By Ysrael De la Cruz
When it comes to service, one of the things Jesus said was he did not come to be served but to serve. The Bible tells us in Philippians 2:7 that Jesus took the form or nature of a servant; he served people out of love. His love was demonstrated in his serving others. Have you ever thought about how you are serving God today? A lot of times when we think about serving God, we limit ourselves only to the things we do in church. We teach, sing in the praise team, play an instrument, organize an activity, run the sound system and computer, go on a mission trip, etc. I want to remind you that serving God is not just limited to what you do in church on a Sunday morning; serving God goes much deeper than that. Any work you do could be a service to God.
Paul writes a letter to a church in Colossae, and in this letter, he addressed the families; he gives instructions for husbands and wives, parents and children; and also for slaves and masters.
In verse 22 Paul addressed the bondservants (servants, slaves). A bondservant is a slave. In some Bibles the word bondservant is the translation of the Greek word doulos, which means “one who is subservient to, and entirely at the disposal of, his master; a slave.” Other translations use the word slave or servant.
In Roman times, the term bondservant or slave could refer to someone who voluntarily served others. But it usually referred to one who was held in a permanent position of servitude. Under Roman law, a bondservant was considered property of the master. Slaves essentially had no rights and could even be killed with impunity by their owners.
In Jewish tradition we see a similar connotation. However, the Mosaic Law allowed a bondservant to choose freedom or remain with their master: “If the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life” (Exodus 21:5-6).
Many of the writers of the New Testament addressed themselves as bondservants of Jesus, slave of Jesus. (Paul, a bondservant of Christ. Rom.1:1., Php.1:1, James 1:1) The idea by their addressing themselves as slaves of Christ is that they are entirely at the disposal of Jesus their master. They see Jesus as their master whom they serve.
Paul addressed the household servants saying: “obey your masters in everything.” How?
-Serve with sincerity out of reverence for the Lord. In other words, don’t serve only when your mater or boss is watching you. Serve with the same passion even when no one is watching you. Serve out of reverence for God.
-Remember, you serve God through your serving your master. (v.23) Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if you are doing it for the Lord. See, serving Jesus is more than just what takes place on Sunday morning; you are still serving Jesus in your every-day job. At work, you are under the authority of a boss; therefore, the Bible is telling us to do your job with genuineness of heart out of reverence for Christ. As if you are truly serving Jesus there. Can you imagine if we saw Jesus in everything we do at work? You are working for Jesus not for people. When you are teaching the kids at school you are serving Jesus, when you bag groceries for someone, you are serving Jesus, when you take care of a sick person, you are serving Jesus, when you are fixing a car, you are serving Jesus; when you do the dishes, do the laundry, clean your room, etc. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if for the Lord and not for men.
The piano player came to practice that day and I could see he did not really want to be there that day. I told him it’s ok, don’t play if you don’t want to. God expects you to serve him with sincerity and with all your heart. I know someone who is tired of serving the neighbor, the neighbor gets sick a lot and this person complaints about all the time she has to help her or be there for her during the sickness. This person is forgetting that by helping her neighbor she is serving Jesus. When you complain because of the service you provide to someone; or when serving others inconveniences you. Then it’s time to remember that you are serving Jesus. You are complaining about serving Jesus.
A man went to Mexico to work at an orphanage, and one of the days there they visited a very poor area of the town and interacted with the kids and so forth. A five-year-old boy wanted a piggyback ride by the man who came to work there. The man saw the kid, how dirty he was, smelly, thought that it may have lice. He wasn’t going to put this kid on his back, no way! Then a crazy thought entered his minds, what if this is Jesus?” Then he picked up his kid and put him on his back.
Whatever you do work at it with all your heart, as if you are working for Jesus and not men.
Jesus said that whatever we did or didn’t do for the least of these, we did it or didn’t do it to him. Matt.25:31-40 “ I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, thirsty and gave me something to drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, sick and you visited me, naked and you clothed me. But Lord, when did you see you like this? Truly I tell you, whatever you did for these brothers of mine, you did it for me.
Whatever you do work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord and not men.
(v.24) Because you will receive an inheritance from the Lord. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. God will reward your service to him. There are tons of ways of serving God. Whatever service you render to others do it with love and passion as if you are doing it for Jesus himself. Truly is if Christ you are serving!
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. Giving thanks to God the Father through him.