Serving is one of the most basic aspects of living a rooted life. We are called to show the world the love and compassion of Jesus. When we serve, it reveals God to a broken world while connecting us to his heart.
Alright. Hey, everybody, welcome to Valley Creek. I am so glad that you’re here with us today. We want to welcome all of our campuses, whether you are in Denton, Flower Mound, Lewisville, the Venue, on extension site watching online, somewhere in the world. Can we just welcome each other together for a moment? We are so glad that you are here. We’ve had a great couple weeks together and what we’re going to do today is jump back into our series called Rooted in Jesus. You see, we’re in a series and in a season as a church where we’re going back to the basics. In fact, our theme for 2018 is called Rooted in Jesus so we can flourish in life, going back to the basics, back to our relationship with Jesus, moving past identifying with Jesus and actually connecting to Him where we rest on, receive from and trust in Jesus. And one of our theme verses for the year is Colossians 2:6 and 7 that says, “So then, just as you receive Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” And if you’ve been tracking with us throughout this year, what we’ve said is that it seems that a lot of our hearts have been drifted from Jesus. And we’ve gotten rooted in some other things unintentionally. And the more we’ve gone through the series, the more I’ve had more people confess that that’s true of their life. They said, “Man, I didn’t think that was true of me, but the more we’re going through this, the more I’m realizing that’s where I’ve gotten.”
And the problem is, is when you get rooted in other things, those things never deliver on what they promise so they leave you feeling dry and weary and burdened. And when you lose connection with the source of life, you will always lose your life. And so, Jesus is inviting us to come home and to get rooted in love, rest on, receive from, trust in Him and we’ve been taking to look at five roots or five pathways of connection that are helping us connect with Jesus and get rooted in Him. And we’ve worked through, engage the scriptures, talking with God, building Godly relationships, and today, we’re going to jump right back in and talk about meeting the needs you see. In other words, serving. You see, serving is one of the more basic aspects of a rooted life. It’s one of the most basic aspects of Christianity. In fact, if you look all throughout history, you will always discover that strong healthy mature followers of Jesus are characterized by servanthood. And so, what I want to do today is give you three thoughts on what it looks like to get rooted in Jesus so we can flourish in life through meeting the needs you see.
And I’ve got three passages that I want to share with you that are so profound each in it of themselves that they really stand for themselves. And my hope is, is that today, we’ll kind of change the way we think about this topic that instantly some of you are like, “Oh, I came on the wrong week.” No, you came on a great week, okay? So are you with me on that? Okay. First thing is this, is serving is the pathway to greatness. Serving is the pathway to getting rooted in Jesus so we can flourish in life. One day, the disciples were arguing about which one of them was going to be the greatest. And if you read throughout the Gospels, it seems like the disciples were always arguing of which one of them was the best and if we’re honest, we spend a lot of our lives arguing about which one of us is the best. They were constantly jocking for position. They wanted the places of privilege and honor. They wanted to be the best and so, one day, as they’re arguing about which one of them is the greatest, Jesus pulls them together.
In Mark chapter 10, He says, “You know that those who were regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lorded over them.” In other words, the people of the world. “And their high officials exercise authority over them, but not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be last. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.” Jesus gets the disciples. He pulls them together. He says, “Guys, you’ve been with me for 10 chapters now, and you still don’t get it.” So let me make this real clear. If you want to be great, serve. If you want to be first, be last. And you have to understand how shocking this would’ve been for the disciples. It would be just as shocking as it is to us. Because what Jesus is doing in that moment is He’s redefining greatness in the kingdom of God. What I want you to notice is that He doesn’t say that it’s wrong to have the desire to be great.
