A Servant’s Heart

Something I have been thinking about lately is how Christians are called to have a servant’s heart. Having a servant’s heart might come naturally to some. Others might have a hard time with it. In our world today, we are taught to look out for ourselves and live rather selfishly. And it is telling. When we look around us, we see a lot of hate in our world.

As Christians, we are called to be like Jesus. And when we read Scripture, we see how Jesus put others first. One story that always gets me is found in Matthew 14.

Jesus had just learned that John the Baptist had been beheaded. It says in verse 13, “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” Jesus wanted to be alone, possibly to pray and to grieve. That is likely what any of us would have done as well.

However, verse 13 goes on to say, “Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.” This sentence always bugs me. I wonder why the people couldn’t give him some privacy on this one occasion.

But then in verse 14 it says, “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” And then I am humbled all over again. Every time I read this, I seem to go through the same emotions. I see how Jesus had a servant’s heart in this story. He set aside His own feelings and sought to comfort those around Him.

This story reminds me that sometimes what we want isn’t always what God wants for us. As it says in Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

I have always appreciated the way some have translated the word Joy into an acronym:

Jesus
Others
You

This is a needed reminder to put Jesus first, then put other people next, and put yourself last. (This doesn’t mean that we don’t take care of ourselves. God didn’t intend for us to be doormats and allow other people to walk all over us. Sadly, there are people in this world who will gladly do that, if we allow them to.)

But we are called to serve God and serve others. This way of living is not intuitive to our human nature. Thankfully we have the greatest role model of all to follow – Jesus. Keeping God first place is key. He will guide us and help us and show us how to live with a servant’s heart.

This week, let us look for ways to live with a servant’s heart. It might be something simple, like making dinner for someone who is feeling low, helping a coworker with a project that has been stressful for them, or babysitting in order to give a weary parent a day off.

Honestly, for those of us who do not live alone, we have tons of opportunities every day to serve the members of our household. Cooking, cleaning, laundry. Any normal household chore can be done with love.

And truly I believe that when we live with a Servant’s Heart, we are honoring and worshipping the Lord. Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” When we have a heart that wants to honor God, it can be seen in all that we do. We worship Him, not just with our words, but also with our actions.

Let us look for ways to help those around us and spread the love of Jesus. In the end, not only will we bring a smile to someone else’s face, but we will find ourselves smiling too. That is because when we are kind to other people, this fills our own hearts with joy as well. When we selflessly give, we receive back more than we anticipated.

“But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” – 1 Samuel 12:24 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.” – Mark 10:45 NIV

Thank you for reading!

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

© 2022 Bridget A. Thomas

16 Comments on “A Servant’s Heart

  1. “Jesus set aside His own feelings and sought to comfort others.” As you said, Christ was clearly grieved by the death of his cousin and friend John. He wanted to be alone but the crowds of needy people would not allow it. “The greatest among you shall be your servant.” This brand of leadership is not the norm today. Yet serving others, in God’s name, is what we’re called to do. Excellent post, Bridget. Thank you for the reminder. God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad that we have Jesus as a model. Having a servant’s heart might not come naturally. But the Lord shows us the way. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts, David! God bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely love todays message of service, love and kindness towards others. That story of Jesus, always gets me too. My reaction would be to get annoyed rather than show compassion and therein lies one area where I have to become more like Him. A very humbling reminder. Our thoughts are indeed not His thoughts. Jesus does show us the way.
    Wonderful message, blessed me.
    Thank you Bridget. Have a wonderful day my friend 🤗💙

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am with you. I also need to become more like Jesus in this area. I am so glad He never gives up on us. Instead He continues to lovingly show us the way. Thank you, my friend. And I hope you have a good evening! 💜🦋

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for a great reminder Bridget, servant leadership was always what Jesus role modelled, yet I know how easily I slip into getting inwardly annoyed or impatient. That Jesus could still put others first while grieving for his cousin is pretty amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. I do the same. Reading this story, and many of the stories in the Gospels, helps me to see how Jesus always made time for others. I am glad He showed us the way. Thank you for reading!

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  4. I like that acronym JOY. Jesus set a great example for us because He always considered the feelings of others. We can truly make a difference by taking time to think of others. We are in a selfish society that stresses putting your needs first always but in Christ we must intentionally consider others. Thanks Bridget.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Much of the Christian walk means dying to our own selfishness. And your comment reminded me of that. It is counterintuitive. But in the end we will find our souls more fulfilled. Thank you, Dawn! You always have great insight. 🦋

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great point, Bridget. I love your insight from this piece of scripture in the gospels.

    I keep coming across several verses from Isaiah and even that one particular verse you mentioned. I think God is directing me to read that book next..I have it marked and look forward to what He’ll teach me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Worthwhile reminders here, Bridget. I came across this quote-gem while reading Linda Dillow’s book, Satisfy the Thirsty Soul, which seems to fit perfectly with what you’ve written here: “Each of your small moments of work, bowed before God, not only gives joy to others but also is counted as worship to the Holy One. He sees; He is ministered to” (p. 164). Imagine that: Our service ministers to our Heavenly Father!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny that you mentioned that book because I added it to my wish list on Amazon just a few days ago! Perhaps this is a nudge from the Lord to make sure I read it. (I often wind up deleting the majority of items on my wishlist because of time, money, or lost interest.) Thank you for sharing that quote. Definitely food for thought. And it is encouraging to know how much God values our serving!

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  7. I’ve always wondered why those people didn’t just leave Jesus alone, too. But then I read the next part and knowing that Jesus set His feelings aside to help those people just stopped me. There have been so many times over the years that I’ve wanted some time alone but someone always wants something from me (especially the kids!). I’ve always put those people first and helped them even if I was super exhausted mentally and physically. Of course, I grumbled under my breath at the time, but looking back on it and reading the verse in Isaiah that you shared, I can see how God put me right where I needed to be. Had I gone off alone I might have missed opportunities and memories that He wanted me to be a part of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely understand because I have done the same thing. I grumble when I am focused on something but am interrupted. But you make a great point about missed opportunities and memories. I love what you said about “God put me right where I needed to be.” There have been times in the past when I have “tried” to tell myself that these were “divine interruptions.” But I admit I have not been good about remembering that. So thank you for the reminder! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  8. God love for us drove me to want to get to know the creator of the universe and all contained within it. After accepting His sending His Son to die for me I begin the journey of going deeper into His love. It showed me how frail my love is and with all things there is a bottom to it. His love there is no bottom, it’s an ever flowing well and that knowledge and understanding keep me on the narrow path. Love this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such beautiful words. You are absolutely right. The Lord’s overflowing love for us sure does help alter our perspective and thus our actions. Thank you, Betty! 🦋

      Like

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