“After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him… ‘Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, do these things, you will be blessed if you do them.’” John 13:5, 14-17
“The priorities and intentions—the heart and inner attitudes—of disciples are forever the same. In the heart of a disciple, there is a desire and there is a decision or settled intent. The disciple of Christ desires above all else to be like Him” Dallas Willard
- Read John 13. Then write John 13:15-17 in your journal.
A Servant’s Heart
When I first began spending time in God’s Word, I heard the concept of a servant’s heart. The more time I spent in God’s Word, the more convinced I became that God valued a servant’s heart. As I grew more and more in love with God, I wanted to please Him and obey Him. I read in the Bible that one of the last things Jesus did before He suffered on the cross for me was to take on the role of a servant and, in humility, chose to wash the dirty, stinky feet of His disciples.
Fast-forward to today: I know I want to be like Jesus, and as a mother, I want to do everything I can to encourage my children to be like Him. I feel so convicted that having a servant’s heart is an integral part of my walk with the Lord. In a culture where entitlement is rampant, a servant’s heart can combat that natural inner desire to be catered to, waited on, spoiled, and indulged.
When I have the privilege to serve, I am deeply blessed. I was once told that it was a privilege to serve, not a right. That stirred my heart. I long for my family to serve together, minister, offer hospitality, be kind, encourage others, work together, and be available to serve daily as opportunities arise. Even when my children were young, I encouraged them to think of others and how they could bless them. When my children reached the seventh grade, I told each of them that they had been served for so many years by the church, and now it was time for them to minister and give back. I asked them to pray about it and see where God would have them serve. As a result, my daughters now serve the toddlers. My sons serve 6th-grade boys on Sunday mornings. I rock babies. I also encourage my family to serve at a ministry my daughter is involved with. There, we tutor, mentor, build relationships, and share Christ. I pray that I model a servant’s heart. My kids and I continue to change from the inside out when we serve and minister. Serving helps us to become more like Christ. We start out hoping to bless others, but often, we are the ones who end up being blessed. In fact, after serving in Mexico on a mission trip as a family, my kids told me that it was better than going to Disney World. I want them to experience the joy of walking in obedience, humbly serving, and putting others first.
My prayer is that God will continually show me how to be kind to whomever He places in my path. He frequently amazes me with what He shows me. I know God desires us to be His hands and feet, and I know that what He calls us to do, He will equip us to do. Jesus perfectly modeled walking closely in relationship with His Father: listening, being attentive to those in His path, sensing their needs, and then serving and loving the souls He encountered.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Are you modeling a servant’s heart?
- Are you asking God to help you to be attentive and sensitive to the needs of those in front of you?
- Are you encouraging your children to have a servant’s heart?
- Are you praying and asking God to open your eyes to opportunities where your family can serve together?
Call the church and ask for ideas, ministry needs, or the names of families that might need some extra encouragement.
Consider mentoring together, as a family. Perhaps there is a child who needs some extra love and encouragement in your community.
Ask your family if they could pray and look for ways in which your family could be a blessing. Then make a list of ways to bless (for example, help a single mom with childcare, make cards for a nursing home, mow a neighbors yard, make a meal or cookies, etc.).