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Living a Life of Service: Lessons Learned From Jesus

By August 2, 2021August 19th, 2021Blog

In John 13:15, Jesus sets an example for us to follow. After washing His disciples’ feet — an act of love, humility, and service — He encourages us to follow His lead and serve one another.

He says, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.”

This is representative of Jesus’ entire ministry. Jesus never placed himself in a position above others. He led by serving, and He loved by serving. He washed feet. He fed thousands. He walked to heal the sick. He spent time with those no one else cared to spend time with.

Jesus lived a life of great humility. He showed us that serving others and humility go hand in hand. Paul put it this way in Philippians 2:3-5:

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
Serving others is more than keeping up with your to-do list. To be a servant means we genuinely need to care about people. It’s keeping our eyes, hearts, and schedules open for divine appointments. Jesus was not hurried, stressed by time, worried about what others thought of Him, or overwhelmed by a list of tasks to accomplish each day. Instead, He was led by the Spirit of God and followed His promptings to serve, love, and help others. No task was ever beneath Jesus, and no person was ever unworthy.
Again, Paul knew this, and writes in Galatians 5:13:
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
Serving others and genuine love go hand in hand. But what exactly does that look like? How do we love when it’s hard? How do we let go of our to-do list? How do we position ourselves to act humbly?
Here are four good places to start: 

Ask for a heart change.

Be open to God working, stretching, and changing your heart. This may bring out some things you need to address and work on, but it will be worth it! He can change your heart, soften the edges, and teach you to love others with kindness and compassion.

Reevaluate your schedule.

Do you feel hurried and overwhelmed? Allow God to show you how you can free up your time. Maybe you need to carve out time to spend time in silence and solitude with Him. Maybe you need to say no to that next meeting or activity. Ask Him to show you each day what needs to be done and what can be set aside.

Begin placing others first in your day-to-day.

Think about the needs of others and how you can place them before your own. Do you see a struggling mom at the store? Let her get in line before you. Does your neighbor need help with his lawn? Take care of it for him. Is there a word of encouragement you could share with your foster care worker or your kiddos’ parents? Take the time to send them one.

Listen to God, and do what He says.

Yes, it’s easier said than done, but following God’s prompting and leading when going about your day doesn’t have to be complicated. If you feel like you should stop and serve, do it. This doesn’t necessarily mean you take on every opportunity presented to you. Pray. Ask God, then listen and do what He says.
At TFI, we have a core value about serving others—Grow Through Service. We believe that when we serve, not only are we helping and loving others but that we too are being impacted and changed for the better. It’s one way we can grow closer to Jesus.
P.S. If you’re looking for a way to serve others, help people experience Jesus, and support the foster care community, you should check out the TFI Advocate role. At its core, it’s all about loving those around you and following Jesus’ example of servant leadership. 
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Mitch Nelson

Whether he is drinking coffee or coming up with new ideas, Mitch is always looking for new ways TFI can grow. He is very involved at his church, Compass Church, and has led in both creative and pastoral ministries over the last several years. He and his wife Becky were married in April of 2018, and together they enjoy camping, live music, black coffee, and good books.

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