The evenings are drawing in, X-Factor’s on the telly, and you already feel ready for a holiday. Yup, September is well and truly here.
Of course with a new term comes new opportunities, but there’s also all the life-admin, calendar-coordinating, and general sense of busyness that comes with these. New rotas, new to-do lists, new courses.
And so as Christians called to be part of local churches, whether we’re in a ‘formal’ position of responsibility or not, we can soon start to feel the ‘burden’ of service:
“Man, why do I put myself through this…?”
“Ok, here we go again then…”
“You know, I really think it’s time I took a step back from all this…”
Just over a year ago I was feeling something of the ‘burden’ of all this when someone put into my hands a book that made me do a 180. In essence, it asked me a question that I was not expecting. Rather than asking me, ‘what are you doing to serve?, instead it wanted to know, ‘are you being served?’.
The book was John Hindley’s brilliant Serving without sinking: How to serve Christ and keep your joy, and it’s essentially a reflection on the stunning truth encapsulated in Jesus’ mission statement in Mark 10:45: [Jesus] “came not to be served, but to serve.” It is essential for our spiritual health that we are resting in the reality that we are served by Jesus. As Hindley puts it:
Jesus doesn’t call you to come and serve Him. He calls you to see that He came to serve you. It’s only if we see that, first and foremost, we are not servants, we are served, that we can know the joyful freedom of the Christian life. And as we do that, we’ll find that we serve like we never served before.
As such Serving without sinking is a brilliant book to get your hands on this September. Hindley understands the everyday tensions and struggles of the Christian life, particularly concerning the different motivations we have for serving others, and he pastorally applies truths about Jesus into them. Each chapter is also fairly brief, and you’ll be able to devour two or three in a short sitting, whether that be on a wet Thursday evening or whilst the kids are napping after lunch.
Here’s the icing on the cake. Not only is it a great book, but its publisher, The Good Book Company, are currently giving the eBook version away for free throughout this month. Just ‘like‘ their Facebook page here and you’ll see a discount code to enter at their online store. There’s no sane reason not to try it.
To whet your appetite, here’s another snippet:
Jesus is saying: “Follow me and I will serve you.”
Or, in His actual words:
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.”
He did not come so that you would serve Him. He came to serve you. Christianity is about Jesus, the God who serves His people.
Jesus comes into our lives to serve us. There is no catch, no small-print, no strings attached—there is just loving, humble, kind service by the Creator of the cosmos for His creatures, for us. Jesus’ greatness is not that He can command the service of millions; it is that He serves millions.
If you follow Jesus, then your relationship with Him, your status before God the Father, and your having His Spirit with you, will never depend on how you serve Him. It is all about His service of you.”
Go and download it for free while you can!