“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 – the 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 to others, 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 families, however they may be assembled.
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. 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 her sister-in law, 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 met Boaz, a relative of her deceased father-in-law, who took 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 and kind man who married her, but she became the great-grandmother of King David, and by extension had a place in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
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Rob Granger is Senior Pastor of Faith Harbor Church, a non-denominational church that meets at 10 a.m. Sundays in the Escondido Columbus Hall, 515 W. Valley Parkway. His wife, Becky, serves as Co-Pastor. Videos of Pastor Rob’s sermons can be seen on YouTube by typing faith harbor church escondido ca in the YouTube search box. Visit fhcescondido.com for information about Faith Harbor Church.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.