Welcome to the seventh day of #LoveBlog! Today’s prompt is A Servant’s Heart. Check out the announcement post for all the prompts and rules this month. It’s not too late to link up for yesterday’s prompt, Memories.
I know that not all of my readers are Christians. However, I do believe that most of my readers are good people with loving hearts. While I’m approaching the act of service from a Christian perspective, I hope that my non-Christian readers will still find inspiration in this post.
As a Christian, I am called to serve others. Christ Himself modeled this behavior during his life while extolling His followers to do the same.
Jesus washes the feet of His disciples
Many Bible verses demonstrate Jesus serving His disciples. In John 13, Jesus washes their feet. The following passage is John 13: 12-17, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV):
After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
Why did this foot-washing matter?
In ancient Israel, people wore sandals. Their feet became dirty. A host would have a slave wash the feet of any house guests as a gesture of hospitality.
According to this source, if the host’s son performed the foot-washing, it was a high compliment to the guest. If the host himself washed his guest’s feet, it was the highest mark of respect.
According to this source, only a Gentile slave would receive the lowly task of foot-washing. A host wouldn’t even ask his Jewish slave to perform such a vile task.
Either Jesus gave them the greatest compliment possible, or He lowered Himself to the lowest station possible.
Regardless, it was a big deal for Jesus to wash His disciples’ feet.
Jesus ended this act of service by calling His followers to serve each other in the same way.
God calls Christians to service
There’s a lot in this world that saddens me, that even frightens me. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the darkness of it all, helpless to do anything.
But God doesn’t expect a single one of us to fix the world’s evils overnight, working alone. Remember the two greatest commandments? Matthew 22:36-40, NRSV:
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Love isn’t just a feeling; it’s an action. What better way to love other people than by serving them?
To encourage your servant’s heart, I’ve put together a list of New Testament verses on service.
Matthew 20: 25-28:
But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Luke 22: 25-27:
But he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
John 12: 26:
Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
Romans 12: 9-13:
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
Galatians 5: 13-14:
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Philippians 2: 3-8:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.
1 Peter 4: 8-11:
Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
BONUS: 5 short prayers on serving God and others
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Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.
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Enter the #LoveBlog2017 Giveaway!
I am so excited to include a giveaway for this year’s #LoveBlog! It started February 1, 2017 and runs through the end of the month. US residents only. I love my international readers, but international giveaways are more difficult to manage legally.
I will verify the winning entry myself before emailing the winner during the first week of March. If the winner doesn’t respond, I’ll start the process over again.
Why does service matter to you? How do you cultivate a servant’s heart?
For more inspiration, I’ve written 5 short, daily prayers and paired them with scripture readings. These will help you start your day with the right heart and mindset to serve others. Grab your copy today!