That may seem strange given the deliberateness with which we’ve said servanthood should be pursued. In the first six installments, we’ve said that:
- God’s goal for your life is for you to be like Jesus.
- Above all, Jesus means for you to be a servant.
- The life of a servant, servanthood, is an active way of living.
- Servanthood is the clearest sign of greatness.
- God made you for servanthood.
- God values servanthood more than anything.
But the Bible says that “everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence” (Romans 3:23, Good News Bible). Religion can’t save us. Nor can our acts of service. There’s only one thing that can save us from sin and death and restore our relationship with God. “God puts people right [with Him] through their faith in Jesus Christ...” (Romans 3:22, Good News Bible).
Do you remember the Bible passage around which yesterday’s reading was built, Matthew 25:31-46? If you don’t read it carefully, you might think that the “sheep” made themselves acceptable for entry into heaven by accumulating servants’ merit badges. Wrong! They were surprised by Jesus’ invitation. “Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?”
What made the sheep acceptable to heaven was their faith in Jesus Christ. Once they surrendered their lives to Jesus, He began to change them and their lifestyles. Servanthood was an outgrowth of their surrender to Jesus Christ. Servanthood was the sign of their faith in Christ. Servanthood is a byproduct of a surrendered life.
Bible Passage to Ponder: “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life” (John 3:16, The Message).