Summary: Service is what we are designed for and there are at least 4 issues surrounding our service.
The Impact of Service
> Reaching the end of a job interview, the human resources person asked a young engineer fresh out of MIT what kind of a salary he was looking for. “In the neighborhood of $140,000 a year, depending on the benefits package.” “Well, what would you say to a package of 5 weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years...say, a red Corvette?” “Wow! Are you kidding?” “Yeah, but you started it.”
> There is a tendency today to think of Bible characters as almost fantasy. For instance, most times we think of the disciples as Spiritual Giants who live above sin, yet the Bible seems to teach us that they were just as fallible as we are. They experience some of the same feelings and problems. We tend to overlook the fact that Jesus, on more than one occasion, was consorting with what we might call “white trash”. If you don’t care for that term, pick one. It could be poor, dishonest, prostitutes, immoral, the down and out, and even those society had given up on. In fact, Jesus had more to say about serving the poor than He did on a myriad of subjects which we deem “important.”
> When I think about His disciples, Peter would probably be the one who epitomizes the same type of struggles which I have. He lived with the proverbial “foot in mouth” disease. I see him and me as being very flexible, we can put both feet in our mouths at one time.
> However, Peter wasn’t the only one who had problems. It seems that James and John had their own set of problems which was generational, it even involved their mom. For me, few things are as sad as an adult who allows their parents to fight their battles. Yet, in our text, Mom comes to the rescue of her boys. Let’s Read the Text.
> It is not stretch of the imagination to realize what she was doing and where this was headed. This mom wanted the best for her sons and generally there is nothing wrong with this. The problem comes when parents (or anyone) want their children “given” a position because of the parent’s influence instead of their own personal merit. Why is this important to say and study? Fundamentally as believers, we are called to “serve” not be served. As far as I can tell this is a principle which needs to be taught.
The Impact of Service – Pg 2
> James Cash Penney bought his first “interest” into a department store in 1902 (1/3 interest). Eventually, the chain would number 1700 stores which he called the “Golden Rule Stores”. He understood the issue of service.
> Have you ever consider the impact service has? Why did Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory say, “I didn’t come to BE served, but to SERVE.” Isn’t a symbol of success the idea of people serving you?
> I submit that Jesus is giving us practical help to make us become more like Him every day. Service is a matter of;
1) OUR HEALTH – Do you realize that our bodies and minds are designed for activity? Not for passivity. We are to use the strength we have for action. In fact, today we have become so lethargic that we have to exercise to maintain good health. When I asked my dad about “exercise equipment” He pointed me to the plow, lawnmowers, garden, and well you get the idea. When we are about serving others, our health is strong. Listen, both our physical health as well as our mental health. If we are doing for others, we don’t have time to mulligrub.
2) OUR HAPPINESS – Now, there are some notable exceptions, but as a general rule people who serve because they ‘want to’ are generally happy people. Watch, they are happy because they are healthy and they have meaning in their lives. Jesus’ concerns were not for the things of this world but rather, the eternally lost, the earthly poor. The tears he shed (of which we have record) were never for himself but rather for those who were like sheep with no shepherd. His happiness came from helping others. Show me a cranky, crotchety, cantankerous person and I’ll show you one who doesn’t serve. OR if they serve, they do it for the praise of men and not the praise of God. Know why?
3) OUR HEART – The entire expression of our lives comes down to our heart. We’ll never find happiness if we expect to be served, that would be “the world revolving around me”. We’ll never be healthy (physically and emotionally) if we expect others to look out after us and thus, become “takers” and never giving anything.