My attitude over the last few days has been anything but admirable. Sure I can put on a good façade, but the honest condition of my heart has been self absorbed at the very least. I have chosen to focus on my own selfish desires, or more accurately, I took on the attitudes of those around me.
I woke up with the joy of the Lord this morning. I have continued to let His JOY bring me STRENGTH. He has taught me so much in the few hours i’ve been awake about the difference between a “heart to serve” and a “servant’s heart”.
Romans 1:1 “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God…”
What does Paul mean by being a servant of Jesus? The original Greek word is doulos which means bondservant which is defined as devoted to another to the disregard of ones own interests.
The ultimate desire of my heart is to serve HIM wholeheartedly, to live a life or reckless abandon to Him – to love and serve well. If all I have is the desire to serve and not the heart of a servant, I will never succeed. If I do not forsake my own interests, my own flesh, anything for selfish gain – I will have given fruition to a hypocritical life-ministry. I will have sung His praises with my lips while my heart was running in the other direction.
In James 2:14-26 it states “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe – and shudder! Do you want to be show, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not our Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active alone with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to Him as righteousness” – and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”
My works, if not acted out with a pure and sincere heart, will not prove my faith, so to speak. I may fool man, but I cannot fool God. He knows my heart, my motives, my selfish reasons.
As I type this out, I am yet convicted of my selfishness this week. I have the most amazing job in the world – I get to serve so many different people everyday, especially on the weekends. I have an opportunity to be a refreshing face – one that radiates the love of Jesus and creates an aura of peace. I get to invest in the lives of 3rd-6th graders every Wednesday night. I get to continue to cultivate the relationships with my campers from this summer. I even get to teach riding lessons every friday! How can I be so blind to pick my own self centered interests instead of seeing these amazing blessings placed right before me!?
I am exceedingly blessed to be in the ministry that God has placed me. I have much to learn about cultivating a servant’s heart and not merely possessing a desire to serve, but I serve a God who will continue to mold and shape that within me so long as my spirit is willing.
So let me ask you, which one do you have? A heart to serve or a servant’s heart?