Monday, March 19, 2012

That I May Serve

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?
Can such faith save them? 

-- James 2:14
Is Jesus a Hokie?

Although most people--particularly University of Virginia fans--would answer that the Savior doesn't play favorites when it comes to colleges and universities, it's still probably safe to say that He closely identifies with Virginia Tech's motto. Literally carved in stone on the Tech campus are the words Ut Prosim, which is Latin for "That I may serve."

Serving others and giving back go hand-in-hand with being a Christ-follower. And the desire to excel at it develops over time through regular prayer and Bible study, and with ongoing interactions--such as in Gel Groups and Sunday morning worship--with other believers. Also in the equation is discernment--when we live, think and act correctly and constructively from the knowledge God gives us. Add to that our daily circumstances, trials and crises, and the result is a rich life in Christ marked by a willingness to serve.

Indeed, Christ-followers are called to serve as Jesus' hands and feet on earth while we wait for His return--or at least until that day when He calls us back home. Until then, God wants us to help prepare His kingdom by making the most of the gifts and talents He's given us. We're to serve as a beacon amidst the darkness of today's so-called enlightened progressive society.

"Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven."

That's how Jesus puts it in Matthew's Gospel. But what sort of light is He talking about? It's really that spark or inner Power that God grants each Christ-follower for demonstrating His goodness through their words and deeds. For example, we can shine a light when we help an elderly neighbor by running a much-needed errand. Or we can help clean up a neglected school or a community park...or even work in a food pantry or visit the residents of a local assisted living community. The opportunities are plentiful.

Why is this principle significant for Christ-followers?

"In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served," Jesus explains. "He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people."

Our Master--Jesus--embodied a service-focused life during His ministry. So as His modern-day disciples, we should turn our faith into actions of service by accepting His invitation to brighten a dark, dying world that's so much in need of hope, truth--and ultimately--light.

Now back to our original question: Is Jesus a Hokie?

Whether He is or not, we should limit our rivalries to the football field or basketball court and become of one mind when it comes to serving others. It's one time that every Christ-follower (whether they're a Wahoo or Tar Heel or Mountaineer) can agree to live out Virginia Tech's Ut Prosim motto and become just a little bit more like Him.

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