Jill Jarrell Newsome
A Servant's Heart
I got a call this week that a dear friend had passed away in his sleep early that morning. My husband, Mike, and I were shocked! We had become friends with John on a trip to the Holy Land. He had a gentle spirit, loved Jesus and shared much wisdom! He showed his love for the Lord in the way he lived his life. He was always smiling, thoughtful, loved to talk and tell stories and never met a stranger.
After the Israel trip, John began coming to our church so he could see all of his new friends. Immediately John joined a small group, became a greeter, an usher, he tutored at risk kids, he came to Wednesday night suppers and stayed for the men's Bible study. John was part of our church family! He also volunteered in the community and had for years.
Most of you probably do not know John but he was a servant. We were made to be servants and I believe we are so blessed by serving! Mark 10: 45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” When we asked Jesus into our heart, we were all given at least one spiritual gift. When we use those gifts we experience such joy. 1 Peter 4: 10-11, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” When we serve others, we are showing gratitude for what Jesus has done for us.
When we serve others we are taking the focus off of ourselves. We begin to see others through the eyes of Jesus. Matthew 25: 40, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” When we are working side by side with other believers, a bond forms. I am sure this was part of God’s plan for His churches! Through these bonds we begin to encourage each other. Hebrews 110: 24-25, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Our greatest example of serving is Jesus. The Bible has lots of stories about Him serving others - Him talking to the woman at the well, washing His disciples feet, healing lepers and the ultimate sacrifice of dying on the cross for us.
Galatians 5: 13, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 6: 2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” This is what God intends for us to do. What better time to encourage each other and carry each other’s burdens than during a pandemic? Even if you cannot get out you can call someone, send a card and you can always pray for others. What better gift to give someone than to pray for them? Pray for your church. Who can you encourage today? Remember, even though the church building is closed, the church is not! How are you being a servant for Jesus?
We are also reminded this week of Proverbs 27: 1, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” We never thought that before the week was up John would be at his eternal home with his Lord and Savior. More importantly, we are reminded, again, that we are not promised tomorrow. James 4: 14, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” We are all going to die. Jesus loves us and has prepared a place for us. Ephesians 2: 8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.” Not by our works but by His mercy. Titus 3: 5, “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit…” It sure is comforting to know that I will see my friend again - in Paradise!