READ: John 13:1-20
Written by Charles R. Swindoll from “Improving Your Serve” chapt. 1.
Maybe you’ve never before stopped to consider that God is committed to one major objective in the lives of all His people: to conform us to “the image of His Son.” We need to blow the dust off that timeless goal now that our cage is overcrowded and our lives are growing increasingly more distant from each other.
Exactly what does our heavenly Father want to develop within us? What is that “image of His Son”? Well, rather than getting neck deep in tricky theological waters, I believe the simple answer is found in Christ’s own words. Listen as He declares His primary reason for coming:
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:24).
No mumbo jumbo. Just a straight-from-the-shoulder admission. He came to serve and to give. It makes sense, then, to say that God desires the same for us. After bringing us into His family through faith in His Son, the Lord God sets His sights on building into us the same quality that made Jesus distinct from all others in His day. He is engaged in building into His people the same serving and giving qualities that characterized His Son.
Nothing is more refreshing than a servant’s heart and a giving spirit, especially when we see them displayed in a person many would tag as a celebrity. A couple of years ago my wife and I attended the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Washington, D.C., where one of the main speakers was Colonel James B. Irwin, former astronaut who was a part of the crew that had made the successful moon walk. He spoke of the thrill connected with leaving this planet and seeing it shrink in size. He mentioned watching earth rise one day … and thinking how privileged he was to be a member of the at unique crew. And then he began to realize en route back home that many would consider him a “superstar,” for sure an international celebrity.
Humbled by the awesome goodness of God, Colonel Irwin shared his true feelings, which went something like this:
As I was returning to earth, I realized that I was a servant — not a celebrity. So I am here as God’s servant on plant Earth to share what I have experienced that others might know the glory of God.
God allowed this man to break loose from the small cage we call “Earth,” during which time He revealed to him a basic motto all of us would do well to learn: a servant, not a celebrity.