The Disciplines: Serving

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September 16, 2022

What are “spiritual disciplines?” Author and pastor John Piper describes them this way:

“The spiritual disciplines are those practices found in Scripture that promote spiritual growth among believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are habits of devotion, habits of experiential Christianity that have been practiced by God’s people since biblical times.”

If something’s been practiced by believers since biblical times, it’s probably pretty important, right?

The answer should be, of course, a resounding “Yes!” Yet many of us struggle to make these disciplines habits.

Today, we want to focus on just one of the many spiritual disciplines to help you grow in your walk with Jesus and equip you to begin to make these disciplines part of your daily life.

Let’s take a close look at the discipline of serving.

John 13:3–7; 12–17 gives this example of serving,

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[a] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

This passage demonstrates the ultimate example of serving by Jesus Himself. It also shows us the importance of serving others as Jesus did. Why, you may ask? Let’s take a moment to learn more about the importance of serving and how we can begin to put this practice into our daily rhythms.

Serving others is described by Jesus as a habit that gives life. This week, take some time to think about how the practice of serving and the blessing that results could be expressed in the home, your job, your community, or your church. Then, take a moment to reflect on the following questions and assess where you are in your practice of serving:

1️⃣ Why did Jesus have the urgency to teach this lesson of servanthood?

2️⃣ What does it mean to follow Jesus’ example of washing the feet of others?

3️⃣ What are some challenges that need to be overcome to live out this discipline faithfully?

This week, find ways to be intentional about serving others. Spend time in prayer, asking God to show you what this might look like for you and your family. If you are local to Woodside and want to get involved in serving and don’t know where to start? Click here to connect with us! We’d love to help you make the discipline of serving part of your rhythms!

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” — Mark 10:45