In fact, He calls us to be great. He declares greatness over our lives. He just redefines what greatness look like and how it’s actually achieved. You see, the world thinks that greatness comes from having the tallest branches, the biggest trunk, and the most beautiful flowers. That greatness comes from having everyone else notice you and everyone else serve you. So that’s what we spend our lives pursuing. But in the kingdom of God, greatness comes from having the deepest roots. In fact, if you think about a tree for a moment, all you see of the tree is everything above ground. You see the trunk and the branches and the flowers and the leaves. What you don’t see, what you don’t celebrate, what you don’t notice is the only thing that matters, the roots. Because without the roots, the tree will never flourish and it will eventually die. And so, the roots just quietly about serving the tree, quietly go about gathering nutrients, and nourishment, and water so that the tree can become great and that’s a great picture of servanthood.
Servanthood is often unnoticed and unappreciated. It’s underground. The roots quietly go about serving the tree and because the roots are willing to serve, the tree can become great. And when your heart is willing to serve, you can become great. You become great by serving other people. And so, the question that I just want to start out asking you is just simply this. Are you putting more effort into trying to build a big life or develop deep roots? It’s a great question to ask yourself in life. Is most of your effort going to building a big life or developing deep roots? Are you trying to get noticed or you’re trying to become strong? And I realize some of you, you’re sitting here and you’re like John. You’re like, “Man, I serve people all the time. I serve people in my life, in my work, in my family, in this church, everywhere, I’m constantly serving people and no one ever says thank you. No one ever appreciates. No one ever notices. No one ever really cares.” Okay, can we just stop? I want to say thank you. Thanks for serving your family, and serving at work, and serving in this church, and releasing the Kingdom of God wherever you go. Thank you for being a servant. But here’s my question. Who are you serving for? Servants don’t serve to get recognized. Servants serve so they can get strong and develop deep roots. And this is where we miss it. You see, what serving does is serving keeps you humble. When you just go about meeting the needs you see and serving other people with no strings attached, it keeps your life hidden and your heart humble. And I know some of you are like, “But I don’t want to be hidden and humble.” I know. But hiddenness and humility attract the favor of God. James 4:6, “God opposes the proud. He gives grace to the humble.” When you and I want to be the biggest and the best and we want everyone else to serve us and notice us, it literally says God himself opposes us, but He gives grace to the humble. If we’ll just humble ourselves, He will build a big life for us. Or how about 1 Peter 5, that says, “Humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand that in due time, He may lift you up.”
In other words, if you would just allow yourself to be hidden by serving other people, He promises He will build a bigger life than you could ever on your own. Quiet servinghood leads to great strength. The problem is, is we want to do the way things the world does. So we try to get more fame and followers and finances and stuff and we do all these different kinds of things and we avoid the rooting process, we avoid serving altogether, so we become top and we fall over and get uprooted. So the question I would ask you is, is if your root structure was based solely upon meeting the needs you see, serving other people, how strong would your root system be? Maybe a better way I want to ask you this question is, is would you call yourself great based on Jesus’ definition of greatness? It doesn’t matter how big your life is. It matters how deep your roots are. And servants quietly go about developing their roots while everyone else is waving their leaves for attention.
And hear me, anyone can build a big life. Only servants can sustain a big life. But here’s what we say, “John, the people in my life, they’re not worthy of being served.” Do you know who I live with, and what I have to do, and where I work? Okay, you’re right. They’re probably not worthy of being served. Think about Joseph for a second. Joseph had to serve Potiphar, a slave master, the prison warden, and Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. They weren’t worthy of being served. And David served Saul, the guy who’s trying to kill him for all those years. He wasn’t worthy of it. Daniel served all kinds of evil kings who had evil plans. They weren’t worthy of serving. The first century in church, they served the Romans, the Romans who were persecuting and killing the Christians. They weren’t worthy of it, but they quietly went about serving and positioned themselves for greatness so they flourished in life. The truth is that people in your life, they don’t deserve to be served, but neither do you. And yet, Jesus came to serve you anyways.
