August 31, 2018

Servant Hospitality

Philippians 2:1-11

In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

—  Philippians 2:3-4

What does greatness look like? People are drawn to celebrities. I can remember times when I’ve been able to shake the hand of a celebrity—feeling my heart race and fumbling over my words. Fame tends to distort our perception of the qualities we should admire and ­aspire toward. It is always refreshing to see people who are able to remain humble even though they have reached great heights in their life. It is also rare.

If anyone deserved celebrity treatment, it was Jesus. Yet that is not what happened. Instead, Jesus came to show us what true greatness really looks like and what true greatness does. Jesus’ ministry on earth was a ministry of humble service. There was nothing pretentious about him. He didn’t expect special treatment. He did not chase after fame. In fact, on more than one occasion, he told others to remain quiet about what they had seen him do or hear him say.

What we learn from Jesus by his example is the importance of putting the needs of others ahead of our own. Our life is not about the pursuit of comfort or recognition. On the contrary, in pursuing God’s pur­poses, our life is second. This is one characteristic about Jesus that we can and should imitate. We are never more like Jesus than when we are serving ­others.

Father, in our desire to be more hospitable, create in us a heart that aims to serve others in Jesus’ name. May we discover that true greatness is not in fame or position but in humble service. Amen.

About the author — Lloyd Wicker

Lloyd Wicker has been a pastor for more than eighteen years and has served churches in Illinois, Washington, and California. He currently serves as a chaplain with the United States Navy in Sicily. Lloyd and his wife, Heidi, have three children.

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