Page 267 was another restful day as I slept in past sunrise before waking up and getting ready for church. The theme of the morning seemed to be on serving as our Sunday School class wrapped up a study of John 13, where we find the account of Jesus washing the disciples feet as an example that they too ought to serve others. Serving was to become an identifying mark for all those who would seek to become great in the kingdom of God. The “new command” to love one another really wasn’t all that new until Jesus added the qualifier that this new love for one another was to be in accordance to how He loves us. Too often we adopt the world’s view of success where we reach it by climbing the ladder to the top, away from those we are called to love. The success Jesus wants us to have in order to be considered great in His kingdom, is obtained by climbing down the ladder to be with those who we ought to serve in love.
After the Sunday School class, we had a great morning worship gathering where David shared a message about serving one another because we are all a part of the same body with Christ as the head. The following are the main points from that sermon.
- We serve because everyone is part of one unique identity — Jesus Christ. Separating ourselves from the body of Christ doesn’t make any more sense than a part of our physical body deciding to leave and do its own thing. When we discover our identity in Christ, we also find that serving is who we are because it is who He is. Just as the parts of our body work together with one identity centered in the head, the parts of the body of Christ can only function when they work together with one identity centered in the headship of Christ. Because the Head is focused on serving, the rest of the parts of the body will serve — if indeed they are a part of the body.
- We serve because everyone in the church is important. The physical body is made up of many parts and while we may not understand the purpose for each part, they all exist by the will and design of our creator — God. Jesus calls the church His body and it too is made up of many parts — people. While you and I may not always understand the purpose each part has, our lack of understanding doesn’t diminish their value. Because everyone in the church is important, we cannot legitimately say that serving is not our job — we’re too important for that kind of work — because the person we expect to do the serving is just as important as we are. But we also can’t use the excuse that we’re too small of a part, or unimportant, to serve because God says that we belong exactly where He has placed us and He has a purpose and plan for us to do the works of service He created in advance for us to do.
- We serve because everyone has a job to do, though not everyone has the same job. If you’ve ever had a part of your body not work, even temporarily, you should understand the difficulty caused when even a seemingly small part doesn’t do its work for whatever reason. We serve because there is good work God created in advance for us to do that helps complete the body. One of the easiest ways to kill a desire to serve can be to look around with envy at the work others are doing. However, we feed the desire to serve when we follow God’s instructions to encourage one another. When we realize that we are all part of one body and that each part is important, we begin to find value in being the part that we were created to be instead of jealously longing to be who someone else was created to be. Your works of service within the body of Christ are important because they represent a task that God designed just for you.
The church service was followed by lunch with my family and then some time spent relaxing at home. Eventually, we headed out to the Bonneyville Mills County Park near Bristol, Indiana where the dahlia garden was still in bloom. Today’s photo was taken as a this butterfly made its way around the flower garden sampling many of the flowers as it went. It was tough to catch it with its wings opened up as most of the time it either had its wings folded together or was flying. We spent some time at the park photographing the flowers, mill, and waterfall scenes before stopping by Sam’s Club on our way home.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- I am thankful to be part of a Bible study class that actually uses the Bible as its text.
- While the above statement is my preference, I am also thankful that there are well-written study guides available for those who need help in learning to study and teach the Bible truths.
- Serving others willingly and with love ought to be a distinguishing mark of every Christian.
- From a kingdom of God perspective, we will never lift ourselves to greatness no matter how hard we try.
- If the head serves, the body serves. If you are a part of the body of Christ, your head serves so you also ought to be serving.
- There are no unimportant parts in the body of Christ. If you are a part of His body, you have just as much importance to Him as each of the other parts.
- Your work within the body of Christ is valuable because it was given to you by God. That value doesn’t change based on what others do, or don’t do.
- Spending time with my family is both enjoyable and important.