July 5

Encouragement for Today

(Principle #2)

 

“Serving in a “Me First” Society”

Sharon Jaynes, Vice President of Proverbs 31 Ministries Radio, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

 

Romans 12:9-10, “Don’t just pretend that you love others.  Really love them.  Hate what is wrong.  Stand on the side of good.  Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.” (NLT)

 

Devotion:

 

Have you ever had one of those days when you said, “I’ve had enough.  It’s time for him to take care of me.  I wash the clothes, pick up the clothes, cook the meals, buy the groceries, vacuum the floors, dust the furniture, scrub the bathrooms, and pay the bills.  I’m not doing another thing to ‘serve’ this man.  I am not a servant, by George!”?  For years I have heard the phrase that marriage is a 50/50 proposition.  But the question is, who gets to decide when one spouse has hit the halfway mark?  Author and marriage expert Dennis Rainey notes, “It’s impossible to determine if your spouse has met you halfway because neither of you can agree on where ‘halfway’ is.  Each is left to scrutinize the other’s performance from his or her own jaded perspective.”

 

If you want to try a contest in your home, how about seeing who can out-serve the other?!  Jesus calls each of us to serve one another.  It seems we are much more agreeable to serving our friends than serving our husbands.  And yet, when we serve them, we are in effect serving Christ Himself.  “When you do it unto the least of these, you do it unto me,” Jesus said.

 

In Jesus’ last days with His disciples before the crucifixion, I would imagine that his mind was racing with last lessons to teach His followers before He was gone.  On their final night together, as they were eating the Passover meal, He got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash their feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him (John 13:4-5).  After He finished, He put on his clothes and returned to His seat asking them, “Do you understand what I have done for you?  You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:12-15, NIV)

 

Can you imagine the disciples’ awe as their Lord and Master took on the role of a servant and stooped to wash the mud and dust from their filthy feet?  When He did this, it wasn’t a simple act of kindness.  He was actually fulfilling a need that the others had refused to meet.  It was customary in those days for the host of a dinner party to have a servant wash the guests’ feet.  Men and women wore leather sandals as they walked the dusty, sometimes muddy, roads of the Holy Land.  Nothing felt better than to sink calloused, throbbing feet into a cool basin of water and rinse away the cares of the day.  However, on the occasion of the last supper, there was no servant available to wash the guest’s feet and no one volunteered. 

 

So, God-Made-Man wrapped a towel around His waist and did what no one else was willing to do.  Afterward, He sat down and said, “Now you do this too.”

 

My Prayer for Today:

 

Father, would you run a check on my attitude toward serving my husband today?  Help me to take delight in serving him even when I feel like I am doing all the work.  Grow my love for him as I press on to meet the needs that You have created me to meet in his life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

 

Think of one thing you can do this week to serve your husband.  Perhaps it’s giving him a back rub that is long over due.  Or maybe it’s simply helping him with a project, or ironing his work-shirts without grumbling – whatever you need to do to let your husband know that you desire to be the “helper” God made you to be so that your attitude reflects that of Christ.

 

Reflection Points:

 

Think on these two comments made by men in the book, Becoming the Woman of His Dreams.  What do you think your husband would say?

 

My wife discovers what I like and dislike and then anticipates from there.  This could come in the form of being the person who writes checks and balances the books to surprising me with peanut butter chocolates whenever I’m not looking.

- Steve

 

Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.

- Phillips Brooks

 

Power Verses:

 

1 Peter 4:11b, “If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Christ Jesus." (NIV)

 

Philippians 2:1-8, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in the spirit and purpose.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only at your own interest, but also to the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.  Who being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!”  (NIV)

 

Galatians 5:13b-15, “Serve one another in love.  The entire law is summed up in a single command:  ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

 

Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_becomingTheWoman.htm

 

Capture His Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_captureHis.htm

 

The Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie Omartian

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_prayingWife.htm