God Uses People to Care for People
To Shine or To Serve – Part II
Scripture Reading: Mark 10:42-45
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 4:1
This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.
I wish I could remember where I first heard this question: “Do you want to shine or to serve?”. What I do remember is that it made me stop and examine myself.
The Apostle Paul says in today’s Key Verse that he was “entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed”. Paul’s sermons were simply messages that God had given him. He was but a servant of Christ.
Being a person who preached sermons for over 44 years, I know the temptation that the evil one uses on pastors and evangelists. As people line up to shake our hands after a service, we hear these words over and over: “good message today, Pastor”. It can be hard work to remind ourselves and our congregation that we are simply servants with a message from God. The temptation to shine a light on ourselves rather than Christ is always present.
Since my retirement, when I attend church I see things more from a lay person’s point of view. I have realized that it is not just pastors who face the temptation to shine rather than simply serve. All of us Christ-followers are to be good stewards of our time, using our gifts to serve the body of Christ.
As we give ourselves to serving, others take note and often give their approval of our work. There is nothing wrong with that exchange between believers, if we understand that we are but servants of Christ. Anything good that comes out of us is all because of God’s goodness to us.
Mark tells us of a conversation between Jesus, James, and John. James and John asked if they could sit on Jesus’s right and left when He sat on His glorious throne (Mark 10:35-37). This request resulted in an important lesson from Jesus:
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45)
As I wrap up this month’s devotional, I hope it has become clear to you that God uses people to care for people. I also hope that you have decided to allow God to use the spiritual gifts that He has given you to bless others around you.
The final challenge is to always allow Christ to shine as you serve. May God make it so in all of us.
Father, thank You for allowing me to be a part of Your great family. I want to serve this family as well as those in the world, as You guide me. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.