OVERFLOW – Overflowing • 12/3/23

In the midst of a self-serving, self-promoting culture, the accepted norm is to climb the ladder of success using any means necessary. If you have to step on some people on the way up, it’s just part of the process. People clammor for “likes” and followers on social media. A survey of teens and young adults showed that 54% want to be celebrities or influencers, media icons. The idea that “it’s all about me” is prevalent everywhere you turn. Many strive for popularity and prestige, even some of the disciples jockeyed for position by asking for seats next to Jesus when he sits on his throne in heaven. Jesus had a different idea about greatness. He said that to be great, you must serve. He said that those who are humble will be lifted up, but those who are self-promoting will be put down. Scripture points to the greatness of serving. We can learn from those who did it well!

Scriptures – Acts 20:35; Matthew 16:24, 23:11-12, 25:35-36, 40; Philippians 2:5-8; Acts 9:36; 1 Samuel 17:17-18; Mark 11:2-3; John 13:4-5

Verses – You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”(Ac 20:35) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. (Mt 16:24) “Whoever is the greatest should be the servant of the others. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.” (Mt 23:11-12) In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset a Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Ph 2:5-8)

Thought – From the least to the greatest. David is certainly an example of God’s process for promotion. David started as a shepherd tending his father’s sheep. One day his father sent him to take food to his brothers who were on the front line with King Saul preparing to fight the Philistines. David obediently went, having no idea what would transpire. He ended up defeating the champion of the Philistines, Goliath. He had simply taken lunch to his brothers, a humble serve; however, God had big plans for David. When Jesus prepared to enter Jerusalem before his crucifixion, he sent his disciples to find a donkey to ride into the city. They didn’t know who the person was that owned the animal, but all they were required to say was, “The Lord needs it and will return it soon.” We don’t know if this was the owner’s only donkey or if he had many, but it was offered without question, as far as we can tell from Scripture. If the Lord needs it and you have it, are you willingly offering what you have? On the night before Jesus was betrayed, he was with the disciples in the Upper Room. He got a basin of water and wrapped a towel around himself and washed their feet. This was a job only a servant would do for another person, a lowly, humiliating task. Jesus demonstrated his love and set the example for serving. Paul writes in Philippians 2, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant….” God honors the one who does not seek greatness but is devoted to serving others.

Questions – Who are you serving? How are you serving? Why do you serve? Are you serving in the church? Do you find joy in serving? How do you respond when your serve is not appreciated? Are there things you just “won’t” do? Do you serve when it’s inconvenient? Who is serving you? How do you express your appreciation to those who serve you?

Response – Write down who you are serving and how you are serving. If you are not actively serving Christ and his church, it’s time to talk to God about what you need to do.

Prayer – Dear Lord, thank you for humbling yourself to die for a broken world that included me. Help me to bring you glory by serving and touching lives for your kingdom. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.

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