Spiritual Disciplines  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:50
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We are talking about Spiritual Disciplines. Not some thing that Saves you
but Something that grows you
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Chapter Seven: Serving … for the Purpose of Godliness (Donald G. Bloesch)

The spiritual disciplines are not to be seen as a pretext for separation and isolation from the world. Rather they should be regarded as a means to conquest over the world. Not the renunciation of the world but service in the world—this is the purpose of the disciplines of the spirit as seen in the Bible.

Donald G. Bloesch

The Crisis of Piety

Today we are talking about the Discipline of Service

John 13:1-5

John 13:1–5 LEB
1 Now before the feast of Passover, Jesus, knowing that his hour had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, and having loved his own in the world, loved them to the end. 2 And as a dinner was taking place, when the devil had already put into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot that he should betray him, 3 because he knew that the Father had given him all things into his hands, and that he had come forth from God and was going away to God, 4 he got up from the dinner and took off his outer clothing, and taking a towel, tied it around himself. 5 Then he poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them dry with the towel which he had tied around himself.

The Towel

The Cross is a sign of submission, so the Towel is the sign of service. - Richard J. Foster
The Cross is a sign of submission, so the Towel is the sign of service. -Foster
As Jesus gathered his disciples for the Last Supper they were having trouble deciding who was the greatest
Luke 9:46 LEB
46 And an argument developed among them as to who of them might be greatest.
Whenever there is trouble over who is the greatest, there is trouble over who is the least. That is the crux of the matter for us. Most of us know we will never be the greatest; just don’t let us be the least.
As the Disciples were gathered. In a day and age where sandals were the norm and walking on dirt roads. The Disciples would have been aware that someone needed to wash the feet. The problem is that whoever washed the feet was seen as least. So who is least is the question.
So Jesus took a towel and basin and redefined who was the greatest. He redefined leadership.
And having lived out servitude he called them together
John 13:14–15 LEB
14 If then I—your Lord and Teacher—wash your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that just as I have done for you, you also do.

True Service

What is Service?
Work done by one person or group that benefits another. This is actually radical that we should do something for the benefit of others.
There is a difference between true service and what Roger Foster calls “Self-righteous service”.
True Service is a lifestyle. And it comes through service with the Unique Living Spirit inside of you. It comes from the Trinity. It’s not acting like a servant it’s being a servant.
True Service glorifies the community.
False service glorifies the self. Self-righteous service is concerned with making impressive gains on some scoreboard.
Know what I am talking about. I did this and I did that. What do they do?
Do I keep score?
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Chapter Seven: Serving … for the Purpose of Godliness (Donald G. Bloesch)

In some ways we would prefer to hear Jesus’ call to deny father and mother, houses and land for the sake of the gospel, than His word to wash feet

For some we like the feeling of adventure that radical self-denial gives. But in service we are focused on the mundane, the ordinary, maybe even the trivial. And we don’t even get to choose who we serve in True service. True service ministers simply and faithfully because there is a need. And since Self-righteous service is not a lifestyle like True service is, it fades away.


Deuteronomy 13:4 LEB
4 You shall go after Yahweh your God, and him you shall revere, and his commandment you shall keep, and to his voice you shall listen, and him you shall serve, and to him you shall hold fast.

Everything in that verse relates to obedience to God. In the midst of this cluster of commands on obedience is the mandate, “serve him.” We should serve the Lord because we want to obey Him.

So we Serve because we are obedient
We serve because of what God had done for us. and it is no burden to serve God when we consider all that he has done for us.
We Serve because we are humble.

Self-righteous service requires external rewards. It needs to know that people see and appreciate the effort. It seeks human applause—with proper religious modesty of course.… Self-righteous service is highly concerned about results. It eagerly wants to see if the person served will reciprocate in kind.… The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition. It will devise subtle, religiously acceptable means to call attention to the service rendered.

We all like praise. That is why the Flesh screams against hidden service. When hidden service is an act of prayer of thanksgiving.
We Serve because we love. And we love because we first were loved.

The Cost

serving God is not a job for the casually interested. It’s costly service. He asks for your life. He asks for service to Him to become a priority, not a pastime. He doesn’t want servants who will give Him the leftovers of their life’s commitments.
Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1991), 116.
Serving God isn’t a short term commitment, either. It takes a lifetime because it becomes your lifestyle
You may be taken advantage of. You cannot control others. Despite how you may want to. When we serve, we do so because we love
If you say yes to making this your life style. Then we must learn to have healthy Boundaries. Only when you are healthy can we serve for God’s Glory. Remember voluntary service is not forced slavery.

Service in Real Life

Ephesians 4:12 NASB95
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
We are all gifted by the Holy Spirit. You may be an apostle or a prophet or an evangelist or a pastor or teacher. You are gifted for the works of the Lord
And we can look for the big things, but often it is the small things that matter. Those everyday things, that we often overlook.
Opening a door
Doing the dishes
Protecting the reputation of others. Which includes not gossiping or slandering. IT is the small things like being courteous, like saying thank you or listening to others, in a world where no one seems to want to listen. We seem to be in favor of doing the talking. A good deal of my ministry is simply listening to people. What’s the saying laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone. Part of Service is being willing to bear the burdens of others.
Part of Service is sharing the Word of Jesus Christ.
Have you shared the Word?

Worship empowers serving; serving expresses worship. Godliness requires a disciplined balance between the two.

Sometimes we don’t feel like serving. It is often because we are not worshiping. Isaiah didn’t say “Here I am. Send Me!” until after his vision of God.

A. W. Tozer put it, “Fellowship with God leads straight to obedience and good works.

Next Steps

Voluntary and joyfully
Do you serve voluntary and Joyfully? Where could you serve better? Where you do serve what is your reasoning behind service. Is it Self or God. Am I acting like a servant or am I being a servant?
Look for Opportunities to serve. And remember there is Joy in serving