Jesus said that even He did not come to be served but to serve and be a ransom for many. This was after His disciples had been arguing about who would be the greatest.
What is important to me? Is it to be great? Jesus said to do that I need to be the slave all. This made no sense before I knew Christ. To be a Jesus learner He said I must deny myself. I must stop wanting what I “naturally want” and choose to do what I don’t naturally want.
Serving others does not come naturally for me. A friend of mine once said that he has the “gift of being served”. It still makes me laugh because I (and everyone else?) has the same gift. Since a Christ follower follows in the footsteps Christ, He wants me to serve, right? But does He want me to be a ransom, too? Not in the sense that I can pay for someone else’s sins, but Jesus died to serve me, to love me. Am I to die for others? I interpret this as me needing to value others above myself and what I want.
I can serve someone without valuing them, but I can’t value someone without serving them. And as long as the “I” is more important than “You”, I don’t value you like Jesus does.
Jesus said for us to die to ourselves daily, to take up our cross (God’s purpose for our lives of serving Him by serving others) and follow Him. I can’t do this without the Holy Spirit’s help. Pastor Dr. Charles F. Stanley of http://www.InTouch.org suggests that, before I get out of bed in the morning, I ask the Holy Spirit to fill me with Himself and lead me through the day. Clare DeGraaf author of the blog Following Jesus in Real Life (www.claredegraaf.com, see the top of this blog), suggests asking God to give me impressions during the day of how I can be used by Him to help others.
So with all this dying and serving others what’s in it for me? Is this all self-denial and pain? Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full”. When I serve Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, I come to know God in a way I have never known, and I feel fully alive!. As Eric Liddell, Olympic 400 metre champion and missionary to China said in the movie Chariots of Fire, “When I run, I feel His pleasure”.
You can feel His pleasure too! Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and lead you. Then do what He says. As Dr. Stanley says, “He will not ask you to do anything sinful or foolish”. What God says will never contradict the Bible, if it does it is not the Holy Spirit speaking to you. The devil will try to stop you, but as Jesus said, “take heart, I have overcome the world” and the devil.