Session 3 – Serve with all My Mind
God uses relationships to communicate His Truth – He is a God of relationships. We often think that to serve God we must go to a foreign county, or at least a place that is “poor and needy”. Certainly God calls some of us to serve Him in those situations. God tells us to go into “all the world and preach the gospel.”
My friend Carol and I grew up in Wheaton, Illinois which is 30 miles west of Chicago. Our youth group would have mission trips and we would go to Appalachia to serve God during our spring break. Now we live in Appalachia and youth groups from here go up north to Chicago or New York to serve God.
Why do we think that to truly serve God we must go somewhere else than where we are?
Are there needs close to home? Yes, of course there are.
But it is often harder to meet the needs of those close by, maybe even our neighbors, because they really know us. They know we aren’t perfect, that we have needs of our own.
A woman in the Bible had lost her husband and both her sons when they died while they lived in a foreign land. She was understandingly devastated. Ruth 1 tells this story.
Naomi is a widow, a harsh reality in those times.
Ruth chooses to stay with her mother-in-law, even though her mother-in-law tells her to return to her own people.
Ruth chooses to serve God by serving Naomi – Ruth 1: 16
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
Look at the way Ruth serves her mother-in-law.
* forsakes all she is familiar with
* vows to be faithful
* she must have seen something in Naomi that drew her to God
* she does what needs to be done – was it her “gift?”
* she gleans from harvested fields to get enough to eat
* she saves enough for her mother-in-law
* she honors her mother-in-law, Naomi
God is calling us to serve Him by serving others. Those others may be:
• elderly parents
Why are we so often willing to serve OTHERS before serving those closest to us?
Or maybe our challenge is serving those OUTSIDE our family.
The key is – Obedience – Philippians 2:5-11
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
AMEN! – have the same mindset as Christ Jesus!
We are to have mind of Christ – that is a mind that:
• made Himself nothing
• took on the form of a servant
• humbled Himself
• became obedient to death
To serve God I must have the mind of Christ – that of a humble servant.
I must be willing to serve God wherever He desires me to serve – starting right where I am.