Your attitude must be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life. (Matthew 20:28 LB)
Service is not something to be tacked onto our schedules when we can spare the time. It is the heart of the Christian life. Jesus came “to serve” and “to give” — and those two verbs should define your life on earth, too.
Jesus taught that spiritual maturity is never an end in itself. Maturity is for ministry! It is not enough to keep learning more and more. We must act on what we know and practice what we claim to believe. Study without service leads to spiritual stagnation.
Yet serving is the opposite of our natural inclination. Most of the time we’re more interested in “serve us” than service. We say, “I’m looking for a church that meets my needs and blesses me,” not, “I’m looking for a place to serve and be a blessing.”
But as we mature in Christ, the focus of our lives should increasingly shift to living a life of service. The mature follower of Jesus stops asking, “Who’s going to meet my needs?” and starts asking, “Whose needs can I meet?”
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.