Friday, July 27, 2007

Now that’s a servant’s heart:

We are very familiar with the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. But, have you thought about the circumstances that occurred just prior to this event and what Jesus was dealing with on a personal and emotional level? Jesus had just received news that John (the Baptist) was brutally murdered and decided to retreat to a solitary place. However, thousands of people followed him because they wanted Jesus to teach them and minister to them.
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw the large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. – Matthew 14:13-14.
How Jesus handles this situation is incredible and completely selfless. Jesus didn’t say “I need my space; don’t they understand that I need to time to process this, I can’t minister to them right now, I need to be ministered to. Even though Jesus was fully man, he did what was contrary to human nature. Jesus, in his time of grief and mourning, didn’t turn away the thousands that wanted ministry and teaching. Instead, he embraced the opportunity presented to him. He was selfless and did the work that God gave him to do. He was faithful to his calling and he placed others above himself. Most would say that he had every right to some time alone. He was entitled to some privacy and time to mourn the loss of his loved one.

God gave Jesus opportunities for rest and time alone. However, this was not one of those times. It is likely that the man Jesus was tempted to send them all away; however, the obedient servant stepped forward in a big way and ministered not only with spiritual food but also with physical food. He cranked it up a notch. He didn’t just give a short teaching and close in prayer - he went late into the day.

How often do we fail to help others, minister to others, or do the work God has clearly given us because we are tired, need some alone time, have issues in our own lives to “deal with” or have set up boundaries to supposedly protect ourselves? God, may I have the heart and mind of Christ and think of others above myself. Tear away all selfishness so that I will do your will at all times and be used by you in all circumstances. May I be like Christ and put others above myself. I know you will provide all my needs. You will give me the strength I need, the rest I need, and the resources I need. And, may I never say no to you or others out of selfishness but willingly serve with a servant’s heart.

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