This is the conclusion to the 3 part series, of what God has been imprinting in my heart as we end the difficult year of 2020 and head into the new year of 2021.
Let’s recall the passage from John 13:
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
2 And [a]supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”
7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”
12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you [b]know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
The final piece of having a servant’s heart is that it should point to Christ, and leading people to salvation.
Many years ago, I was at a certain crossroads in my life. At the age of 19, while serving in the army, I applied to Medicine as my first choice.
I really wanted to become a doctor.
Serving in the army meant that I wasn’t fully prepared for the interview to gain admission into medicine. I flunked the interview, and am now at a cross-roads of my life.
There were a few options available to me:
- I could try again next year, but the competition would be tougher (I scored an AAB for my A levels, and being able to get the interview meant I was already fortunate, as most people needed 4As just to even get the interview)
- I could apply to study medicine overseas, as my parents had set aside a sum of money for me to study medicine.
- I could go with my 2nd choice, which was pharmacy.
At that time, I was still a young Christian, and I felt that the Lord wanted me to be discipled and continued to grow in faith.
Being in a medical course meant that I would have had to sacrifice quite a bit of time (not that the pharmacy course is any easier, but medicine would have been one level up), and studying overseas meant that I would have to adjust and adapt to a new environment, and seek new spiritual mentors.
I decided to obey the still small voice in my heart and picked to study pharmacy.
You might be asking now, “Yuantai, what has this got to do with a servant’s heart, and salvation?”
In the weeks and months after I made that fateful decision, I began to be actively involved in my ministry, helping out my leaders in reaching out to friends and giving bible studies to younger members in the faith.
I was able to do that under the close mentorship of one of my leaders in church, a dear brother called Patrick and later, another sister called Jielin. (Thank you, if you guys are reading this).
But most importantly, like Samuel, spending time in the House of God meant that I could grow spiritually, and little by little, my heart was shaped and the impurities in my life removed, one by one. (This is another story for another time.)
Someone said that you always count the dots backwards.
Remember the story of Joseph?
Now his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. And he went into his chamber and wept there.
There was an “Aha” moment here, when Joseph finally connected the dots backwards and realized that God placed him through all the hardship for a specific moment in time like this.
It was only years later when I revisited that period of time in my life, that I connected the dots backwards and realized that having a servant’s heart will help us to lead others to salvation, and this is one of the key purposes of having a servant’s heart.
As you come to the end of the 3 part series, I want you to pause and start to reflect, if what you have been doing as your ministry, serving your family at home, your friends and colleagues at work and all the people that you come into contact with: does it help to lead them towards Christ, or push them away from Christ?
Sharing the gospel and the good news of salvation is the core bedrock of our faith. And out of the abundance of our heart, the rivers of living waters will flow.
I pray that the year 2021 will be a fruitful year for you.
Most importantly, this will be the year that you will grow closer with God, and walk with Him more.
How can we lead people to Christ through our work?
1. Don’t just preach it, but show it. Just as Jesus didn’t win His disciples by constantly just preaching the word, but by His actions of getting into the boat with His disciples, spending time with them and meeting their needs, we should also win the lost through our actions. This is even more relevant during difficult times, when we can demonstrate practical love through blessing people in words, thoughts and actions.
2. Say it, and mean it. The tongue has the power of life and death. One of my weakness has been controlling my tongue. I can be caustic and sarcastic with my words when I am stressed and angry. This is something that the Lord has shown me and death with, and I really thank God that He has given me grace and mercy to work on this area of weakness. Saying words like: thank you, sorry, I really appreciate you for your help, you can do it, won’t cost us an arm or a leg. But it can make the world of a difference to another person, and point him or her towards God.
3. Serve with gladness. Whether it is at home, towards our spouse or children, or at work, towards our bosses and colleague, or even in church, towards fellow church members, let’s serve with willingness and gladness. It is never easy serving people, and they will disappoint you.
All the time! But if we remain faithful towards the things that God has called us to do, He will bless us with much. And there is no better way to lead people to christ than demonstrating the true love of christ through service.
As I conclude this series, I pray that you will be moved to desire more of God each day. Let the year ahead be one of growing in the Lord, and pleasing him in all the things that we do and say. May the Lord bless you, and keep you. Amen.