He didn’t come to be served by you. He came to serve you. And I would submit to you that it’s really hard to spend your life judging people when you spend your life serving them. Judgment flows from a heart that’s not actively serving. That’s why, you understand, Jesus never judges you because He’s too busy serving you. Like, do you remember the story of the Good Samaritan? It’s one of those famous stories in the bible and Jesus has a crowd of people. He’s telling a story and He says, “A guy is walking down the road and he gets beat up by a bunch of robbers. They take everything he has, strip his clothes, and leave him half dead,” because the road of life is a hard and dangerous place, and it takes people’s lives. And so, he’s left on the side of the road dying and Jesus says, “A guy comes walking by and sees the man, but he’s got places to go so he moves to the other side and keeps going. A little while later, another guy comes by, sees the man, but he’s got things to do so he goes to the other side of the road and passes by.”
And then Jesus says, “Came the Good Samaritan.” He says, “When he saw the man, he went to him, had compassion on him, bound up his wounds, took care of him, put him on his donkey, took him to an inn and paid for everything that was required to make the man whole.” And we read that story and we’re like, “Oh, it’s a nice story. It’s a nice guy. Hopefully, I could be a nice guy like that someday.” Kind of thing. The Good Samaritan is not a story about a Good Samaritan. The Good Samaritan is the story of Jesus. He’s telling us the story of Himself. You see, you are walking down the road of life. And the road of life jumped down, and beat you up, and knocked you down, took everything you had, and left you half dead. And everything came walking by and no one wanted to do anything until Jesus came. He saw you, He noticed you, He went to you, had compassion on you, bound you up and paid for everything so you could become healed and be made whole. And I love what He says at the end of the verse. The ended the story. He says, “Now go and do likewise.” He says, “I’ve come to serve you. Now, you go serve them because even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.” Serving is the pathway to greatness. You with me on that?
Second thing is this. Serving isn’t just what we do, servant is who we are. Philippians Chapter 2, this is probably one of the most profound passages that talks about Jesus in the New Testament. Just listen to this. Verse 4, it says, “Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interest of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus who being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” That is profound. Jesus is the greatest of all because He is the greatest servant of all. He didn’t lift Himself up, He laid Himself down and that is why at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. But what I want you to notice is verse 7, it says that, “When Jesus stepped out of heaven and came to earth,” it says, ” He was made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness.” In other words, when He came to be a man, it says, He came to be a man, and live as a servant because servanthood is the nature of humanity. So what’s that passage is teaching us? That servanthood is the very nature of humanity. It’s who we are. It’s like what we were created to do.
It was God’s original design that we would be servant leaders on this earth, to be fully human and fully alive is not just to serve, it’s to be a servant. We have to repent over the definition of servant. We have the world’s definition in the kingdom brain that we have. And so, that’s why a lot of us we do everywhere like, “Get me away from that thing.” Right? We don’t want anything to do with that. Listen, serving is the ultimate privilege and honor. God made us as servant-leaders to rule and reign on this earth. You got to go all the way back to creation when God made Adam and Eve in His image and His likeness. And in Genesis 1:28, it says, “God bless them and say be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and subdue it.” Using its — be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and subdue it, I got it wrong. Subdue it, using all its resources in the service of God and man. All those verses, sometimes they just go. Okay, that was our original commission.
We were called to rule and reign. To rule and reign does not mean to use and abuse. It means to protect and serve. If you think of Adam in the garden when he was first created, think what he did, he served the garden. It says he tended the garden, and took care of it, and then he named the animals, and gave them their identity. And he loved his wife, Eve, and took care of her. And he brought order to the chaos around him. Everything he did was servanthood by nature. I mean, again, Genesis 1:20, “Be fruitful. Bring things to the fullness of their potential. Multiply. Take the life of God in you and multiply it into the world around you. Fill the earth or your area of influence with the knowledge and the glory of the goodness of God. Subdue things. Bring order to the chaos and then use your resources to accomplish God’s purposes in the lives of men.” That’s servanthood and that’s what you were created to do, okay? We’re kind of excited about that, but here’s what happened. Sin entered the world. And when sin entered the world, we stopped serving creation and we started using creation.
