“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’ ” (Matthew 20:25-28)
After James and John make a request to be given special leadership roles when Jesus sets up His kingdom, causing the other disciples to be indignant, Jesus lays out what the lifestyle of those who follow Him is to be. That lifestyle is to be counter-cultural and against most everyone’s interests. Spiritual gift studies have shown that around 6 percent of people are gifted by God with the gift of “Giving.” These individuals do not find it hard to follow Jesus command to be servants. It comes more natural for them. It is the other 94 percent of the world’s population that finds it difficult. For the church, that difficulty started with the disciples and is always a challenge for our God.
As we are called to be servants in God’s will we are called to be givers. A servant’s duty is always to give. That is their purpose in serving a master. For us, we are the most fortunate to be called by our God to serve, to give to Him, and His purpose. With His help through His Spirit, He continues His transforming work to make this a reality within us. As His presence becomes more prevalent in our lives, our obedience to serve and give increases. This brings, as it should, Him the Glory.
Heavenly Father, we live to bring You glory. We live to be obedient to Your will. We fall short so often, however. We fail in our serving. We fail in our giving. Forgive our disobedience and stir up Your Spirit within us to live more perfectly for You. In Jesus’ name.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.