To Love Is To Serve
"And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.
And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.
And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her." Genesis 29:18-20 - Authorized Version (K.J.V.)
Have you ever noticed that when you love someone you are willing to do anything for them? When perhaps you feel affection for that new person in your life, this person you see as a potential life mate, you suddenly think that there could not possibly be anything you would not do for them? Or perhaps there is a friendship you have and this friend to you is like no other and when it comes to them, you find yourself doing anything they ask just because they are your friend. For others the answer would be a definite no, but when it comes to them, you would lower your standards, you would become a servant because they are your friend.
Such is love. To love, to truly love is to serve. Jacob loved Rachel and so seven years of hard labor seemed to him as a few days. When you love, you voluntarily serve without even realizing what you are doing. You do it because you must in order to be satisfied that your love is proven.
Jesus Himself served, and no doubt, proved that His love was and is true.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 K.J.V.
This is exactly what Christ did, He laid down His life for His friends. Even before that Jesus showed His love by serving and because He loved He humbly served.
If I were to close my eyes and think about a meal which I have particularly enjoyed it is strange but it is not one made in a restaurant, or by someone well versed in the culinary arts, it is made by a loved one who served it to me. My best remembered meals, the ones that were the most delicious, are those that were served to me by someone I loved and who loved me in return. Can you imagine how the bread and fish tasted that Jesus cooked for the disciples?
"As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, a hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise." John 21:9-13 K.J.V.
If Jesus, whose love is perfect, cooked a meal for us, just how good do you think it would have been? That must have been the best fish the disciples ever tasted in their lives. I am sure that they later remembered the taste of the food along with that day because it was served to them by someone who loved them and because He loved them they loved Him in return. And yet, He gave them more than this. He gave them spiritual food as well and commanded them to give it to others.
He told Peter to feed His sheep. A direct command to go out and serve the flock, serve others. We are commanded to love one another as He has loved us. How many times in His ministry on earth did He serve those whom He loved? Too many to count. Everyday was spent in servitude to others and God. Even when He served others He served God for He was carrying out the will of the Father. This is why God said "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." He served Him as no one could ever do.
It is this servitude which is the servitude of love and devotion. When I wish to please someone, I will serve them without a thought to my discomfort or troubles. I will cast aside what I think to be important and place what they think is important in front of me instead.
How do we claim to love God if we do not serve Him as though we do? How can we look at the work which He assigns us as work if we truly wish to please Him? A servant who loves turns into a friend and a friend loveth at all times.
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 K.J.V.
The Webster definition of charity is love and so it is referred to in other versions of the Bible. What is the point of good deeds if love is not within our hearts? And not just love for the work which we do but love for the One whom we do it for. To love someone is to be willing to serve them.
A mother dotes on her newborn and wakes every hour to check if the babe be in need. If the little one cries, she is there in an instant. She constantly checks and provides his needs and makes sure that he gets that and more. Yet a mother who has been craving this child for years, does not see this as serving but as a joy. She is serving someone she loves.
When a young child waits every evening for six o'clock to come and runs to plump the cushion on the recliner and pour the hot water into the foot bath so that everything can be ready for Papa, do you think for a moment she thinks she is serving? All she is at that moment is joyful and he is home and promptly sets about doing what she can to show him how happy she is. How much she appreciated him and the job he does everyday. She is serving someone she loves.
A man will take on a job that he detests just to provide for the woman he loves and the job will not bother him in the slightest if the love is strong. He will be pleased because he knows she is pleased. Do not men (some men this is not a hub about the other kind- that kind doesn't really love you, not fully ) bend over backwards to see the woman they love happy? Don't they serve without even a thought as to what they are doing? Are not women guilty of the same thing?
How is it that there are songs all through history which sing of single efforts to do all the things to please a significant other, regardless if they love them in return, because the love is so strong? It is because they way love is shown is through servitude. The way to express one's true appreciation is through action. Deeds on their own, done through duty, can make man bitter. Deeds done because of the wrong motive fall flat as offerings of love. They are shallow and see through worth nothing. Deeds done because of love shine as though that love polished it and made it a precious gem. This is what the Lord means when He says if you love Me keep My commandments. If we do love Him, our love will polish that work we do for Him to make it look better than it really is. Our love, will reflect His love on our work so that His perfection will be shown to Him. For in the end He is worthy to be praised.