The servanthood DNA that was wired within us got broken and it was rewired into selfishness. So Genesis 1:28 became very different. Instead of being fruitful, we became consumers. Instead of multiplying, we started dividing and hoarding. Instead of filling the earth with the knowledge of the glory of God, we started to fill our lives with the things of the world. Instead of subduing things, we started to bring chaos to things and instead of using our resources to accomplish God’s purposes in the lives of men, we started to use God and men to go out and get a bunch of resources. I mean, let’s be honest. It’s embarrassing how selfish we really are. It’s so embarrassing how selfish I am. Like, in my life sometimes I can’t believe how selfish I really am. Your flesh wants to take. Your spirit wants to serve. And so, Jesus came to break the power of your flesh, restore your identity, and show you what servanthood looked like. He spent His life lifting everyone else up.
Genesis 1:28, He was fruitful. He brought everything to the fullness of His potential. He multiplied His life into you. He filled not only the earth, but the universe and all of creation with the knowledge of the glory, the goodness of God. He subdued darkness once and for all and He gave His very life to accomplish God’s purpose in the lives of men. He is the servant-king. Serving isn’t what He does. Servant is who He is. I mean, what other God leaves His throne to serve His people? What other God wants to be known as a servant? Jesus did and Jesus does. And if we’re included in Christ, then serving is not what we do, servant is actually who we are. First John 4:17, it’s one of our favorite verses around here, it says, “As he is, so we are”, which means everything that’s true of Jesus is now true of us. Because He is righteous, so am I. We claim that. Because He has loved, so am I. We get excited. We own that. Because He is free, so am I. Because He is a servant, oh, so are they.
So am I. I’ve been crucified with Christ. It’s no longer I who live. It’s Christ who lives within me. If Christ lives within me and He’s the servant-king, then that makes me a servant. Colossians 3:3, “If my life is now hidden in Christ, if I’m hidden in Him and He’s a servant then I am a servant.” Luke 6:40, “A student is not above his teacher.” Jesus says, “But everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” We are servants. Servant-leaders, sent to rule and reign with God on this earth and if we want to get rooted in Jesus, we have to do what Jesus did and is doing and Jesus is serving people. See, who you are will always determine what you do. Identity determines behavior. We talk about it all the time. Fish swim, birds — Fly. Cows? Moo. Dogs? Bark. Come on, a little bit like popping your step. Servants? Serve. Who you are determines what you do. Have you ever watched somebody serve? It’s unbelievably inspiring. When I watch my wife serve our daughter with special needs, it’s mind-blowing. When I watch you serve each other in this room and in the atrium, and in different things that we have, it’s overwhelming. When I watch someone give up their Wednesday night to be at hub and invest in students, it literally takes your breath away. And the reason it’s so inspiring when you watch someone genuinely and authentically serving someone else is because you’re watching them be fully alive in that moment. You’re seeing their divine design and their divine destiny take place and it’s revealing the heart of God to the world. See, the world volunteers when they have time. We serve because we’re servants. The world volunteers when it’s convenient, we serve because we’re called and compelled to do it.
So hear me. Valley Creek does not have volunteers. We have servants. You say why? Because there are no volunteers in the kingdom of God, there are only servants. Come on. Oh, that was good. You guys got to hear that one again. You’re like, “Well, I volunteered?” “Not in the kingdom, you don’t.” Not in the Kingdom, you don’t because serving is the culture of the kingdom. And if the king is a servant-king, then his people are servant-people. We don’t volunteer. We serve because we’re servants. I mean, think of the very nature of a tree, think of the whole purpose of a tree. The seed gets planted in the ground, tree spends most of its life growing its roots, grows its trunk, these branches, and then it grows some fruit and inside the fruit is seed. And the fruit is attractive so the world comes and eats on it and eventually that fruit with that seed gets planted somewhere else and a new tree begins to grow, spends its entire life serving so life can get passed on. Think about your life. The seed of Jesus comes and gets planted in your heart. And you spend a whole bunch of your life getting rooted in Jesus so you can flourish in Him. You build this big old life with a whole bunch of fruit and contained in that fruit is the seed. And when the world sees it because it’s attractive, they come and eat on it and the life of Jesus that is in you now gets planted in them. There’s a whole point of your life.
