- Ballynahinch Congregational
By Rev Victor Neill
‘And Martha served' ( John 12 v 2 )
How is your serve? Christian service is not limited to those who serve as Pastors, Evangelists, Missionaries or in some other fulltime capacity within a Christian context! Those three words in our text are a simple but grand testimony to Martha. Earlier she had been annoyed because her sister Mary had left her to serve by herself. 'Lord dost thou not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? (Luke 10 v 40). But no such complaints now - because she realised it was her privilege to serve the Lord Jesus!
The role of a servant may not seem to have much status in the eyes of the world, but to be a servant of the Lord Jesus is a status that heaven applauds, for our Lord Jesus said ‘And whosoever will be chief among let him be your servant‘ (Matthew 20 v27) and one day the faithful servant will hear ‘Well done thy good and faithful servant‘ (Matthew 25 v 21). Of course we can only become a servant of the Lord Jesus as we yield ourselves to Him and allow Him to free us from the servitude of sin ‘Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness’ (Romans 6 v18).
It is the great privilege of every believer to be engaged in the service of the Master and we are indeed honoured that the Lord should desire our service and so we should therefore each serve Him heartily in whatever capacity He gives us the opportunity to serve Him in. ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men‘ ( Colossians 3 v 23 ). There is no excuse in the service of the Lord for half-hearted servants! I am slightly altering a quote which I used in the previous Bible thought, so that it now reads ‘Whatever you are doing - be all there'!
We should of course also ‘Serve the Lord with gladness‘ ( Psalm 100 v 2 ). Service to the Lord is not meant to be a drudgery or a mere duty for ‘Ye serve the Lord Christ’ ( Col 3 v 24 ). We could not serve a greater or better Master. We should also serve humbly ‘Serving the Lord with all humility of mind‘ (Acts 20 v 19). Our service should not be designed to draw attention to one’s self - for we recall the words of the Saviour Himself 'He that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased' ( Matthew 23 v 11 &12 ).
"One of the greatest rewards that we ever receive for serving God is the permission to still do more for Him! Faithful servants never retire, you can retire from your career, but you can never retire from serving God!"