April 27, 2022In Lifestyle, Generosity
The Ocean International Community Church - Connect. Grow. Serve. Go
The Ocean International Community Church - Connect. Grow. Serve. Go
The Ocean Church, English Speaking, Dar es Salaam, We are dedicated to leading people to a personal relationship with Christ
The Ocean International Community Church - Connect. Grow. Serve. Go
The Ocean International Community Church - Connect. Grow. Serve. Go
The Ocean International Community Church - Connect. Grow. Serve. Go
The Ocean Church, English Speaking, Dar es Salaam, We are dedicated to leading people to a personal relationship with Christ
The Ocean International Community Church - Connect. Grow. Serve. Go

We’ve all met people who’ve shown us love and service beyond our own expectation and imagination. In many instances, this has left us feeling deeply moved as such acts go against conventional, self-centered human nature. The truth is however, that God actually pours out this type of selfless love and generosity on us as Christians so that we may spread it out to others. As we love and serve others around us, Christ’s love for His people is reflected through His followers. 

Within this instalment of the Advance sermon series, Pastor Musiba demonstrates how Jesus served His followers despite His status as the Son of God. By washing His disciples’ feet at the Last Supper, Jesus performed an unspeakable act of service. Through this, Jesus showed that no act of service is beneath any follower. Instead, He provides a powerful example of how Christians ought to serve one another and the people around them.

John 13: 1-17

“.It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end… Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

[Context]: At the time when Jesus walked the earth and before, the infrastructure and garments that people wore was not as sophisticated as it is today. Roads were not tarmac and people either walked barefoot or wore very thin sandals. Consequently, people’s feet were often dirty and full of germs as they walked over unclean surfaces.  It was thus customary that when people visited one another, lowly paid servants would wash visitor’s dirty feet as they entered the house.  

At the Last Supper, the disciples had all gathered for dinner but had not washed their feet prior to entering. Given this situation, an eerie awkwardness pervaded the room as they were aware that their feet needed to be washed, yet none of them was willing to stoop so low and wash their neighbor’s feet.  But Jesus being God in the flesh, washed every disciples’ foot and took on a job that no one was willing to do. 

Jesus used this moment to illustrate that His followers ought to serve other people without regard for the type of service.  After defending His actions and providing reasons and instructing His followers to do the same, Jesus informs them that those who serve will be blessed by God.

Christians also ought to serve one another. The heart of service defines the body of Christ, the way we relate to one another, and the world. If our heavenly master was willing to serve by washing His disciples’ feet, so should we. Jesus example shows that we ought to exchange our earthly status for a heavenly heart when we serve. Many of us struggle because we believe that performing certain acts of service decreases our value. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Such acts ultimately affirm who we are as we yield to service regardless of our earthly position.  God cares less about who you are on earth. Instead, He cares most about your spiritual character. 

The Apostle Paul also implores us to embody the same mindset as Jesus Christ in Philippians Ch.2 vs 5-8 as he says:

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”

As shown here, the Apostle Paul explains in quite vivid terms that Jesus did not use His status as the son of God to His own advantage, Rather, He used His time as a human to humble Himself and become obedient to God’s will. 

In serving one another, we also gain important Christ like traits and characteristics that are in line with the fruits of the spirit.  The most immediate lessons that we learn through serving are:

  • Serving produces humility in us

The truth is there’s nothing glamorous to serving. It often entails extending yourself to help someone else without any expectation of gratitude or the act being requited. Through this experience however, we are able to embody the virtue of humility as we learn that the true value of service is not derived from what we do but who God says you are. It is never about us but about God and the people that we are serving.

  • God honors those who serve Him 

When we serve people, we partner with God. When we avail ourselves to God, we partner with Him to meet a pressing need. Christianity would not prosper without selfless servant hood. It is in this process that God also uses the gifts that He has placed us to advance His kingdom. Without serving, we may not even be aware of these gifts. In the book of 1 Peter 4 Ch. 10, we are instructed to use our gifts to serve God as it says:  

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

  • People see Jesus through us when we serve

When we serve, we are extending love to believers and unbelievers. In this process, someone’s heart may be softened to know Jesus through the way they’ve been served by a follower. When we serve people lovingly, people desire to know the roots of this selfless love and will be redirected to the Lord. As followers of Christ, we are in a unique position to preach the gospel through the way that we live and conduct ourselves. 

When our heart’s posture is that of servant-hood, we are closely mimicking God. Currently at the Ocean, 25% of people serve. In order for the Kingdom of God to Advance and meet expanding needs of the Body, more people need to serve. People should be made uncomfortable so as to no longer be spectators but contributors to the Kingdom. From where the Ocean currently stands, the leadership aims to expand the number servers to 50% so that more lives can be touched..

Serve. Partner with the church. Advance the Kingdom