(J.R. Miller, “Things to Live For” 1896)
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another.” Romans 13:8
Jesus taught that we should live, “not to be served, but to serve”. This is a lesson that is very hard to learn, but no one can truly live after this heavenly pattern until his being is saturated with divine grace.
“Serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13
There are countless opportunities for usefulness and helpfulness open to earnest Christians. Every day’s life is full of occasions where good may be done by simple deeds or words of kindness. We meet no one from morning until night, whom we may not help in some little way at least. It is possible for us to make a good deal more than most of us do, of these opportunities for the service of love.
Every individual Christian is the center of a circle whose hearts he may touch with a blessing of love. He is a custodian of blessing which he is to impart to others. The noblest life is the one that is given up most unselfishly to serving.
God has so ordered that we cannot love and serve Him, and not also love and serve our fellow men.
In serving His people, we are serving Him!
In neglecting His people, we neglect Him!
If we say we love Him–He points to the needy, the hungry, the sick, the burdened ones, the suffering all about us, and says: “Show your love to My people. I do not need service now, but these need it. Serve them in My name. Look at each one of them as if I were Myself the one in pain or need–and do for these, My brethren, just what you would do for Me if I were actually in their condition.”
To act selfishly toward a believer is to act selfishly toward Christ.
And to neglect a believer who needs our help is to neglect Christ Himself.
To do good to any in Christ’s name is to serve Christ Himself.
We must look upon every believer as if he were Christ.
We dare not pass by anyone carelessly. We are always safe in assuming that we have an errand of love for everyone we meet. Our duty to him may be nothing more than the showing of kindness in our manner, the giving of a hearty greeting, or the inspiration of a cheerful countenance. But however small the service may be which it is ours to render, it is a divine ministry!
No mere theoretical acknowledgment of this universal obligation will avail. If we would be Christlike, we must, like our Master, go about doing good. “I am among you as the One who serves.
We can learn this divine lesson of service by regarding every person we meet, as one to whom we are sent on an errand of love. Rather, like our Master, we shall stand with basin and towel, ready to wash the feet of the lowliest.
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