"And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Whatch over it willingly, not grudgingly - not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don't lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor."
Jesus ultimately served the Church in going to the cross at the place of the skull. his words ring out "the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve" (Matthew 20:27-29). following in the example that he set for those to follow, the exhortation to serve the Church is one that i resonate with greatly. like i said, i've been having a lot of conversations about serving the Church. i sometimes wonder if i'm serving the best way that i can. i wonder if there's something more or something different that i should be doing in order to give the best possible to the Church.
granted there are certainly areas that i need to grow in, but ultimately i can only minister out of who God made to be, and how He has gifted to operate. ultimately, if i operate out of who i am in Christ, and strive to be the person that He designed me to be, then the Church will get exactly it needs. and not from me either, it will come from Jesus working through me. that's the beauty of this whole thing - that when i am using the gifts that God has given me, God is working in the lives of those that i come in contact with.
Jesus' suffering is the ultimate service. a service i cannot fathom. but a service that provides the freedom i now take for granted.
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