(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Tim Keller entitled, Counterfeit Gods.
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Human love and relationships can never replace God’s love and relationship!
Relationships are a blessing from the Lord. A spouse, a close friend, a parent or sibling are all unique gifts to join us in our journey through this life. This week’s message in no way is intended to discount the human relationships in our life, but rather celebrate them as a gift from God and not make them replace what only a relationship with God can provide. Human relationships are a blessing, but as we all have experienced at some point they let us down. What do we do when human relationships let us down? We go back to our heavenly Father to be filled with his love and then take that love back into our relationships.
In that light, this week’s devotions, I’d like to encourage us to “step up” our love game with the people that God has given to us. As God’s love fill us, we have the opportunity to fill others with the same love. To give some practical encouragement, I’d like to focus on the “Five Love Languages” as outlined by Gary Chapman in his book by the same name. He identifies the following five love languages as ones commonly expressed and received by individuals: Acts of Service, Quality Time, Gifts, Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation. Each of us has a primary and secondary. If you want to find yours, here’s a free assessment: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/love-language
Acts of Service:
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be great, must be last and a servant of all” (Mark 9:35).
Jesus’ whole life was an act of service to the world, to you and to me. He gave up his status to serve.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:5-7)
He changed the paradigm of greatness from “serve me” to “serve others.”
43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
He gave an example of a servant by washing his disciples’ feet. It was one of the ways he served others.
14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:14-17)
When we see Jesus serve us, it fills our love tank so we can serve others. But how? What exactly is service? Perhaps it is not just “doing the chores” but when you specifically give up time to do something I know my spouse would appreciate or wouldn’t do for herself. Service is sacrifice. While it can just be “doing things around the house” it is doing things that normally your spouse would have to do and taking that burden of time and effort off of them. It’s giving up yourself and what you think others should do for YOU and be willing to invest your time in THEM.
The Apostle Paul encourages us, “13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).
The people God has put in our lives are ones that he gives us the opportunity to serve. Give up your self-centered self and enjoy giving up your time, energy and effort to serve those around you!
Apply: Need some ideas of service? Here’s the first ten from a blog post: https://www.lovelyluckylife.com/acts-of-service-love-language-ideas/
- Pay a bill before your spouse gets to it.
- Make breakfast in the morning.
- Have their clothes washed, folded and put away.
- Make their favorite treat.
- Iron their favorite work clothes so it’s done and ready when they go to wear it.
- Help with yard work or one of ‘his’ chores.
- Pack their lunch for the day.
- Make their cup of coffee in the morning.
- Wash their car.
- Take on chores that they hate. Scheduling appointments, etc.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for coming to this earth to serve all of us. Fill me with a heart of love and service so I can serve all, especially those whose love language is acts of service. Amen