The Destitution of Service

February 25th, 2014 by Dave Leave a reply »

. . though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved —2 Corinthians 12:15

Natural human love expects something in return. But Paul is saying, “It doesn’t really matter to me whether you love me or not. I am willing to be completely destitute anyway; willing to be poverty-stricken, not just for your sakes, but also that I may be able to get you to God.” “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor . . .” (2 Corinthians 8:9). And Paul’s idea of service was the same as our Lord’s. He did not care how high the cost was to himself— he would gladly pay it. It was a joyful thing to Paul.

The institutional church’s idea of a servant of God is not at all like Jesus Christ’s idea. His idea is that we serve Him by being the servants of others. Jesus Christ actually “out-socialized” the socialists. He said that in His kingdom the greatest one would be the servant of all (see Matthew 23:11). The real test of a saint is not one’s willingness to preach the gospel, but one’s willingness to do something like washing the disciples’ feet— that is, being willing to do those things that seem unimportant in human estimation but count as everything to God. It was Paul’s delight to spend his life for God’s interests in other people, and he did not care what it cost. But before we will serve, we stop to ponder our personal and financial concerns— “What if God wants me to go over there? And what about my salary? What is the climate like there? Who will take care of me? A person must consider all these things.” All that is an indication that we have reservations about serving God. But the apostle Paul had no conditions or reservations. Paul focused his life on Jesus Christ’s idea of a New Testament saint; that is, not one who merely proclaims the gospel, but one who becomes broken bread and poured-out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for the sake of others.



February 25, 2014-JDV

Lord, once again Oswald Chambers lays big blocks of guilt and responsibility on us about our commitment and service. And while I agree with the outcomes, it seems like something is missing; namely that in my own strength and motivation, I simply lack the ability to “do something”.  Not only will I do nothing; left to my own devices, I will be consumed by own needs and concerns.  Thank You for showing me that I can only “do something” or properly serve others when I am connected to You and You are serving others through me.

And God says…”Left to your own strength and motivations, you may reach out and help others occasionally. You might occasionally “do something” for those in need, but the effort will wear you out. If you are not first connected and being led and directed by Jesus, the results will not be substantial, or lasting. (Apart from Me you can do nothing) I do not want your guilt or obligation as the motivating factors for service, any more than I want your worship, study and prayer out of obligation. I want our relationship and your service to rise up from love.  You will find this capacity for love, service, worship and our relationship in the person of Jesus.   Be connected to Jesus and be transformed into a man that loves to serve and worship.  Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and He will make your paths straight…..and you will be amazed at your capacity to (as the song says) “do something ”



Comments are closed.