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Servanthood is one of those words that can ignite the groans of “oooh!” in unison. Service has been given a bad name in our culture. We associate service with something that will require forced effort. There is that fear that voicing a desire to serve will land you right into the volunteer position in the nursery. (No offense to those of you who are in the nursery and love it!) We can assoicate service with doing those things others do not not want to do.

In the past, we have assoicated service with those who are lower class; one labeled as servant. We have even lumped service into catagories of people like missionaries, church staff, volunteers, and those who are in service jobs.

What does service have to do with relationships and living a life following after Christ?

Jesus lived a life of service. His service was redefining life for everyone around him, all the time. Jesus was in the business of taking our concepts and blowing them right out of the water. Sometimes service looked more like a conscious effort for Jesus, but his whole life was lived out of service. Jesus made sure everyone he came into contact with walked away feeling more valued and loved. He walked and talked truth in a way that redefined life as everyone knew it.

One of the greatest examples of service came from the night Jesus washed his disciples feet. While there were conversations going on about popularity and requests for the greatest seat, Jesus silently grabbed a basin and towel. He stripped down to next to nothing and knelt down before his friends. One by one he washed the mud and grime from their feet. Silence must have hushed over the crowd in a hurry. What was their most popular master doing?

That night, Jesus redefined importance and value in a tangible way. That night, in a quiet upper room, the savior of the world, displayed one more way of laying down life for others. Jesus displayed humility in a way that no one would ever forget.

Service is about the heart. Service is what happens as the overflow of your heart from knowing who he is. You can’t help but spend yourself when getting to know who he is.

For Jesus, servanthood was never contingent upon who the other person was. Service is not only about giving to those you know who won’t hurt you, or even to those who can give back. Jesus washed Judas’ feet minutes before he walked out on him. Jesus washed all of his disciples feet even though hours later they would all desert him.

Jesus served because he knew who’s he was. That never changed. Service comes from knowing our identity is in him. Service is about giving grace, unconditional love, and risk.

John Maxwell states, “the insecure are into titles. The secure are into towels. Service has nothing to prove, nothing to lose, and nothing to hide.”

Service is the overflow of your heart as God gets a hold of you. It no longer looks like conscious effort, but life lived out. It can look like encouragement, listening, caring, sacrificing, loving, grace, forgiveness, and just giving you.

How will you serve today?

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