By Gordon Crook
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-8
Imagine the Son of God serving His creature. Sure seems like it should be the other way. Seems to me that He should be demanding our service. Instead, we find Him as "The Servant." What an amazing picture for us to see.
The Creator of all things lowered Himself to the level of His creation. Not just creation, but a fallen creation that did not even want Him. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." John 1:11. We need to pause and consider sometimes exactly how far He lowered Himself for us; for me, for you.
While He was here, He taught us by example exactly what it means to be a servant. Not a servant by force or out of poverty, but a servant out of love. His entire life was one of service, down to the ultimate service of giving His life for us.
In John 13, we find Jesus a very specific act of service that helps his disciples understand what it means to be a servant. The washing of the feet was generally reserved for the servant of the house. Peter understood this and thought it was not appropriate for Jesus to stoop to this level. If Jesus was willing to stoop this low, why are we so often unwilling?
We have been called to be servants. Paul encourages us to have that same mind that was in Jesus. Our service should not be out of obligation or by demand. Jesus Himself taught us that service is out of love.
Paul even rejoiced in his service. "Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all." Philippians 2:17. This is the mind of Christ. We can't be this kind of servant on our own, or of our own mind. It is the result of complete yieldedness to the life of Christ that is in us.
It is very important to note that God never asks us to serve in any capacity that He does not also equip us for. God gives His people everything they need for the service He calls them to. If we insist on serving somewhere or in some capacity to which we were not called, we are going to fail.
So often, we think we can serve in some capacity, as long as it is where and how we want, and as long as we receive the appropriate recognition. This is not the kind of service God desires from us. When we truly learn to serve, then we will also truly be happy.