Everything you have is meant to serve other people. Thank God, a tree doesn’t eat its own fruit. He spends his whole life trying to build this fruit and he doesn’t get to eat it. It’s meant to serve other people. And so, if you’re sitting here, you’re like, “I thought we’re supposed to enjoy our self.” Yeah, you are. Do you know how you enjoy it the most? When you use it to fulfill your kingdom purpose of being a servant leader on this earth. You’re finances, your wisdom, your connections, your opportunities, and your time. Every day, God gives you time on this earth to take breath and it’s meant to serve other people. And maybe you’re here and you’re like, “Oh, I serve man, but I got a bad attitude about it.” I grumble, I kind of go through the motions, I got a bad attitude, I’m frustrated air. Okay. If that’s you, can we just — let’s all stop for a second? It’s okay. Stop serving. You’re like, “Now, I like this message.” If you got a bad attitude about serving, stop. Don’t serve here, don’t serve at work, don’t serve your family, don’t serve in the community, don’t serve at all the places. You got a bad attitude, stop because you’re — it doesn’t do anybody any good to serve with a bad attitude.
Serving is not about getting appreciated. It’s about meeting needs and growing roots. It’s not about giving what you want, it’s about giving what they need. Listen to this, 1 Peter 5, “Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Serve the people in your space. Watch over them willingly, not grudgingly, not with a bad attitude, not for what you will get out of it.” You don’t need to be appreciated because roots are underground, “But because you are eager to serve God.” “Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.” In other words, He says, “Man, if you’re serving people with a bad attitude, it isn’t doing anything for anybody.” In fact, it’s negative. If you’re serving people with a bad attitude, you become bitter and exhausted. They become resistant and entitled. And so, what I would submit to you is, is this that you don’t have a serving problem, you have an identity issue because can we all agree that birds don’t complain about flying? And cows don’t get exhausted from mooing? Dogs don’t get frustrated by barking? Fish aren’t annoyed that they actually have to swim and servants don’t have a bad attitude about serving.
If you’ve been in church for any number of years, one of the things you’ll hear all the time is I got burned out serving. Okay, understand me. Servants can’t get burned out doing what they were created to do. If you got burned out by serving, because that’s how we’ll say about it, I got burned out, it’s like this extra emphasis and syllable. It means you weren’t serving from your identity. Servants don’t serve out of obligation. They serve because that’s who they’re created to do. And hear me, if you’re not serving, you don’t have to feel bad, you don’t have to feel guilty. You’ve probably just feel a little bit purposeless because this is what you we’re created to do. You with me on that? Okay. And the last thing is simply this, is that Jesus takes our serving or lack thereof personally. Listen to this. Matthew 25, He’s telling us another story. This is a little long, let me just read it to you. Jesus says, “Then the King will say to those on His right, come, you who are blessed by my Father. Take your inheritance. The kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me. I needed to be served and you served me.” “Then the righteous will answer Him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you something to drink?”
“When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothed you? When did we see you sick and in prison and go and visit you?” “The king will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. Then He will say to those on His left, depart from me, you who are cursed into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels for I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you did not invite me in. I needed clothes, you didn’t clothe me. I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. They will also answer, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick and in prison and did not help you? He will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me and then, he will — then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous, to eternal life.” That is so profound that I don’t even have time to get all the way into it.
My encouragement to you would be read that and meditate on it this week. Let’s be real clear what Jesus is not saying, Jesus is not saying that your salvation is determined based on your servanthood. Ephesians 2:8, and 9, “You have been saved by grace through faith. This is not of yourself. It’s a gift of God’s so no one can boast.” You’re saved by one thing, believing that Jesus is who He says He is and did what He said He did. But the very next verse says that, “You are God’s workmanship.” Ephesians 2:10, “Created in Christ Jesus to do good works, to spend your life living as a servant, ruling and reigning with God.” You’re not saved by good works. You’re saved for good works. And what Jesus is telling us in this passage that’s so profound to me is He is saying, “Serving is not only a root, it’s actually a fruit.” Serving is a root that makes us strong, but it’s actually a fruit in our life that is evidence that we are rooted in Jesus and the life of Jesus is flowing through us because whatever He’s doing is in a sense what should be flowing up into our life as what we’re doing.
