Thursday, March 5, 2015
Living for the Greatest Treasure
Mothers, when we spend a life serving and pouring ourselves out for others it is unlikely we will be awarded the ‘most popular’ sash. Taught from a young age to live for self, find our dreams, build our self esteem and to “achieve our potential” we are programmed to live for these things and put self on a pedestal to be lived for. So we live for ourselves, and don’t know how to lay ourselves down ---even for our own families. Serving Christ in the nitty gritty, the mundane, serving the “least of these” is not considered worthy work.
“If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” ~John 12:26
Serving in the daily grind, day in and day out, pressing into Christ in this service, we come to know and understand Him more. We work for Him. The only path to joy in service is to daily go about our lives serving Jesus. Being in the word, studying him, knowing him, and hiding the word in our hearts is the way to understand the value of our work. Slowing down, cutting out outside obligations, growing our relationship with him----resting in him. In Christ, we are not obligated to follow anyone else’s path or opinions. Our worth is defined by who we are in him. Not in our career or in outside applause. Somehow we are programmed to think that unless self is glorified by the world we are not worthy, our self esteem is wrapped up in how much our achievements are “‘seen.” Living a life of daily unseen service lies in understanding our worth is wrapped up and hidden in Christ. Then we are free; truly free to serve and live. We will achieve our true potential by serving him.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” ~Galations 5:13
The world says we are wasting our lives, have lost ourselves, or simply can’t find anything better to do. Yet, we are giving our best, pouring out ourselves for Christ. Our children should see this way of life, and learn that serving others and asking God what his dreams are for them is the path to achieving their real potential. Others say we pour ourselves out for a paycheck, or for accolades, or for vacations and nice clothes, cars and possessions. These things will all pass away. We can live a life pouring ourselves out for years on end for that which is not lasting, and what have we achieved in the end? The greatest investment, knowing Christ, serving him and changing lives by doing so is lost. To teach our children to follow God, build up a home and faith that will be carried throughout the generations, without fear for what we are “giving up”---this is living for the greatest treasure. We can love, serve, be gentle with our children, truly serving the least of these, the helpless ones.
“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” ~John 12:3
Mary poured this fragrant, expensive ointment out for Jesus. It was worth about a years worth of wages. The house was filled with the odor of the ointment, filled with her sacrifice and love, filled with her best offered up for him. She could have used it for herself, saved it up, portioned it out throughout time, instead she poured it all out for him. She did it with the utmost confidence, because she trusted in him and knew who he was. She did not fear that she had wasted anything, but knew that it was offered to the only one who can truly take what we offer, however small when done for him, and turn it into something worthy and lasting.
“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.” ~Hebrews 6:10
We don’t have to worry about wasting a years worth of wages for Jesus, or a lifetimes worth of work and self sacrifice, we can pour out all we have to serve others every day and know it is not in vain. Our service is a fragrance to him; an offering of love.
“The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.” ~Billy Graham