This is a recap of the latest sermon in our series, Get (Outta) Your Own Way
Our culture is built on the assumption that we should all be able to serve ourselves and get what we want. This is not the way of the cross. God’s desire is not for us to serve ourselves but to live sacrificially in worship of Christ.
1. The Failure of Self-Service
Self-service never turns out the way we want. If anything, the ways in which we try to do things ourselves end up revealing our sinful motivations and desires. We end up treating other people as objects and deceive ourselves with an illusion of control when we really don’t have any. We’re not very good at being a god, even when we try to make ourselves to be one. Ultimately, God will hold us accountable for this selfish way of living.
2. The Root of Sacrifice
The cross shows us that Jesus came not to be served but to serve. His sacrifice for us is the root of why we can sacrifice for others. We see this exemplified in Epaphroditus as we is willing to be sent anywhere, willing to serve anyone, and make any sacrifices possible to honor God. He came close to losing his life in the process but his vision of ministry was made clear by the cross.
3. The Fruit of Sacrifice
A life of sacrifice brings people together in unique ways that normally don’t happen. It sets people on the same course of life together, walking in lockstep with each other. It also testifies to a watching world that Jesus is King and that he is worthy of worship. Following Jesus shouldn’t be easy and requires sacrifice. Thankfully our Savior is always serving us by His Spirit.
Reflection and Application
In what ways do you see our culture being obsessed with self-service?
How do the ways in which we serve ourselves actually end up enslaving us to spiritual idols and reveal our sinfulness?
How does Epaphroditus’ sacrifices in service reveal the nature of what it means to serve others? Do you see this typified in how you love those around you?
Have you ever suffered and sacrificed with others around you? Did it become a blessing? How and why?
Why does the reality that our Savior continues to serve us by the Holy Spirit empower us to live sacrificially instead of serving ourselves? How does that change our attitudes toward everyday sacrifice?