Lessons from Jesus on how to serve others

In John 13:15, Jesus sets an example for us to follow. After washing His disciples' feet — an act of love, humility, and service — He encourages us to follow His lead and serve one another.

"I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you," Jesus says.

Jesus, the Son of God, the Most High King, Lord of Lords, never placed himself in a position above others. He led by serving, and He loved by serving. He washed feet. He fed thousands. He walked to visit and heal the sick and dead. He stopped to touch and heal a sick woman. He spent time with those no one else cared to spend time with. Jesus lived a life of humility.

Jesus showed us that serving others and humility go hand in hand.

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 the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. - Philippians 2:3-5

Serving others is more than keeping up with your to-do list. To be a servant means we genuinely need to care about people. It’s keeping our eyes, hearts, and schedules open for divine appointments. Jesus was not stressed by time, what others thought of Him, or a list of tasks to accomplish each day. Jesus was led by the Spirit of God and followed His promptings to serve, love, and help others. No task was ever beneath Jesus, and no person was ever unworthy.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. - Galatians 5:13

Serving others and genuine love go hand in hand. But what exactly does that look like? How do we genuinely love even the unlovable? How do we let go of our to-do list? How do we position ourselves to act humbly?

Here are four good places to start: 

  • Is your heart struggling to love others? Ask Jesus for a heart change.

Be open to Him working, stretching, and changing your heart. This may bring out some things you need to address and work on, but it will be worth it! He can change your heart, soften the edges, and teach you to love others with kindness and compassion.

  • Take a look at your schedule. Are you doing too much?

Are you keeping things on your list because of appearances? Allow Him to free up your time. Ask Him to show you each day what needs to be done and what can be set aside.

  • Begin placing others first in your day to day.

Think about the needs of others and how you can place them before your own. Do you see a struggling mom at the store? Let her get in line before you. Does your neighbor need help with his lawn? Take care of it for him.

  • Listen to God, and do what He says.

Follow God's prompting and leading when going about your day. If you fee like you should stop and serve, do it. This doesn't necessarily mean you take on every opportunity presented to you. Pray. Ask God, then listen and do what He says.

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