Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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RELEASE — equipped to serve
Terry R. Baughman
“The path to promotion comes by having the heart of a bond-slave who serves everyone. For even the Son of Man did not come expecting to be served by everyone, but to serve everyone, and to give his life as the ransom price for the salvation of many” (Mark 10:44–45 TPT).
The greatest gift was given by Jesus Christ. John said, “God so loved the world that He gave…” (John 3:16). God gave Himself, and Jesus came to give. He came with purpose; not to be served, but to serve, not to receive, but to give His life as a ransom for sin and give us salvation instead of condemnation.
The greatest gift is God’s gift of salvation. The provision of eternal life exceeds our greatest expectation. God has provided an avenue for change and the hope of new life in Christ. He has given us the gift of reconciliation and the promise of transformation. The good news He has provided is a path to renewal, radical regeneration from sin unto salvation.
We have come to follow Christ and live by His example. However, we cannot provide salvation because Jesus has already done that, so what are we to do. Our approach is to show the power of Jesus in our lives becoming His disciples. As we live to serve, we live out the gospel. We become an illustration of the power of His salvation. We show His love and reveal His purpose.
Mark said, “The path to promotion comes by having the heart of a bond-slave who serves everyone” (Mark 10:44 TPT). To follow Christ’s example is to adopt the servant’s heart and look for ways to, “serve everyone.” The path to promotion is not a road to fame or fortune. The promotion that comes from above is measured quite differently. The greatest becomes a servant. The least likely finds advancement in the kingdom, as the humble is exalted and the slave takes the lead.
While the one who does not seek promotion finds it traveling the backroads of availability, the one who drives the expressway of convenience on the paths of least resistance never finds the ultimate destination they desire. God’s ways are far above ours and His gifts are perfect. James said, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17 NKJ).
We are a gift to the world. This is not an arrogant statement of self-exaltation. Rather, it is a realization of God’s purpose in those who follow Him. As Christ-followers we are here to serve. Following the lead of our Lord we understand that God has a greater purpose for us than merely to learn of Him; we must serve like Him. We were not saved because of our goodness or our abilities, but solely by His grace. Our gift to the world is just an extension of that grace. Any good thing we can accomplish is only through the mercy of God.
Talents and abilities may be used for God’s purpose as long as we continually recognize the source of those skills and the purpose for which we have received them. In the parable of the talents it was made clear that they are not to hide or save, but rather to invest in humanity and seek the incredible return on investment that God will bless. The reward came to those who wisely invested at the conclusion when the master said, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things” (Matthew 25:21 NKJ). When we seek to serve and give our best in service to God, we can expect the blessing of the Lord and hear His words of welcome.
“Their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12 TPT).