And I love that He says, “Whatever you do for the least of these, you’ve done for me.” In other words, He says the greatest way you can love me is by serving the people I love. It’s true for us too, isn’t it? I mean, just recently, a friend of mine did something for my son. And he went out of his way to do this great thing for my son and it was the highlight of my 10-year-old son’s year so far. I mean, it was just this incredible experience and as he’s serving my son, it’s almost like he wasn’t even doing it for my son, it was like he was doing it for me. There was such a connection that happened and this appreciation in this — like this, just stuff in my heart was he served my son and I was thinking, that’s what Jesus is saying. He is saying when we just serve anyone around here, anyone in the world, who are His children, He like does some — it connects us to Him. Every time you serve people and you look at them, you’re seeing the love and the compassion that Jesus has for them. More importantly, in that moment, it’s a reminder that that’s the same love and compassion that Jesus has for you. Serving them reminds you that Jesus is serving you and it connects you back to His heart.
And I know some of you, you’re sitting here and you’re like, “Meet the needs you see, like, what about my needs? Like, bro, I strolled in here today because I got all kinds of needs in my life.” I know, but here’s what I would say to you is that in meeting the needs of other people, you discover that Jesus is already meeting your needs. If you need Jesus, He tells us exactly where to find Him in the lives of hurting and broken people, but the opposite is also true. If we avoid serving, we’re avoiding Jesus. Maybe we feel so disconnected from Jesus because we’re ignoring Him when we ignore the needs we see without being willing to meet them. I would just admit that for you. And here’s what I love, this s so easy, man. You just meet the needs you see. He doesn’t say build a five-fold strategy and have this profound plan and cast a big vision and you need all these things.
He just said meet the needs you see just like Jesus, on the road, at homes, in the synagogue, on the lake, in the wilderness, He would hang out with a lonely person. He would touch a sick person. He would get involved with a stranger. I mean it’s just amazing that’s what He’s saying, just do that. Pick up a piece of paper you see on the ground. Hold open the door you see needs to be held open. Invite someone out for lunch that looks lonely. Go and have a conversation with someone who’s by themselves. Like, meet a need you see. If you’re a student, meet the needs you see in your home. If you’re a spouse, meet the needs you see in your spouse. If you’re here at church, meet the needs you see of the people around you. At work, meet the needs you see of the people in the — you work with. Listen, I know, sometimes, the hardest people to serve are the people that we’re closest to. We often feel like they’re the most unworthy. But remember, you’re doing it for Jesus, not them. What are you concerned about? What are you convicted by?
What do you have compassion towards? What captures your attention? That’s a need Jesus is pointing out to you because He wants you to do something about it. Every place you think, somebody should do something about that. You’re right. You should. And we’re so excited that today is your day to step into that space. Listen, we’re waiting for Jesus to raise the dead. I think He is waiting for us to just feed the hungry. We’re waiting for Jesus to heal the sick. I think He is waiting for us to just invite a stranger into our life. And some of you are here and hear me, so pause. Some of you are here and you feel like you’ve been called to this big life. You feel called to greatness. You got a big vision. You feel called to a big ministry, a big business, a big something. You feel called to it. You’re waiting for this crowd, this platform, this following develop, but you’re not serving anybody. You cannot flourish in life without the root of servanthood. If God gave you everything you think that He wants to give you, this big life you’re dreaming about and you don’t have the root of servanthood, you would be so top-heavy, you would fall over and it would damage you, so God won’t hurt you.
