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Meditations by John Dean

Monday, March 31, 2014

Born to Serve

(2 Kings 4:10 KJV) Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us that he shall turn in thither.

Serving others is probably one of the most unnatural things for a person to do. This is particularly true since mankind was born thinking only of himself and what makes him feel good. By that...I do not mean to imply that all mankind is selfish, but that it is the nature of mankind to be selfish.

Even though I have read this scripture many times over the years it is still inspiring to me. The lady in our text not only had the desire to serve, but she was even willing to do so at a great financial cost. As a matter of fact she backed up her desire by remodeling her home and buying new furnishings. She called the new addition to her home a “Prophet’s Chamber.”

Perhaps this is what James meant when he said in James 2:20, “...faith without works is dead.”

Serving others is a good practice, but should be done automatically out of the abundance of the heart with no strings attached. When one feels the need to count their hours in order to be paid for their service...then obviously that does not fit into the same category with the lady in our text. That fits the category of an employee. There is nothing wrong with being paid as an employee, but one should never confuse serving for money with the two levels of servant-hood listed in the explanations below.

The first and most basic level of serving is when one serves another without charge or cost to either party.

The second level of servant-hood is when one serves another and there is a cost to the one doing the service...such as the lady in our text.

I was eating breakfast at a Hampton Inn one morning when an elderly couple caught my attention as they came through the breakfast line. I was so captivated by this couple that I put my fork down and watched them. The elderly man scooted along beside his wife while she put food on his plate before serving herself. When she finished serving both their plates they then scooted side by side to a nearby table and sat down. After being seated at the table this little lady carefully arranged her husband’s plate on the table, as well as putting his orange juice in just the right place for him to pick it up.

That morning as I watched this couple I suddenly realized that I was seeing true servant-hood function in the purest form. This servant-hood was the result of love, rather than out of duty with the expectation of a pay-back.

I wonder if that was not the main point in our text...it could have been.

I learned something that day that had a profound impact on my life. My desire is to serve others in such a way that even strangers will be as inspired by my servant-hood: just as I was while watching the elderly couple in the Hampton Inn that morning.

Father,
Thank You for the life lesson that You put before me that day. Lord, my desire is to learn from such life lessons and to also be a life lesson to others as this elderly couple was to me. They will never know how You spoke to me through them. Help me to live in such a way that even when I can only scoot around (like that couple) I can still inspire others.

Amen

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