Acts of Service

While my girls were debating when to do dishes last night, I went into the kitchen, starting running the hot water, and started dishes. I didn’t want to do dishes. But in these times when there is little to do, I felt I needed to do something. Both of my girls jumped in to help, and we finished the whole counter-top full in about 30 minutes. Mission accomplished.

I’ve been feeling a lot like this lately, needing to do something to feel like I’ve done something. I had someone ask me yesterday what purpose there was to life, and what was normal. I honestly was stumped at the time, because in the moment, I’d never really thought about the answers to those questions, but maybe that person’s lostness if your gain, because there are answers to those questions.

The verse above reminds us of Jesus’ purpose. He came to serve rather than be served. He came to give rather than receive. And so you have the passage in Acts, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Jeus exemplified this by His life. I wonder what a change that must have been for Jesus, who had sat in the Trinity of God, in complete and holy community, served by thousands upon thousands of angels, needing nothing. What a change from that to being human, one of us, where NEED is a daily event. We need to breathe. We need to sleep, eat, drink, wear clothes, work, and so on. What was it like for the Divine Son of God to suddenly come into a world of NEED.

And yet, in this world, He chose to serve. Though He needed, He served. Though He needed, He gave. And this is the One we choose to serve.

I told this individual that normal is when you are at peace. I feel most normal when I am at home, but that’s not entirely true, because I also feel incredible peace when I have helped someone discover Jesus, when they have received the peace of God, or when we have concluded prayer and that person says, “Thank you, I feel much better.” I receive great peace in that moment, and I feel normal. I dare say I feel more peace in that moment than sitting at home surrounded by my family. But maybe it is a different kind of normal. It more blessed to give than to receive.

But what about the purpose of life? Are there any answers to be found there? Yes. Jesus came to fulfill a specific purpose in His life. He came to be the sacrifice for our sins. But before this, He needed to establish men who would be able to put that death into context. Thus He trained and discipled 12 who be able to understand the nature of his death, burial and resurrection once He had appeared to them after his resurrection. Had Jesus trained no one, and simply went to the cross and died, no one would have understood it. There needed to be people who would be able to put it into context and understand itd importance. So Jesus needed to both form and train disciples to carry on the meaning and intent of His work (to save the world from sin through the gospel) and to carry out the actual event, namely His crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

What purpose does your life have? First, fulfill what Jesus set out to accomplish for you, your salvation and rebirth as a believer in Christ. You don’t want to believe in Jesus? Fine. I challenge you to find a better alternative. Second, set about in your life fulfilling the goals that Jesus set forth, bring new people to faith.

But what about me? What about what I want? Wait a minute. Are you saying that you have a purpose apart from what Jesus calls you to do? Then by all means, I challenge you to find a better purpose than what Jesus has set out to do. You see, the call of Jesus to tell others about Him will be as challenging and varied as the circumstances of life you find yourself in. And it will be as creatively challenging as you make it. This simple command can be accomplished in an unlimited number of ways, and I challenge you to find the way that works out best for your past, your life, your abilities, and your situation. But do not tell me there is not purpose to life. We have been given the greatest purpose by the greatest Authority for the greatest mission in this world. And we are privileged to be the ones who to carry it out. God does not write in big, bold letters in the sky. He writes His word on our hearts that it may be shared from our lips. For God, that is the greatest testimony: lives changed becaue of the gospel.

So what about you? What ways can you share the gospel today? I encourage you to take up this purpose for your own life, because Jesus took it up for you.

God, please bless all who read this passage today and may You be reflected in them, both now and forever, because You are the great and mighty God. And may we all serve You to the best of our ability, and to the best of the ability You have given to us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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