So He can’t give it to you. So don’t mess your destiny because you’re not willing to serve. You’re waiting for God to move. He’s waiting for you to serve. And then some of you are here and you’ve already got a big life. Man, I look around this room and I know some of you and some of you, I don’t know, but man, there’re people with huge lives, huge influence and opportunity and resources. Hear me, the bigger your life is, the more you need to serve basic needs in humanity around you because that’s what keeps you grounded and rooted so you don’t fall over. The bigger your life gets, it’s not, “Oh good, I have people to do that for me.” The bigger your life gets is I got to go serve somebody in the most basic of ways so I stay rooted and be like Jesus. Come on, you with me on that? You got real quiet on that one. You’re like “I’m like that one.” Well, too bad. What’s the problem though? The problem is, is its inconvenient. The problem is it feels like it’s an interruption. It doesn’t fit into our already full life. To serve people, you actually have to slow down and be present. Like, think about it. If you’re in a hurry and you’re on the road driving somewhere, do you serve the other cars around you? “Hey bro, you ain’t getting in front of me. You get back there you know.”
The guy that gets in front of you and slows down, you might give him a friendly gesture or a nice honk on the horn, right? No way. Same is true in your life. When you’re ripping through life, you don’t serve people. You’re annoyed by them. Hear me. People are not an interruption to your life. They are your life. Serving is not an event, it’s a lifestyle, and you cannot delegate serving because you can’t delegate your identity. You can’t. I can’t delegate something that I am. I can only choose to ignore it or express it. Jesus says if you want to be great, become the least. The only way to get lower than the least is to get on your knees and serve them. You with me? Man, I feel like I had you in the beginning, but I’m losing you at the end. This week, I was driving somewhere with my kids and this like kind of highway and as we drove by, I saw this teenage boy in a tennis court. And he was down with his hands like this on the ground and you could tell he was crying as we’re driving by. And it was a really odd time of the day. It’s like the middle of the day and so I’m thinking, “Man, did he run away from home? Did he get kicked out of school? Did he just get bullied?” He has a backpack on and he was just sitting there, he was crying. But we’re on a highway and there’s like no way to get to him and so we’re driving by and couldn’t do anything about it. I had to keep going and all day it bothered me. All day, just kept picturing this teenage boy crying on the tennis court and just kind of talking to God, like, “God, I need to do something about that and why hasn’t somebody helping him? And how can we go find him?” I was like consumed with this boy. And finally, at the end of the day, I felt like the Lord just kind of interrupted me in that whole little train of thought and He said, “Hey, why don’t you just meet the needs of the people around you?”
“Why don’t you just actually like serve the people you could’ve served all day long?” And it stopped. And all of a sudden, I started thinking about my day. And I thought about all the moments that I could’ve served my kids and I didn’t, could’ve serve my wife and I didn’t, could’ve served my friends and I didn’t, could’ve serve the people that were right there in front of me, all day long, and didn’t. And I felt like what God was saying is stop being so concerned or worried about the needs out there and just start taking care of the needs that are right here. And I tell you, I think that’s a word for you. Stop being so worried about the needs out there and just start serving the needs right here. Like, listen to me, the new cycle this week happens and it’s heartbreaking. Shootings, and chaos, and confusion, and we get upset, and we get so like bent out of shape, and we’re enraged, and frustrated, and angry, and we don’t understand, and it doesn’t make sense and so we start going on Facebook, and someone should do something about this? And why did they miss it? And how about them? And over here. And what’s going on? And where is everyone? We get all — and we want all these wrong rules, and regulations, and laws to come in and fix it. Somebody needs to do something about that. Can I tell you what needs to be done? It’s not something way over there. Just invest in a teenager that’s right in front of you right now, here.
Every time you want to say someone should do something about that, stop and ask yourself, what am I doing about tit right now? There are hundreds of teenagers right here every week. Are you serving them? If not, don’t be so bent out of shape than what’s happening out there. That’s where we go. We’re kingdom people, guys. We’ve got to come up with kingdom solutions for worldly problems, not worldly answers for worldly problems. We have to be the ones that think differently, but it’s inconvenient. I don’t want to invite a teenager into my life. Then don’t complain when a teenager does something stupid or evil or demonic somewhere else because no one wanted to invite that teenager into their life either. Because I think a bunch of people were probably as worried about what was happening out there instead of, “Hey, here’s something right here.” Can you hear me on this? You don’t solve the problem with a human heart by someone should or creating a bunch of rules. God couldn’t even change the human heart that way. The Ten Commandments didn’t solve the problem of our heart. They just exposed it and Jesus came to heal it.
