Extraordinary Servanthood: We serve sacrificially, giving up things we love for the people we love even more.

My wife Leah and I have lived in Orlando for close to 5 years now, and one of the things we love about living here is how close we are to Disney.

When we went to Disney for the first time, we were blown away from the minute we walked into the park until we left — a whole sixteen hours later! It seemed as if everywhere we went, all the greetings, waves, and smiles were being thrown directly our way. I wondered if it was because we had our “First Visit” pins on, but we soon found out that one of the things that Disney is best known for is having an out- of-this-world guest experience for everyone. It’s clear that they spend a tremendous amount of time and resources creating this culture —everything they do and implement has the experience of the guest in mind. Till this day, now even as season pass holders, we are so impressed at how they serve their guests.  

Now the reality is that Disney, and almost every other business that exists, is primarily motivated to serve their guests in order to make money. I know. I hate to break it to you. But even the most happiest place on earth’s ultimate motivation for serving you is not your happiness, it’s their profit.

We reflect the very heart and nature of God when we love and serve people. Serving is at the very heart of who God is.

Great service is not limited to the business world, though. In fact, every believer is commanded and encouraged by God to serve others. Obviously our motivation for serving others is not to make a profit. So what should our motivation be? 

Galatians 5:13-14 give us good insight on what our motivation for serving people should be: For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Our motivation in the Church to serve other people is love. Earlier in this same chapter, Paul introduced the concept of Christian freedom. Paul was talking about freedom from having to uphold the law as a way to earn God’s approval and acceptance. Paul said that we have been accepted by God in Christ. The gospel, therefore, changes our motivations. So we now obey God no longer out of fear to gain his approval but out of love for Him. True freedom is found and experienced when we obey God out of love for him. So our motivation for serving God is love. But now in verses 13-14 we see that the same motivation for serving God is the same motivation for serving people: It’s out of love. A love for people directly flows out of a love for God.  

Why is serving people through love so important? It’s because we reflect the very heart and nature of God when we love and serve people. Serving is at the very heart of who God is. Jesus is the perfect embodiment of servanthood. Jesus himself said: “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matt. 28:20). Jesus gave himself up and sacrificed his life so that you would have life. He did it all out of love for you. 

The key word here is Sacrifice. Serving people requires sacrifice. Serving and sacrifice go hand in hand. But many times selfishness tries to rear it’s ugly head. Selfishness makes serving look inconvenient. Selfishness is all about entitlement. It says “what can people do for me?” But serving sacrificially looks for opportunities to love on people. It says “what can I do for others?”

One of our house rules here at Grace and what we feel is super important to us as a church is Extraordinary Servanthood. We serve sacrificially, giving up the things we love for the people we love even more. This is seen every week in the life of Grace. So many people steward their time, talent and treasure to serve people. Everyone on our parking teams, our GraceOps crew, lobby greeters, our graceKIDS! volunteers, worship and creative technology teams, and so many other ministry areas show up to our weekend services to serve and love on people. This is Grace Church.

Today I challenge you to think through and weigh where you are when it comes to serving. Be honest with yourself. Do you lean towards sacrificial service or towards selfishness? However you answer that, I’d encourage you to keep pressing into God. As you continue to love and seek God, He will give you a deeper desire to love and serve your neighbors. One of my favorite simple phrases I’ve engrained in my mind is Love God. Love People. This phrase is a helpful reminder that when we love and serve God and press into Him then we will also grow in our love and service towards people.

So my prayer for you today is that you would look to serve now. Join Team Grace! As, you may have noticed, serving is in our DNA here at Grace and there’s no time like the present to jump right in to a service team. Also, I’d encourage you to find a way to serve people in your neighborhood. Seek out the needs of your community or neighborhood today and look for ways to serve them. You taking the time to serve your church, neighborhood and community is one of the simplest ways to demonstrate your  love for God and love for people.

So remember, great service is unforgettable. People will especially remember extraordinary servanthood. You have an amazing opportunity to eternally impact and steward the stories of so many people that you serve while helping them take their next steps towards Christ.