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Summary: This message begins with a description of what service used to look like at the local service station. We have drifted from the concept of what Biblical service actually looks like. My goal in this series is to build a real attitude of servanthood in ou

Improving Your Serve

“Whatever Happened to Old Fashioned Service?

Matthew 20:20-28

It would be safe to say this morning that things have really changed at the gas pump. Prices have changed greatly. I pay about 75.00 every time I fill up my truck. When I first started driving i remember there was a gas war going on and I could but gas for 18 cents a gallon. 18 cents. I remember i was driving a little subaru that got about 40 mpg. I could put 2.00 worth of gas in that car and drive all weekend.

But more than prices have changed. Most of us can remember when a gas station was called a service station. And that’s what you got....service. When you pulled in you would run over a hose that would sound a bell to let them know they had a customer. The attendants would come out, one would wash your windshield, one would check oil, your radiator, put air in your tires and then pump gas for you. You never ever had to get out of your car if you didn’t want to. But now everything is modern. You pull in, get out, pump you gas, clean your own windows, pay right at the pump and then leave without speaking to a single person. Whatever happened to old fashioned service?

Things have changed at the grocery store. One of the first jobs I had was bagging groceries then carrying them out to the car and putting them inside. At one store where I worked people would call in and give you their grocery order over the phone, we would then get a cart and do their shopping for them, ring them up, bag them and then deliver them right to their front door. Whatever happened to service?

Things have also changed at church. And I am afraid that service has turned into serve-us.

Now Jesus has some important things to say about this thing called service. In the first gospel we find these words ... Matthew 20:20-28. In the first part of this chapter Jesus shared a parable about some men who were hired to work in a vineyard. Some came to work early in the day and some came late in the day. The landowner decided to pay everyone the same amount. Now you can imagine perhaps that those who worked all day and got the same pay as those who worked only an hour would be less than happy. Jesus finished this teaching by giving us these words. V. 16. So the last will be first and the first will be last. Now to me this is where the water hits the wheel. Let me ask you a question. If you showed up for work at 8:00 and then someone else showed up at 3:00 and then you both got paid the same amount at 5:00 how many of you would be upset about that? You see we are a whole lot like these early followers. Their attitude toward service needed correction and so does ours.

So I want to give you an assignment to day in 4 parts. (1) Before you serve, check your motives. Vv. 20-21. Motives can get all mixed up. This woman’s name was Salome and she was the aunt of Jesus. This had to be one proud lady. Hey this is my nephew Jesus .. by the way He can walk on water and He’s the savior of the world. She comes to Jesus with great respect, bows down and then asks a favor–would you grant that one of these two sons of mine sit at your right hand and the other at your left in the kingdom?

I see this as a mom who just wanted the best for her kids. You know if your kids have to sit somewhere why not sit at the head table? But I think for James and John that their motives were out of focus. They wanted to be higher than anyone else. Let me ask you when you serve God what is your motive/reason? When Jesus is confronted with her mixed up motives Jesus asks her a question. And the reason for His question is very clear. Jesus wants to cut through and get to the real issue. What is it you want? Why are you doing this? Who are you trying to impress? Check your motives when you serve.

(2) When you serve, expect difficulty/problems. After Salome makes this bold request Jesus seemed to respond in a rather blunt fashion. He says, “you don’t know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I am going to drink? Jesus was basically saying you don’t have a clue what you’re asking. The cup as you know was a symbol of suffering. Matthew 26:39. It’s interesting though that her 2 sons, James and John were actually standing there but for some reason they didn’t ask the question. But they did have a very quick answer. With complete confidence they replied, “we can.” So Jesus says you will indeed drink from a cup. You’re going to get the glory but you need to be ready for some grief.

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