“And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35, NKJV).
We live in a very self-centered society. Sadly, it seems, often tragedy must strike before people realize what is truly important, or of value. In a society like ours, faith in God is not encouraged. Many people ask, “Where was God when the hurricane struck?” Or, “Where was God when my son, my mother – name the individual – passed away at a young age?”
We must remember that God is with us, readily available to each of us if we open our heart to Him and receive His help. It is also important to remember that God doesn’t send tragedy – there is an enemy; a devil, at work against mankind. He comes only, “To steal, and kill and destroy” (John 10:10, ESV).
Because self-centeredness has no place for service, other than to self, Jesus makes it clear that being a servant to His people is the greatest call there is. As we all know, material goods are temporary, passing; things wear out, so, people must be our focus.
First, God has placed us in families. Some don’t have blood relationships, but in the absence of this, He has placed us in people groups. We have a marvelous opportunity to serve and lift our immediate families.
Churches are another wonderful place through which we may serve others and by extension, promote unity, “There the Lord has commanded the blessing” (Psalm 133:3, ESV). Servanthood leads to unity with others, which commands the Lord’s blessing and without service to others, a person may not reach their full potential. Let me explain.
Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, in a short period of time, lost her husband and both of her sons. Ruth and Orpah were encouraged to leave, go find a husband and get on with their lives. Orpah chose to leave, but Ruth made this powerful statement of service: “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16, NIV).
Because of Ruth’s determination to serve Naomi, she meets Boaz, a relative of her deceased father-in-law, who takes note of her, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband… May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” (Ruth 2:11,12, NIV).
God served mankind by giving His only Son, Jesus, “That whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, ESV). He can’t resist blessing someone with a heart like His, to serve. He certainly blessed Ruth. Not only did she find favor with Boaz, a very wealthy, kind man who married her, but she became the great-grandmother of King David, and by extension was granted a place in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.