14 When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
Jesus’ healing of Peter’s mother-in-law by His loving touch stirred in her a desire for service. Don’t you agree that the proper response from a heart that has been spiritually or physically healed by the Master is willful and loving, grateful service? The behavior of a servant becomes every Christian. Those whom Christ honors by restoration must remain humble as servants. Furthermore, in Christ’s economy, every form of Christian service blesses those engaged in it. It seems in giving we receive even more than we give. God will be no man’s debtor. Scripture reminds us:
19 We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NIV)
Service to our Lord manifestly expresses our gratitude for what He has done for us. Service is merely love in action. Indeed, our love should propel our feet to serve and strengthen our arms to do the task He calls us to! Remember, believer, how God demonstrated His love for us - we would do well to do likewise:
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NIV)
“‘I serve,’ should be the motto of all the members of the royal family of heaven.” Charles H. Spurgeon
“Remember Whose you are and Whom you serve.” Oswald Chambers
24 But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 1 Sam 12:24 (NIV)
Scripture tell us as well that we are to serve our Lord with gladness – it is to be our delight. Drudgery in our acts of service comes from hearts whose focus is inward rather than upward. Every act of service we do for others should be done as unto the Lord Jesus. No keeping score – no paybacks due. Therefore, when our eyes are fixed on Him – when our thoughts are on things above rather than earthly things - our attitudes will follow suit. And once one has tasted and seen that the Lord is good – standing firm in His will – hastening to do His bidding – desirous of His pleasure - all the glitter and glam this world has to offer is as empty as His tomb was and as bland as oatmeal without cinnamon! Just read what Solomon has to say in Ecclesiastes. There is nothing boring about the Master or His Way – He is anything but. Indeed, it is taking hold of the life that is truly life.
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." 2 Cor 9:6-9 (NIV)
“Maturity is for ministry! We grow up in order to give out. It is not enough to keep learning more and more. We must act on what we know and practice what we claim to believe. Impression without expression causes depression. Study without service leads to spiritual stagnation. Most of the time we’re more interested in ‘serve us’ than service. We say, ‘I’m looking for a church that meets my needs and blesses me,’ not ‘I’m looking for a place to serve and be a blessing.’ We expect others to serve us, not vice versa. But as we mature in Christ, the focus of our lives should increasingly shift to living a life of service. The mature follower of Jesus stops asking, ‘Who’s going to meet my needs?’ and starts asking, ‘Whose needs can I meet?’” Rick Warren
Interestingly, when Jesus tells us in Scripture that He is the way, He was not merely referring to a manner of life or teaching but to Himself as the One who empowers and enables us to live the way God desires. God is looking for the willing heart who will take Him at His Word.
9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chron 16:9 (NIV)
“Those who serve God must serve Him in His own way, and in His strength, or He will never accept their service. That which man doth, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth He casteth away; He will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that thou hast before He will put His own into thee; He will first clean out the granaries before He will fill them with the finest of the wheat...Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.” C. H. Spurgeon