To Serve or Be Served
by Margaret D. Mitchell
" . . . the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." -Matthew 20:28
There is a room in my home that I call my memory room. It is decorated with items that remind me of good things from my past: Black and white family photos from the early twentieth century, the 1950s and the 1970s; a restored antique dresser that belonged to my grandparents; my grandmother’s hairbrush; her antique clock; a silver tea set and a large, floral wreath with nearly every flower type from my great aunt’s flower garden. This room is rustic and beautiful, full of bucolic Appalachian heritage. And God uses it often to speak to my heart.
This room reminds me of generations of my family’s strong work ethic, solid Christian values and beauty. I often go there to pray. And among all the beautiful momentos, there are two that the Lord uses to speak to my heart the most: The silver tea set and the clock.
This silver tea set is rustic and plain, from the 1940s. It speaks of function, not fancy. It’s a working tea set, something one might find in a rural farmhouse, not one to be put on a shelf and admired. It is stout with smooth, curved surfaces. It is steady, stable and strong, a full set, ready to be used again and again, with just enough patina to hint of its former work-a-day service.
This clock is a mantle clock, replete with a tiara that crowns its aging face. The casing is squared-off, brown wood, probably oak for strength. It turns with a key. And, like a sentry in charge, it stands on the corner of my grandparents’ oak dresser. It is a grand—but not particularly fancy—old clock. It is Appalachian too.
These two items remind me that I am called to service, to sacrifice and that the time is near. Not 'near' in that the second coming of Christ will occur in 2013. I do not believe that at all. But near in the context of acceleration. There is still much to be done.
I have come to realize, especially over the past year, that my time is not my own. When family and friends sometimes invite me to Bible studies and events, I must discern what is of God for me in this season. And I must do what and be where He assigns me. Anything less is disobedience for my surrendered life.
I often pray, “God, please remove everything and everyone from my life that is not from You for me in this season.” Because I have grown accustomed to being forward moving and forward thinking over the decades, I have peace with whatever and whoever falls away.
I don’t have time for distractions or ungodly burdens. As my dear friend, a former USAF soldier and the Founder of Warrior Moms, puts it, “I can’t leave my post.” It’s about Godly priorities. What I have learned is that anyone who tries to get me to leave my post usually has unselfish motives at heart. And I have decided to not be deceived.
God’s timing is very specific and so are His mandates to feed His lambs. I choose to be on point, on task. People die every day. And when I hear about their passing, those whom I never knew, I wondered if they ever knew our Jesus. I wonder where they are now that they have left Earth.
The world is full of need. I choose to be one of the workers. Matthew 9:37-38 tell us, " . . . The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields." I choose to be chosen. Matthew 22:14 tells us, "For many are invited, but few are chosen." Clarke's Commentary on the Bible interprets this scripture accordingly: "Many are called by the preaching of the Gospel into the outward communion of the Church of Christ; but few, comparatively, are chosen to dwell with God in glory, because they do not come to the master of the feast for a marriage garment—for that holiness without which none can see the Lord."
Do you view yourself as the bride of Christ, faithful to Him in all His ways and commands? I hope and pray that you do and that you dwell in a place of peace and love, in His glorious presence, that you know His face and see His hand on your behalf. He is a God of infinite love who desires to pour out more that we can contain to us and to those whose lives we touch.
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ. This devotional was adapted from Margaret's forthcoming book, Enduring Grace. All rights reserved.