(Mark 10:45 NIV) For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
God created Adam and Eve and placed them in a beautiful garden. They did not have to work. Their job was to enjoy themselves, spend time with God, and to worship God. This all fell apart when the serpent was used by Satan to tempt them to serve themselves. He persuaded them that they were more important than they actually were and that they would obtain a new perspective if they would just break the one rule God had given them…do not eat of the tree of the fruit of knowledge.
When Eve ate the fruit of this tree she did so because she lacked knowledge of God’s will and was deceived. However, when Adam ate the fruit he knew it was wrong and he openly violated God’s will. At that point the innocent nature of man became corrupt and has remained corrupt to this very day.
It is part of our nature to be selfish and to serve ourselves. Our father, Adam, left us this horrid legacy. We can’t help it. It is who we are. As babies we only want whatever satisfies us. As small children we refuse to share. As we grow up we slowly learn that there are negative consequences to serving ourselves the way we want to be served. We learn obedience and compliance. Yet we still harbor this feeling that we deserve to be served.
God knew that the sin virus had infected humanity and that if he was to rid us of this problem he would have to do so in person. He sent Jesus to serve us. Jesus put us first even to the point of dying for us on the cross. His message was one of love; of service. The message of serving one’s self is therefore the opposite. It is a message of hatred; of serving self.
Most of us have learned conformity with what is expected in the church community. We hear sermons about putting others first and controlling our own selfish desires. It is easy to put on our church face and go about doing good works when others are watching us. The kind of service that God has called us to is not one of legalism, doing good deeds. It is a service that comes from the heart. It prompts us to be like him and to serve when there is nothing in it for us and when nobody else sees us but God.
God was serving when he gave Adam and Eve the freedom to disobey his will. He was serving when he waited thousands of years to come to a painful death for us. He is serving today while his Holy Spirit quietly speaks to us without exerting his authority and encourages us to love others.
(Ephesians 6:7 NIV) Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men,