“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” – 1 Peter 4:10
Most of us like to fit in. There is something in our wiring or in our programming as we grow up that makes us afraid to do anything that would make us stand out as being peculiar or different from the crowd. Mostly it is fear. In some of us this fear is stronger than in others. It is definitely easier to go along with the crowd than to stand out. So what does it take to cause one of us to be willing to stand out as Daniel did? And not only to step out but to walk a different path consistently.
We have begun a 21 Day Daniel Fast as a church and as individuals as we seek God’s will for us as a community and as individuals for the remainder of 2015. I have talked a lot recently about our vision to help the whole world find and follow Jesus. To that we need people willing to serve in the church, people that want to step up and stand out.
I would like to point out the difference using the story of the ten lepers found in Luke 17. In Luke 17, Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem when ten lepers call out to him to have pity on them. Jesus tells them to “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. All ten of them called out Master and each one did what Jesus said. Yet only one realized he was healed and went back to throw himself at Jesus’ feet in gratitude. He stands out. Let’s delve a little deeper in this passage of scripture.
First, let’s talk about initiative. Only one took the higher road and went beyond the instructions. In serving each other in our lives and in church, we need to do more than just the basics. Our service is not a “spiritual to-do list” that we can check off. Instead, to stand out we need to go beyond “the right things” and do the best things. We need to look to Jesus and show initiative. We need to see what has to be done, and do it.
Second, we need humility. The healed man went to Jesus, fell at His feet and thanked Him. He was bold, yet completely humble. Sometimes we may think we’re too good to do certain acts of service. At other times we don’t think we’re good enough. The opportunity to serve is all around us if we’re willing to do anything that’s needed. Let’s not seek opportunity; let’s seek to serve. When it comes to our serving Jesus, nothing should be too high or too low for us to do.
Third, we must choose Jesus. The nine other lepers were no longer outcasts of society. They could have been thinking about re-establishing families, careers and their future. But the one turns back and throws himself at the feet of Jesus. In response, Jesus tells him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” All were healed, but one was saved.
The irony is that when we decide to step up and stand out in our initiative, humility and choosing Jesus constantly, opportunity does come. And better still, others see us at the feet of Jesus and will want what we have.
During the 21-Day Daniel fast I hope you will pray and ask God where He would have you serve at Northstar. Then I hope you will take a stand and choose to serve where God places you.
1. Why did Jesus serve people? Based on Mark 10:45, what was Jesus’ greatest act of servanthood?
2. In what way is Romans 12:11 a challenge for how we are to serve the Lord?
3. Do you think it is important to serve others who are in need? Why or why not? Whose responsibility is it to serve people that are in need?
4. How much time do you typically invest in serving the church on a weekly/monthly basis? Does this include people outside the church?
5. Pray and ask God for the heart of a servant.