What do we expect when we go to places that require others to serve us? What makes us surprised and happy? What causes us to look up and really see the person serving us? What do servers do that pauses us to stop thinking about what we are eating or buying and appreciate what was just done for us? Was it getting more than what was required of the server to do? Was it the server going beyond what is expected with a huge, genuine smile? Was it that smile that we noticed that made us smile? In our exchange of serving and being served, did it make us think they actually enjoyed serving! Did it make us wonder why? Worse still, did we wonder what they expected in return? We are a jaded world.
Why is serving, beyond what is expected, an anomaly?
Mm, so I wonder what others might say or think about my service to God and others?
It will always be surprising, well noticed and noted when we “go the extra mile”, go out of our way, give or do more than expected in this world of take what you can get. The world says get it now while you can and get it all. The world says you deserve to have it so take it. The world says life owes you because you work hard. The world says do only what is required because you don’t owe people any more than that. The world teaches us to get even for that is what is fair and right. The world says it is all about me and the reward I should get for being nice. The world says be nice expecting reward in return. When there is no reward, the world says to get even.
But Jesus says…
The Sermon – Part 7
Eye for Eye
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
I must ask myself again, what do I expect?
How is my serve?
What is the quality of my love for others? Do I love expecting love in return, or do I just love, unconditionally, because of the love God has for me?
Where does my joy come from? Am I joyful even when people insult me?
“God so loved the world…”, do I?
Jesus teaches us to love and serve beyond the world’s expectations. When we love like HE loves us, we will discover that it is God’s love in us that actually drives our desire to serve from a place of extreme love of others. This love causes us to rise up quickly to serve without thinking about what we will get in return. We serve from a place of humbled joy remembering what God did for us to redeem us from our own sins. But mostly, we serve, going the extra mile, from the heart, all because of the pure, perfect love of God.
John reminds us of this love that the world is hungry and dying to know,
“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.”
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
“We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
1 John 4, NIV
No hate. Only Love…God’s relentless, reckless, unconditional, merciful love for ALL who believe in the world He created.
How deep is God’s love for us?
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 8:5
God went the extra mile for the world. Jesus, His Son, did more than expected, more than we deserve, with a love that is more than we can imagine.
Love like that.
Help us love like you love. Help us to serve like you served.
In Jesus Name and for His glory, honor and praise. Amen