I have heard this expression before but it never meant more than a cliché to me until Sunday Morning, two Sundays ago. It was my final class of Foundation school (yes, I just dey do foundation school o!) and my Pastor’s wife taught the class that morning. She was teaching on “STEWARDSHIP AND SERVICE” when she mentioned that we are saved to serve else we ought to have ascended to heaven the moment we got born-again. For some reason, that phrase just kept ringing in my head – saved to serve, saved to serve, saved to serve,…Well my exam was on Sunday, last week and as I studied (I dey aim to collect prize), the different parts of the bible, the phrase gradually came to life.
To serve is to wait on someone, to take the back seat, to work for, to labor in behalf of, to exert one’s self continuously or statedly for the benefit of, to do service for; to slave, to be subordinate to, to appear as the inferior of, to minister to, to obey and worship, to profess love to,…
To serve is to be humble. It takes extreme humility to take the posture of service. Jesus is our perfect example, leaving all His glory in heaven to come dwell with us mortals and not as Ceaser but as a carpenter who was killed like a thief.
Jesus came to restore man back to God and to achieve that He had to serve us, even to death. In serving us; Jesus healed many of sickness and disease, raised the dead, fed the hungry (thousands), saved a prostitute from being stoned to death, saved a couple from disgrace at their wedding, cast out demons from the possessed and oppressed, forgave sins, taught God’s word and ways. In Mark 16:15-18, He gave the great commission and His disciples operated in that might. Jesus and the earliest saints had enormous faith in God amidst all the tribulation in their time. They were bold, powerful and miracles was their culture. But was Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and the gift of salvation all a show of God’s power?-No, it was and is all about Love, the power of Love. The power of the Love for God, Jesus and fellow men enabled the saints of old to live ‘supernaturally’.
Today, we are saved for miracles, prosperity, breakthroughs, to surpass our enemies – not to serve and not to love.
We want miracles but we fail to realize that a blind regaining sight, a lame walking, a dumb speaking, a dead living, is not a miracle. The miracle is loving in this world. The devil (the prince and father of the world) is not capable of loving and so the children of the world cannot love. That’s why Jesus came, to restore us to Love (God) and teach us to love through service. What we call miracles is the nature of love and is borne out of genuine compassion and mercy. No miracle is possible without Love.
We want prosperity, breakthroughs, to be the head and not the tail but refusing to serve is pride.You wonder why things are difficult, stagnant, how you have enough but never abundance – do you not know that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble? How will you prosper when God is against you? Even the gospel that you preach will not be heard.
In the beginning, God made man and put him in the Garden of Eden to serve – Gen 2:15. When Jesus came, He gave the same instruction, this time explicitly – John 21:15-17. This is how we are to serve. When was the last time you visited those in prison, went to the motherless or even the Down Syndrome Association of Nigeria (that’s if you have ever heard of them)? Let me guess – your birthday, Valentine’s Day (as no one valed you) or children’s day (that’s when the orphanages are most crowded). Assuming everyone had the same birthday as you and in all we have 10 national celebrations, what happens to these people during the remaining 354 days? Who feeds them, clothes them, cares for them? ‘But I am busy; in school, trying to make ends meet, God understands’. God does understand so he won’t ask you about those in institutions, he would probably ask – how about that time in the bus, did you help the mother with 3 children carry one child even if you couldn’t pay for an extra seat?, why did you start avoiding your Muslim friend once you became born again?, why are so unforgiving and unmerciful?
Look, service is hard and requires grace but that grace will only be given to the willing. Remember, Jesus prayed so much so his sweat was as thick as blood, just for our cup to be taken away from Him yet He received grace and strength only because He was willing. We are all servants of our Master, He has set the example and we cannot be greater than He – John 13:5-17 and in the end we will answer to Him – Matt 25:31-45. God is bound by His words but when we are faithful in service even when we do not meet His requirements, He will personally send help to make us qualified to receive His promises just as He did with Cornelius – Acts 10:1-end.
I leave you with these words by Bill Bright and Ted Dekker – ‘whoever said a straightened hand is more spectacular than a healed heart?’