In the book of Matthew, Jesus reminds us, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Serving — whether it’s internal, external, global, or local — is an ordinary behavior of the people of God. It’s not what we do, it’s who we are!

We are called to let our light shine as we reflect Christ. Jesus calls us daily to follow hard after him, and one way we do that is through “good deeds.” James writes, “So faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2:26b) Deeds do not save us but are evidence that we are in Christ. It should be apparent that we follow Jesus not only through our words and thoughts but also through our actions. We are called to BE INVESTORS in the Kingdom of God. Personally. Wholeheartedly. Sacrificially. Inside the walls of the church but also outside the walls of the church.

In the fifth grade, I went to Mexico to serve in a local community, help run a VBS, and connect with students. Despite being young, I knew that serving in this way was important. During my sophomore year of high school, I found myself back in Mexico, building homes, running a VBS, and being the hands and feet of Jesus in a different community. Fast forward to now, and I’ve found myself in a position where this place has become a constant theme in my life. Every time I traveled back to Mexico, I was reminded of this one fact: that we were designed to serve.

Why do we serve?

Jesus calls us to serve, but it should be a part of who we are, not just what we do! It’s not a “check the box” type of lifestyle,  but a dedication to putting others before ourselves. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” This is why we serve, and for those of us who do, we know it benefits us equally or even more so than the people we serve. Jesus says, “If you want to follow me, do not self-promote.” He said, “Deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow me”. Die to your selfish ways and follow me. We need to continue to look for opportunities to serve because it’s who we were created to be!

He said if you want to be great, the greatest among you will be YOUR SERVANT. If you follow Jesus we are not called to self-promote but instead, we are invited to be selfless, self-denying, and take on the nature of a servant. You could put it this way: Serving is not simply something we do, it’s a reflection of who we are. Serving isn’t what we do to check off a box, it is who we are called to be. I am a servant of the most high God. When I serve others, I am serving Christ.

When you come to Jesus and deny yourself, your mindset moves from US to HIM and when it moves to HIM, it moves to THEM. Serving is an ordinary behavior of the people of God. It’s not what we do, it’s who we are.

And then one day you will stand before him and he will say, “Thank you for what you did for me. What you did to them, you did unto me. Well done, good and faithful servant.”