Summary: Get rid of the me-mentality and serve like Jesus has served you.
CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP CALLS FOR SERVICE
Mark 10:45 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."
What does it mean when you say, "This restaurant has bad service"? What does that mean? It means that they put a big plate of food in front of you, but you have no silverware on the table. The waitress is nowhere to be found, and you look at the empty table behind you - no one's looking - and so you get up and take the silverware from that table and move it to your table. Is that OK to do? Have you ever done that before? Bad service. You order a hamburger and fries but there's no ketchup on the table, and the waitress is somewhere far away, and the restaurant is full, so finally you look at the table across the aisle and say, "Hey, can we borrow your ketchup?" Have you ever begged for ketchup at a restaurant before? That's bad service. You're dying of thirst, and they don't bring you anything to drink - but you can see through the door where the soda dispenser are by the waitress station, so finally you get up yourself and go into the kitchen and fill up your own cup - and the waitress sees you standing there and asks you why you're doing that. Have you ever experienced bad service before?
Have you ever go to church and thought to yourself, they have good service here at this church. The sermon was good for me, made me laugh, made me cry. The music was good for me - gave me a boost. The people were nice to me. The bulletin was easy for me to follow. Good service.
Do you look at religion that way? It's all about me! Some churches try to appeal to the me-mentality of our culture with the way they advertise - come to our church, and we'll give you a better marriage. Come to our church, the billboard says, and we'll give you better finances. There's a church that recently jumped on the physical fitness bandwagon - come to our church, and we'll help you lose weight and get some muscle tone - after all - it's all about you.
Is it really all about you? Today Jesus tells us that religion, church, really, our relationship with God, is not all about us. Today Jesus turns the arrow away from self, and points the arrow to service. It's not about me, it's about magnifying God, it's not about taking, it's about making disciples. Today as we consider stewardship, the use of our time and talents and treasures, let's listen to the words of Jesus, as he teaches us that stewardship calls for a heard of service.
Jesus says: "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." Why did Jesus say that? He was talking to his disciples, and they had very self-centered reasons for following Jesus. They thought Jesus was going to overthrow the Roman government and set up a Jewish kingdom that would rule the world, and that they would be in charge, with Jesus Christ. They were looking forward to the fame, the power, the wealth, the honor. It was all about them. Their eyes were on themselves - me me me.
Jesus told them to stop thinking this way: "Even the Son of Man did not come to be served," he said. Even the Son of Man - if anybody ought to be served, it should be Jesus Christ - he's God, he deserves the worship, the praise, the honor, the riches - he deserves the attention - but that's not why I have come, Jesus said. His eyes were not on himself.
Are your eyes on yourself? Don't we all struggle with a self-centered mentality toward following God? We pray to him the most passionately when we want something, when we want God to fix something - my prayers are all about me. We come to God's house, and it's all about me - how I feel. We meet people, and we say to ourselves, what can that person do for me? There's an activity and they're looking for volunteers - well, what's in it for me? We struggle, don’t we, with this sin of self-centeredness.
Why does God give you life? Why does God give you talents and abilities - is it all about you? He gives you time. He gives you money. It might feel like these things come from your own efforts, but you know as well as I do that at any moment your ability to work or walk or even think could be taken away from you in an instant - why does God give you time and money and everything else - is all for you to use for yourself? You just can't stop looking in the mirror. You just can't stop thinking about using your money and time and abilities for you - do you struggle with that sin?