Do I Really need to be Called a Servant?
Excerpt from Miriam’s book “Compassion & Redemption”
Is it possible to combine worship and work as we serve the Lord? In His letter to the congregation at Colossae, Paul writes for our instruction regarding being a servant of Yeshua:
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Messiah whom you serve (Col. 3:23-24).
Seven Days a Week
What does being a servant mean for our lives as believers? As I was thinking about being Yeshua’s servant, my summer jobs before my second year of college came to mind. At 19, I was a believer of three years, and I desired to put the Lord first in my life. Because of economic challenges I needed to earn money to return to college, so I decided to get two summer waitressing jobs.
From 6am to 2pm, I worked at a coffee shop for the breakfast and lunch shifts; and then from 4pm to 10pm, I worked at a diner for the dinner shift. To say that I was exhausted would be an understatement. However, with my mother’s support, keeping those uniforms clean, and counting my tip money, I was able to keep this schedule going seven days a week for the entire summer.
God understood my Need
If any of you have been a waitress (aka server), you know that it can be a challenge, not only to please the customers but to work with the restaurant owners. Each day I tried to read the Word and often took a small Bible to the dinner shift in case it was a slow evening. One night a group of 8 men came in for dinner and noticed my Bible at my wait station and asked me about it. This gave me an opportunity to share how I was trying to follow the Lord and return to college to study for a teaching degree. It was a brief conversation, and they were my last customers of the evening.
I should mention that this was not a high-end diner, but I was hoping for a decent tip in spite of their average bills. To my surprise, when I started cleaning the table under each of their plates were bills, ranging from $1 to $5. It seemed like $1,000 each to me. The summer season was almost over, and the Lord certainly knew how weary I was. God understood my need to be encouraged because I was not sure if I would have enough funds to pay my fall tuition.
Praise The Lord
That evening God spoke to my heart and reinvigorated my faith to keep serving where I was and keep sharing the Lord with my bosses and other customers. I was reminded that I was serving the Lord and not cranky bosses and crabby customers. As much as I needed to make the money to pay my college tuition, I also knew that God promised to “supply all my needs according to His riches in Messiah Yeshua” (Phil. 4:19). I did not want to worry about the funds because I also knew what Messiah taught in Luke 16:13, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (NIV). These many years later I continue to praise the LORD for allowing me the privilege to serve Him.
We are empowered by the Holy Spirit
That classic Bob Dylan song “You Gotta Serve Somebody” reminds me that even though I may behave like I am the master of my own fate, I am always serving somebody. Dylan’s lyrics go on to say, “It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you gotta serve somebody.”
I want to serve the Lord with all my heart and soul and might. If we are indeed serving the ultimate Servant of the Lord, then our lives will display the qualities of service Yeshua demonstrated in His earthly ministry. This service is possible because of His sacrificial love for us. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to minister His redemption, compassion, and new life to others as we continue to serve the King of kings.
Note: there are many fine commentaries that give verse-by-verse teaching on the book of Ruth. My favorite is The Book of Ruth – Hope Fulfilled in the Redeemer’s Grace by my husband, Sam Nadler. (I’m a little biased!) In all seriousness, in his devotional commentary of Ruth, Sam gives wonderful exposition and extensive Jewish background, as well as great application for our lives. I highly recommend it!