Service Which Costs
“Whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thes. 2:14).
In the measure in which we are actuated by personal, natural or worldly considerations, we are not truly spiritual.
The glory of Christ is His perfect unselfishness. The thing which keeps us from sharing Christ’s glory is this desire to have something for self. We cannot share Christ’s glory as long as we serve Him with mixed motives.
We are not prepared to do so-called spiritual service until we are ready to render menial service. We are not ready to go out to preach the Gospel until we are ready to render lowly service that reflects no glory upon us. We are not ready to render public service until we are ready to render private service for no personal ends.
Oh for a person or a group of people who have no axe to grind, who are utterly delivered from personal or selfish ends. This is the glory to which we are called.
I would rather be able to live and work unselfishly for Christ than to be known as the greatest evangelist of our day. Some day we will discover that it is greater to be truly unselfish in our service to God than it is to build a church or a denomination.
If I can only live so that when I die, God will know I reached the point of perfect selflessness, and self in others will be smitten to death by my example, I shall feel it a greater reward than to leave behind me a great human organization.
If, today, I can so live as to inspire those who hear me to greater unselfishness, I shall cherish that power more than the power of great oratory or of great organization.
It is only as we die to self that Christ can crown us with the glory of usefulness. It is this glory of service which is the secret of Christ’s influence over the hearts of men. And we who are called to this glory will exert a true and helpful influence, only as we serve. For this, all of life’s common duties will afford us occasion.
If we are to answer this call to the glory of Christ, we will accept opportunities for service which come to us in our daily routine as opportunities to be cherished and not as burdens to be evaded.
The true glory of life is not to gain but to give, not to seek from others but to offer them service which costs us something in the sacrifice of our own desires, and in the comfort of our own lives.
“There are strange ways of serving God; you sweep a room or turn a sod, and suddenly to your surprise you hear the whir of seraphim, and find you are under God’s own eye, and building palaces for Him.”