And He sends you to now be the healer, but that means you got to serve somebody, man. And we don’t want to serve people. Sorry, got looks out of there. Because here’s the deal, for us, we have to be kingdom thinkers. We have to. Don’t add fuel to the world’s fire. Subdue it. Remove the chaos. Come with an alternative answer, a heavenly one. We don’t serve other people because we don’t believe Jesus has served us. So we don’t feel called to serve anyone around us because we don’t really think He served us. So our problem is, is not we have an identity or a serving problem, we have a receiving problem. Let me close it with this then I’m done. Do you remember when Jesus washes His disciples’ feet in John 13? It’s fascinating. It’s the Passover Meal, end of Jesus’ life. The disciples all walk in, they all walk by the foot washing station because they’re great. They’re great. And someone else is going to take care of that. As Jesus watches it all go by, He says “Okay.” Takes off His coat, puts towel on, gets for washing, starts washing the disciple’s feet. You want to talk about humbling. You want to talk about Jesus, humbling Himself and willing to be hidden so He can become the greatest of all. And He gets to Peter and when He’s about to wash Peter’s feet, Peter stops Him and he says, “No Lord, not me. You’ll never serve my feet.”
Strong words. Or wash my feet. And what Peter is saying is I’m not going to let you serve me. Do you understand? That’s what we say, out of pride, unworthiness, or unwillingness, we don’t let Jesus serve us. And Jesus looks right back at Peter and He says, “Peter, you have no part of me unless I wash your feet.” In other words, Jesus says, “Peter, the only way into the Kingdom of God is by letting me first serve you.” So He washes his feet and He finishes up. He gets up. And in John 13, Jesus says, it says “When He had finished washing their feet, He put on His clothes and returned to His place. Do you understand what I’ve done for you? He asked them. You call me teacher and Lord and rightly so for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and teacher had washed your feet, served you, you also should wash one another’s feet, serve each other.”
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth. No servant is greater than his master nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” You will always serve other people to the level you believe Jesus has served you. You will always serve other people to the level you allow Jesus to serve you. If you have no interest in servanthood, it’s because you have let to — you have let to allow the King to wash your feet. Being served is the only way you get into the kingdom of God. Serving others is the way we live in the kingdom of God. You can’t serve until you’ve been served. And when He serves you, you can’t help but spend your life serving other people.
You see, we get to these and this is the beauty of this whole series is this isn’t going to do a bunch of things. This is a can you stop for a moment just long enough to realize that Jesus started the whole thing by serving you. And when He serves you, you’re like, “Man, I now have a purpose. I now have a destiny. I’ve now been set free to help other people experience the same.” So will you close your eyes with me? My hope is that you would let Jesus serve you today. This isn’t a go try hard or do more, behave better, this is a remember what Jesus has done for you and that changes how you live for Him. God wants you to be great. So when He declared you a servant, He positioned you for greatness. And He says, “I want to meet you and I want to be with you and I want you to experience me and you’re going to find me when you’ll just start serving the people around you.” We are the people of the kingdom of God. We have got to stop adding fire or fuel to the world’s fire. We got to start extinguishing it with the wisdom of heaven. Notice Jesus didn’t set us free by doing all the things that the world’s kingdoms did, by dominating and conquering, and controlling, and slaving. He came as a man who was a servant and said, “My life is bigger than me and I’m going to meet the needs I see and set people free.” So Jesus, may we repent today by changing our thinking, that serving is not a thing to avoid servanthood. It’s a calling to embrace. May you continue to lead us, and change us to be people of the kingdom, to be fruitful and multiply, to fill this earth with the goodness of God, to subdue things, and use what we have to accomplish your purposes in the lives of men. We love you, Jesus. In your name we pray, amen.