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Deny yourself, serve others
pastor corner

As I write, we are in desperate need of rain. Grass is browning and drying up. Leaves on trees are curling up. And some garden plants are simply through producing.

Without water, we cannot survive.

I recently returned from a trip to Haiti. During my last night there, the low temperature was 90. It’s hard to sleep in that, especially when there is no discernible breeze. But the heat alone is not as dangerous as the fact that one can easily dehydrate.

While in Haiti, I drank much more water than normal. Though it was not as cold as I prefer, I drank it, because I have been warned of the need.

In spite of that, upon my arrival home, I was told that I was somewhat dehydrated. The worst symptom I had was a cough that persisted for more than two weeks, and made itself known most clearly when I was preaching.

Do you know how frustrating it is to have to hit the mute button on your microphone multiple times while in the middle of a sermon? It’s probably worse for my listeners.

Since returning home, the heat here has been almost unbearable, and I have continued to drink as much water as I can stand. It’s not that I dislike drinking water, but after a while, it is hard to consume any more. And yet my body craves and needs what water does for it. So I drink.

There are times when we must do things that we find difficult. That is true whether you are a Christian or not. But as a follower of Jesus, you have been called upon to "deny yourself and take up your cross daily." In other words, Jesus demands that his children live disciplined lives where we do not always get everything we want.

I don’t know about you, but I was born with a selfish gene. (Actually I do know about you. This selfish gene is universal, but I was hoping that you would reach that conclusion on your own).

Far too many times, my main focus is on me and my needs. Jesus has called me to give my life in service to others.

How hard is that to do? There are times when it is the hardest thing you will ever do. We fight for our own rights instead of serving. But Jesus reminded us that he came to serve, and he calls us to do the same thing. The fact is that I am never more like Jesus than when I am serving others in his name. I pray that I will be faithful to serve, rather than waiting to be served.

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