“Serving others is a life mission and purpose from which we never move on and never outgrow.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 27, 2023
Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28, NIV
Every one of us longs to live a life of meaning and purpose. Of course, this looks different for each of us, and your sense of purpose may change and evolve based on the season of life you find yourself in. At times, this purpose is clear, and we know exactly where to be and what to do. Yet often, it feels elusive, perhaps even unknowable. And in these seasons, our perceived lack of purpose or fulfillment in life can leave us restless, frustrated, and confused.
Into this confusion, our Lord Jesus today in Matthew 20 reminds us of our core purpose that transcends all stages and seasons of life. We are called to be like him, which means a life of sacrificial love and service, giving our lives away for the sake of others. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
This is a life mission and purpose from which we never move on and never outgrow. In fact, it is nothing less than the ultimate call upon each of our lives, to receive God’s love and love as Christ has loved us. As the novelist and cultural commentator Paul Kingsnorth recently noted, “Either Christ is real or he isn’t. If he isn’t, then you’re wasting your time even thinking about him. If he is, then understanding him – and being changed by him – should be the work of your life.”
In my own life, I have found that the times I am most restless and least clear on my purpose are the times I am overly concerned with my own passions, desires, and need for self-fulfillment. And when we try and answer questions such as “What am I meant to do?” or “What should I focus on in this season?” with hearts that are weighed down by the burden of “self,” we will never be able to answer these questions clearly or faithfully. However, when we ask, with hearts filled with courage, “How can I best give my life away as a servant?,” our sense of meaning and fulfillment will never be lacking, and we just might discover a life worth living.
Father, keep us from the confusion of self-love, and instead open our hearts to others, that we, like Christ, may serve and give our lives away in love for others. Amen.
Is your sense of purpose and meaning in life overly tied to your own desires for comfort, success, or self-fulfillment? How can you instead turn these desires outward toward others, serving in the name of Christ?
Vertical Worship: Set My Heart
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