rev 11:15-19; 1 Cor 15:50-58

Serve


2 Corinthians 6:8 NLT

We all probably know that Jesus calls us to serve others. But it’s not always easy. We can be faced with situations where we don’t want to serve. Sometimes we’d rather focus on our own needs and our own progress. Other times, we are faced with people who we don’t get on with, who don’t recognise or appreciate what we are doing for them, and will never serve us back. But serving Jesus’ way means saying, ‘I no longer live, but Christ lives in me’ (Galatians 2:20 NIV). If we are struggling with serving, we need to check our attitude. Are we putting ourselves or others first? Are we remembering that we are not really serving people, but serving God? In Matthew 25, we are told: ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (v.40 NIV). Thinking like this will help us serve willingly and joyfully, even if we are not getting anything in return. It can be easy to fall into the trap of serving in order to be recognised and appreciated by others, but God sees everything we do. Even when others don’t appreciate our efforts, God does. In Hebrews 6 it says: ‘God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them’ (NIV). Serving others requires us to have humility, to put ourselves and our egos below the needs of those we are serving. We can think that our God-given gifts are for advancing ourselves, for being successful and gaining recognition. But the Bible says: ‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others’ (1 Peter 4:10 NIV). Our gifts are actually to advance God’s kingdom, and to serve others.

Num 29:1-6; Matt 24; Rev 11:15-19; 1 Cor 15:50-58

Dien soos Jesus


2 Korintiërs 6:8 DB

Kelli B. Trujillo skryf: “‘Ek is nie jou dienskneg nie!’ het ek my kind toegesnou toe ek op my hande en knieë gaan om die pasta wat hy op die vloer gegooi het, op te tel. Toe het ‘n gedagte my binnegeskiet: Ek hoop nie Jesus het my dit hoor sê nie! Ongelukkig strek hierdie houding teenoor diensbaarheid dikwels verder as die vloer se skoonmaak. Gewoonlik vryf dit my verkeerd op wanneer ek ander moet bedien. Wanneer dit ‘n betekenisvolle projek is waar jy omtrent die klankbaan van inspirerende musiek kan hoor, is dit nie so moeilik nie. Wat egter van die soort diens waarvan Jesus gepraat het – waar jy geen krediet kry nie en jy teen jou selfsugtige impulse moet baklei?” Om soos Jesus te dien, beteken dat jy sê: ‘Ek leef nie meer nie, maar Christus lewe in my…’ (Galasiërs 2:20 NLV). Paulus was in die tronk gegooi, gestenig, die boot waarop hy was het gesink en hy is beroof en tog het hy gesê: ‘Ons weet hoe dit voel om deur ander geëer én beledig te word. Ons naam is al dikwels deur die modder gesleep. Ander kere weer is ons geprys en oorlaai met eer… Ons ken hartseer, maar ons is altyd vol vreugde. En armoede – ja, natuurlik weet ons ook wat dit is. Maar ons het al baie mense se lewe skatryk gemaak met die goeie nuus… Ons werk immers vir God aan wie alles behoort en wat ons oorlaai met sy goedheid’ (2 Korintiërs 6:8-10 DB). Die Bybel sê Jesus ‘…het ter wille van die blydskap wat daar voor vir Hom gewag het, die kruis verduur… En nou sit Hy op die ereplek langs God op die troon!’ (Hebreërs 12:2 NLV). Dieselfde Gees stel jou in staat om ander te dien deur krag uit Hom te put.

Sielskos: Num 29:1-6; Matt 24; Op 11:15-19; 1 Kor 15:50-58

Beskerm die ‘nuwe lote’

2019-09-29
Job 14:7 DB

Dit verg God se wysheid om ‘n maat te vind wat inpas by waar jy is en waarheen jy op pad is. As jy beskadigde materiaal kies, sal jy teleurstellende resultate kry. Wanneer ‘n familie uitmekaar breek, kan die wonde ‘n leeftyd hou, selfs al is die oorlog verby. Luister asseblief mooi: Moet nooit jou kinders as ammunisie gebruik om mekaar seer te maak nie! Ammunisie vernietig nie net die teiken nie, dit word ook in die proses vernietig. Jou monoloog van bitterheid mag dalk die waarheid wees, maar dit kan jou kind se vermoë om gesonde verhoudings van hul eie te bou, vernietig. As hulle immers nie ‘n ouer kan vertrou nie, wie kan hulle dan vertrou? Selfs al kan jy nie die verhouding red nie, red hulle. Job sê: ‘As ‘n boom afgekap word, is die kans goed dat daar weer nuwe lote en takke uit die stomp sal groei.”.’ Hoe wonderlik – nuwe takke wat uit ‘n dooie boom gebore word! Dis ons boodskap – daar is lewe na die dood! Hy is die God van tweede kanse en nuwe begin. Net omdat jou drome nie waar geword het nie, beteken dit nie dat jou kinders se drome nie waar sal word nie. As daar net een ding – ‘n gesonde, goed-aangepaste kind – uit jou verhouding voortkom, is jy steeds ‘n wenner. Jou kinders is jou visie. Hulle is die toekoms, gee hulle dus ekstra liefde en stabiliteit. Leer hulle wat God oor die lewe sê. Werk daaraan om hulle onthalwe. As die ‘nuwe lote’ saam met die boom verlore gaan, beteken dit dat al daardie jare gemors is. Beskerm dus die ‘nuwe lote.’

Sielskos: Eseg 37:1-14; Matt 27:50-53; 1 Tess 4:13-18

New shoots


Job 14:7 NIV

Ever felt like life has cut you down? That things were going well, but then something unexpected happened, or someone hurt you, or you made a mistake that seemed to destroy everything? When a tree is cut down, it can grow again. Job says, ‘There is hope for a tree: if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.’ And it’s the same for us. When life has cut us down, it’s not the end. With God, new life can begin to grow again. He’s the God of second chances and new beginnings. There’s no mistake, hurt, or situation that’s too big for Him to redeem. It might take a long time for that new shoot to appear, but it will come. We can have hope that our situations will change and that God’s working, even when it doesn’t feel like it. But for a tree to be able to flourish, it has to be planted in the right place. A stump that’s in a dry and dark place is unlikely to grow again. If we want new life to emerge from our ruins, we need to make sure we are surrounding ourselves with the right people, feeding our minds with God’s Word, and spending time with Him, our Light. In Jeremiah 17, we are told: ‘Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD…They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit’ (17:7-8 NIV). When we are trusting and hoping in God, we will be in the best place to produce a new shoot.

Ezek 37:1-14; Matt 27:50-53; 1 Thes 4:13-18