Saturday, December 24, 2016

Learning to be Served by Jesus

Last Sunday my pastor preached a sermon from Mark 10:45 – a familiar verse in which Jesus says that He did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life for us. Jesus was using Himself as an example of how the disciples should be seeking to serve one another. However, my pastor made the point that any disciple of Jesus must first learn how to be served by Jesus before we can serve God or others in any way that is acceptable to God. Jesus’ service for us is in fact continuous and on-going, and we are in constant need of being served by Him! So I’ve been thinking more about what it means to be served by Jesus and have come across a number of interesting passages that relate to this.
Titus 2:11-14 - For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. In this passage, we see that God’s grace brought us salvation through Jesus, who redeemed us and purified us. This grace through Jesus is what enables us now to live in a way that is pleasing to Him, all the while looking forward to the return of our Savior who makes all this possible!
Titus 3:4-8 - But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. In this passage, we see that Jesus is the manifestation of the kindness and love of God for us, as well as His mercy and grace. It is also through Jesus that the Holy Spirit is poured out on us who believe, through Whom we are regenerated and renewed. And it is only those who have thus been served by Jesus who are now given the ability and the command to engage in good deeds.
1 Peter 1:18-22 - knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,  but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart. Here we see that it is only through Jesus that we can be believers in God, through the precious blood that Jesus shed for us. Only after our souls have been purified through Jesus can we love others as He has loved us.
1 Peter 2:24-25 - and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. Jesus served us by bearing our sins so that through Him we might live to righteousness and be healed. And now He continues to serve us as the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls!
1 Peter 3:18 - For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. Jesus served us by dying for us in order to bring us to God and make us alive in our spirit. Again we see that it is only through Jesus that we can have life or draw near to God!
Hebrews 2:14-18 - Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. Jesus served us by taking on our flesh and dying, in order to destroy the Devil and to make it possible for us to be freed from death forever! And now as our merciful and faithful High Priest, Who can sympathize with our weakness and temptations, He helps us in our temptations.
Hebrews 7:25 - Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Jesus not only provided eternal salvation for all who come to God through Him, but He serves us continually by interceding for us before the Father!
Hebrews 9:26-28 - …but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. Jesus came the first time to sacrifice Himself for the sins of many, and He will return again to provide the ultimate fulfillment of our salvation!
Hebrews 10:5-10 - Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for Me; In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (In the scroll of the book it is written of Me) To do Your will, O God.’”… By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Jesus came to serve us by doing the will of the Father, which provides for our sanctification through the offering of Christ in our place!

These are merely a few of many passages that tell us how Jesus served and continues to serve us! We are desperately needy of being served by Him, and apart from His work we could have no hope of salvation and no ability to be pleasing to God! At this special time of year, let us be ever grateful for our Savior, and let us daily recognize our need for His grace and help!

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