True Service

1 Sep

Greeting the guests with a smile and a quick run through of the daily specials, she pulls her notepad from her apron pocket. Though her feet ache and her body is tired, she stands patiently and pleasantly as she awaits their choices.

Despite their grumbling about prices and questioning about portion size, she remains unagitated, doing her best to make their dining experience delightful. After all, she’s a waitress and that’s her job.

The fussy guests finish their meal with more complaining and an occasional demand for refills. Leaving the table, they bicker back and forth about whose turn it is to tip.

She returns to the table to clear the dishes and sweep the mess from the floor weary from a day nearly done. Between picking up plates and rearranging condiments, she hardly notices the absence of the tip she certainly deserves.

She’s a waitress and is expected to do her job with or without thanks.

Just as we are as servants of our Lord.

I have been challenged to “serve (my) Lord with gladness.”  (Psalm 100:2) To truly “take heed to the ministry (that I have) received in the Lord.” (Col. 4:17)

But of course that brought the questions, ‘What does it really mean to serve?”  “What is ministry?”

Is it merely showing up on Sunday and teaching Sunday School each week? Is it singing in the choir?

The word “serve” literally means to work as if enslaved. The word “ministry” comes from the Greek word diakonos meaning an attendant, a waiter (at table or in other menial duties).

To truly serve Him means I am to be willing to do the dirty work, the menial duties that others may not even notice. It means I am to attend to those that may not seem like they deserve or even want tended to. It means working even when a tip is not given. It means lovingly, patiently and pleasantly blessing those I’ve been called to minister to.

Sounds like fun, huh?

It certainly doesn’t seem like it especially when we’re looking at it through fleshly eyes. Oh, but it’s so worth it!

He promises a reward for our work.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Galatians 6:9 

When we serve others, we are really serving our Savior. That alone makes service worth it. That makes service a blessing and not a burden.

“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Matthew 25:40 

It’s funny how working as if enslaved can be so freeing! As Charles Spurgeon said, “No chains are worn in the court of King Jesus.” Serving Him doesn’t seem like work when we stay focused on Him.

But much like the weary waitress, we can quickly get discouraged in our service and ministry when dealing with difficult people and circumstances. But when we live striving to love our Lord, our service is simply an expression of that love.

I am grateful for the call to serve, for the yearof ministry ahead of me.

 May I serve in every aspect,  “…heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord (I) shall receive the reward of the inheritance…” (Col. 3:23-24)

Tomorrow I will meet the nine students I will have the privilege of serving this year so this is a repost from the archives while I’m busy preparing for Open House tomorrow and the first day of school on Tuesday! Enjoy the last official weekend of Summer!

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