3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)
The followers of Jesus are called to be servants in a society mired in self-centeredness, selfishness, and self-promotion. Everyone wants to know what they can do to get ahead, stand out from the crowd, and shine brighter than others so they can experience the life they’ve always dreamed about. There’s an army of authorities on the subject who are more than willing to help if that is your goal. There are books lining the shelves at book stores, life coaches who will give you goals and the strategies to achieve them, and weekend “boot camps” to help launch on the path of success.
Among the sea of voices urging us on to realize our best life now, there’s a lone voice calling out, inviting us, to pursue a different path. God’s Word calls us to put aside “selfish ambition” so that we might make the interests of others more important than our own. The opportunities are there every day for those who want to see them, those who desire to live out God’s call on our lives. Let me show you what I mean by sharing the stories of some servant friends of mine.
I went to visit a shut-in recently who was heartbroken because her family is distant and not much help. Then she told me about a lady from BCC who came by to see her. She said, “Pastor, I’m embarrassed, but I didn’t remember her from church. She brought me a family-sized chicken pot pie and I didn’t even know her!” I told my friend, “Isn’t it wonderful how the Lord put you on her heart and she answered the call!?” One lady who sacrificed her time to help someone in need made a difference!
I arrived to meet my friend at 5 am as he was getting read to be prepped for surgery. As we talked, his wife told me that the night before some of her friends had a prayer meeting for her husband. The friends normally meet once-a-month, but there was a need so her friends decided to move their meeting in order to be there for their friend. A group of friends gave up their time in order to come alongside of their friend in prayer for her husband.
Some would read the stories I’ve just shared and categorize them as “insignificant.” I would say that these simple acts of sacrificial love are most significant. I’m not alone. Mother Theresa once said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” I would add that it is the small things done with great love that make the biggest difference of all in the lives of those the Lord has place in our path.
Let’s make it our goal this week to open our eyes, open our hearts, and watch for the opportunities the Lord will bring our way. I can promise you that the opportunities to serve and bless will be there on a daily basis—Let’s seize the moment and make a difference for them and for the Kingdom of God.