“Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.” – John 12:26
Intro to this issue
An early church father once said, “to serve is to reign with Christ.” We reign with the Lord Jesus when we follow and serve him above all else. The Lord wants to share his wisdom, power, and authority with us so we can speak and act in his name and carry on the work he entrusts to us for building up the body of Christ, and for strengthening marriage, family and single life, speaking his word and spreading the Gospel as widely as we can to every nation and people on the face of the earth.
When the Lord Jesus taught his disciples how they should act and exercise authority, he turned the world’s way of thinking on its head:
Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”(Matthew 20:25-28)
The Scriptures and the testimony of the early church fathers bear witness to the transforming power of Christ’s love and his way of servanthood. The heart of a servant is the heart of Christ himself who laid down his life for us to set us free from slavery to sin, Satan, and death.
Paul the Apostle reminds us:
Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another.(Galatians 5:13)
The Lord Jesus has set us free to love and serve unconditionally for the good and welfare of others. If we seek to serve for any other motive, then we are still ruled by pride, fear, guilt, or reward that seeks to advance our own personal interests and ambitions. Only a heart that has surrendered to the greatest love of all can be a servant of all for Christ’s sake.
May this issue inspire us to grow in Christ’s way of love and servanthood.
Sincerely in Christ,
Top illustration credit: Christ preaching, etching by Rembrandt, around 1652
Don Schwager is the editor of Living Bulwark and author of the Daily Scripture Reading and Meditation website. He is a lay religious brother and life-time member of the Servants of the Word.