I spent most of my teenage years attending a Roman Catholic Church. While this tradition style of service can become boring quickly, every so often I was surprised by a timely message. One of the heroes of the church was Mother Teresa. This Catholic nun turned missionary dedicated her life to helping and serving the less fortunate. Despite living most of her adult life in poverty, Mother Teresa became the hands and feet of Christ.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves, James 1:22.
When certain things in life don’t go my way, I have a tendency to complain. Gripping to God, I can’t believe that I was passed over while someone else got the honor or position that I sought. This unproductive practice didn’t make me feel better or resolve any of my unanswered questions. Yet, a recent whisper from the Holy Spirit helped me understand my current plight, “you don’t deserve until you serve.”
“So the last will be first, and the first last,” Matthew 20:16.
In the Parable of the Workers in the Field, Jesus illustrates the importance of service. Trying to give a glimpse of what heaven is like, the temptation to compare yourself with others leads to meaningless debates. Those who accept God’s free gift of eternal life by receiving as your own, Romans 10:9-10, all receive the same reward, a place in heaven. Yet, some devote their entire lives to God while others become Christians on their bed beds. This discrepancy in time make some jealous, expecting a greater reward for their additional years of service. Nonetheless, Jesus is clear, “the first will be last and the last first.” Or in modern terms, you don’t deserve unless you serve.
by Jay Mankus