Serving: It’s All About God (1 Corinthians 13:1-8)
Truly serving like Jesus requires that we examine our hearts.
Serving, or true servanthood, is not an aptitude; it is a heart attitude.
- It’s more than just doing good deeds
- It’s more than working in the ministry
- It’s more than feeding the homeless
- It’s more than volunteering at the shelter
- It’s more than just helping others
In order to follow Jesus’ example in serving, we must have His heart. We know that everything He did was out of love for us.
- For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16)
- God demonstrated His love for us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)
Since Jesus was motivated by love, that should be our motivation for serving, too.
1. Love suffers long and is kind.
Suffers long speaks to patience. We must exercise patience in serving. Kind means to show oneself useful, that is to act benevolently toward. In other words, you’re good-hearted, compassionate, and caring while you serve.
2. Love does not envy.
Envy is a feeling of discontent or resentful longing to have a quality, possession, or desirable attribute of someone else. Envy is born out of comparison and our worldly desire to be the best or, at least, be like the best. Instead, just be who God designed you to be and be content with the gifts He has given you.
3. Love does not parade itself.
When we serve from a place of love, we don’t go around tooting our own horns. According to Philippians 2:7, Jesus made Himself of no reputation. He didn’t go around saying I’m the Messiah. In fact, many times He asked the people He healed not to tell anyone.
4. Love is not puffed up.
It isn’t prideful, boastful, or arrogant. Philippians 2:8b says that “He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death on the cross”. If Jesus humbled Himself, who are we to think we don’t have to exercise humility.
5. Love does not behave rudely or unseemly.
Love isn’t mean and nasty. It doesn’t say things like “they better be glad I showed up”. Love conducts itself in a manner consistent with God’s character, because God is love.
“A true servant doesn’t get upset when someone treats them like a servant.” – Minister Alfie James
6. Love does not seek its own.
Philippians 2:3-4 instructs, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others.”
7. Love is not provoked.
It’s not easily offended. When we serve with a heart of love, we don’t get upset and stop serving just because someone treats us bad. We follow Jesus’ example and serve even while they reject, lie on, ridicule, and even crucify us, and we do it because of love.
True servants operate with a heart of love and humility, realizing that servanthood is not about us; it is about being the image of Christ in the earth, loving and serving just as He did.