Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all."
1 Peter 4:10
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
Yes! I have surrendered this day to God. I will follow where He guides and I will do His will as He reveals it to me. Amen. ~Tilden
In a recent post by my Christian blogging friend, Deb Wolf, she elaborates on how a couple in her church influenced and strengthened her walk with the Lord. Tilden and Loretta. Always cheerfully serving, never seeking accolades, and ever giving, with loving hearts, to those in need.
Isn't this what we, as Christians, should be about?
Yes! But is this happening in our daily lives? Are we selflessly serving in our church, or are we seeking praise and affirmation for ourselves? Are we demonstrating God's amazing love in the world outside the church, and modeling the servant attitude that Jesus commanded us to have? Or are we wearing a pious mask, all the while judging the people we meet day to day?
I recall memories of my own experience with the Tildens and Lorettas of this world. Their names were Price and Esther. Every time, and I mean every time, there was an event at my former church that involved food preparation, we could count on Price and Esther to man and woman the front lines.
Esther was a marvelous cook. Concocting dishes that would feed and delight hundreds of hungry mouths was her forte. Because of her unassuming, encouraging manner, she had no trouble recruiting volunteers to assist her in the kitchen. I can attest to having been under her tutelage numerous times. Esther always made each one of us feel capable and competent as we diligently engaged in the tasks she assigned to us.
While Esther was the master chef, her husband, Price, was the chief bottle-washer, dutifully cleaning up soiled bowls, utensils, pots, and pans. He collected and rinsed dirty plates and glassware, supervised the loading and unloading of the industrial-strength dishwasher, always with a smile on his face. If Price spied you coming through the serving line, you could expect a hearty and sincere greeting that made you feel as though he was reconnecting with a long lost friend.
I'm sure that Price and Esther enjoyed the many compliments given them by the satisfied diners, but that certainly was not what compelled them to serve. Their motivation came from their deep, abiding love for the Lord, and their commitment to serving others. They used fully the gifts God had given them, living and giving in a way that made His light shine into the hearts (and stomachs) of so many.
Just as Tilden and Loretta inspired my friend, Deb, so Price and Esther inspired me. They have all long since gone to be with the Lord, but their smiles, their warmth and their genuine love for others will ever be etched into the fabric of my soul.
May we all serve others well in this lifetime as these blessed Christian men and women did in theirs.
Can you point to a Tilden or Loretta, a Price or an Esther, as having had a positive impact on your faith walk?
Prayer: Father, we give thanks today for all those who selflessly serve others and shine the light of Your love and grace into a world so in need of You. May we learn from their examples, and be faithful stewards of Your gifts in all their many forms. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.