Serve the Community

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17

Everyday Interruptions = Lifestyle of Service

by
Scott Benson

Ask God to speak as you interact with today's Scripture and devotional.

“Some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him. After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ (which means ‘Be opened!’). At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak plainly.” — Mark 7:32-35 
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” — Mark 10:45


Jesus’ ministry was marked by constant interruptions. While rushing to heal Jairus’ dying daughter, an ill woman reaches out to touch Jesus, and He immediately engages her in conversation (Luke 8). When a blind beggar calls out to Jesus as He’s leaving Jericho with a large entourage, He abruptly stops to ask, “what do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10). With rooftop debris falling everywhere while four “resourceful” friends are lowering their paralyzed friend to get Jesus’ attention, He instantly addresses the man’s need for forgiveness (Mark 2). Jesus never seemed inconvenienced or overwhelmed by the press of people’s needs. Sensing the Spirit’s leading, He calmly stepped into new encounters with people. Dave and Jon Ferguson provide fascinating insights into Jesus’ heart and lifestyle of service in Mark 7:     

Jesus’ healing of a deaf man in Mark 7:31-37 offers three specific lessons about serving. The first lesson relates to proximity. Notice whom Jesus served: “They brought to him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech.” The people Jesus served were those in front of him, near him - those in close proximity.… What better place to start serving than with the people near us? 

Next, Jesus served this man personally. Verse 33 tells us that Jesus “took him aside,” away from the attention of the crowd. Mark says that the man was deaf and had a severe speech impediment. He knew what it was like to be made fun of, to feel like a spectacle.… Jesus realized this man's particular challenges and refused to make a spectacle of his condition. He served him with dignity.

After serving in close proximity and personally, Jesus served powerfully. Don't run past the big event of this story, thinking it doesn't apply to you.... Jesus said to him, “be opened. Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was released, and he spoke clearly.” When Jesus served, he accessed God’s power. That is world-changing because we can access that same power.… Never forget that when you serve, you have available to you the power of God. 

In John 14:12 Jesus told his followers that “whoever believes in me will do the works that I have been doing and they will do even greater things than these.” When you’re serving people, if they are sick, pray and ask God to heal them. If they have an addiction, ask God to free them. If they are in a relationship that is hopeless, ask God to reconcile them. You have access to a powerful God. (Dave Ferguson and Jon Ferguson, B.L.E.S.S.: 5 Everyday Ways to Love Your Neighbor and Change the World, p. 102-103, 105-106).

reflect

Answer the questions below and write down any other thoughts and prayers to God in your Life in Rhythm journal.

  1. Who is someone near to you in proximity? How can the Spirit make you aware of their needs?  
  2. How willing are you to be “interrupted” by them?    
  3. How could you be more personal in serving them with dignity?  
  4. Where do they need God’s power in their life?  
  5. Ask Jesus for eyes to see people’s needs, to live an everyday lifestyle of service.

Go deeper (optional)

Every day you'll have an opportunity to "go deeper" into God's Word by practicing the REAP study method. Read the following scripture and use your journal and the REAP method to unpack the following scripture and apply it to your life.

Matthew 5:13-16
Learn more about reap