Prepared To Serve 1 — The Blessed Servant
Chan Gin Kai
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Luke 12:35-40)
Jesus said that we’ve got be “dressed ready for service”. While I do feel some of us should dress less sloppily for worship on Sundays, that certainly wasn’t what Jesus referred to. He taught us to be ready to serve our Master.
Jesus also said, “keep your lamps burning”. This is part of getting ready, being prepared to serve the Lord day or night. The lamp also refers to the guidance that the Bible provides us, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
We are to have the willingness to serve God, and the wisdom to serve Him well.
The analogy of a burglar breaking into a house is so apt. No burglar will provide a schedule of his visit. The only solution is for the house owner to be prepared. In the same way, we’ve got no idea when Jesus will come again. We’ve just got to be prepared.
Truthfully, a servant who only cleans the house when he knows his master is coming back is one who takes no pride in his work. He’ll let the lawn grow, let the dust gather, and let the dirty plates pile up in the roach-infested sink. But he’ll scramble to clean the mess when he hears word that the boss is coming back.
If we remember and appreciate that we’ve been washed clean of our sins, we will take pride in serving God. We will make every effort to be the best that we can be for Him.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. (2 Peter 1:5-9)
Now all of us love a good twist in a story, and this is the ultimate twist in our story with our Master… When the Master finds us ready to serve Him, He will in turn serve us. God will have us lean back and relax, while He comes and wait on us!
It almost sounds sacrilegious. He is our almighty Creator. He is omnipotent and rules over all things. We should be shivering at God’s feet. And God will serve us? But it’s right there, in the Bible: “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.”
This is not an outlier, but consistent throughout the Bible. We know Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, and he will humbly wash ours too. In fact, he already went much further. Jesus, who is in very nature God, took on the nature of a servant, and humbly died on the cross for us (Philippians 5:2-8). He served us, with his own life.
God created Eden, a perfect paradise for Adam’s and Eve’s enjoyment. God has also created heaven for our pleasure, where we will serve Him, and He will serve us. God has always provided for His people, and blessed us more than we deserve. He wants us to be happy, because He is good, not because we are. It is in God’s nature to love, to provide, and to serve.
I can think of two things that can stop us from enjoying God’s goodness. One is our lack of readiness to serve Him, as clearly explained in the above passage. The other is our unwillingness to accept His love. Peter famously tried to stop Jesus from washing his feet, and Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” (John 13:8) To be a part of Christ and his Body (the church), we need to be ready to serve and be served.
We may flinch at the tasks ahead of us as we serve God. A disciple’s life is indeed beset with many challenges. But we can set our eyes on heaven, where God awaits to serve His blessed servants. We can find solace in God.
God has designed the most beautiful of relationships, one of mutual humility, service and love. Let us dwell in His goodness.
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Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. He serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry of the Central Christian Church. He describes himself as “just a sinner who wants to get right with God”.