Secret Service

Go cheerfully out of your way to help another without being asked – that is the secret of real service. You and I, who are believers, should be the first to initiate that blessed course of action.

Scripture: John 13


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. And I want you to know that, every time before I start these broadcasts, I pray that God may give me something that is exactly what you need. I can’t know. How could I know? I can’t know what you need, but God knows, and the blessed Spirit of God can take some words that are spoken in the broadcast, and fit them precisely to the need of your soul. I pray that that may be so again today.

We’re looking at John 13, hitting the high spots in the Gospel of John, “When the hour was come and Jesus knew that His hour was come, that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own, which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.” A poignant and beautiful verse, “He loved them until the end.” What was the end? Well, you could wrap it all up in a combined package. It was the kiss of betrayal by Judas. It was the mock trial, first in the high priests’ chambers, and then with Pilate, and then to Herod, and then back to Pilate again, and then it was the crucifixion, and it was the hours of agony on the cross, when our Lord Jesus was made to be sin for us, “He who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Christ also hath suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God,” says Peter.

And then it was that last moment, when He dismissed His Spirit. The end. But do you know, as you look at it now, from the point of view of sacred history, it was not just the end, it was the beginning, wasn’t it? And he triumphed over principalities, and powers, triumphing over them in His cross, and nailed the ordinances that were contrary to us, He nailed them to His cross, and has given to us the victory. Thanks be unto God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. “He loved them unto the end.”

He knew what was in the heart of Judas. He knew that Peter would deny Him. He knew that the crowd would mock Him. He knew that the scourge, which oftentimes killed prisoners, would be applied to His bleeding back. He knew that crucifixion was coming, when the whole weight of His body was suspended upon wrists and ankles, the knees being bent, so that the body had to be lifted, actually, to take another breath. He knew the awful agony, when the Father’s face would be turned away, and darkness was there, and Christ was made to be a sin offering for you and for me. He knew it all and He still loved this little band of men.

We read in God’s Word, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Great is God’s faithfulness. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. Great is thy faithfulness. He loves you today. Do you realize that? Stop a moment and think of the fact that Jesus Christ loves you. Someone asked a great theologian, “What was the greatest thought he ever had?” He pondered a moment, and then said, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” You can know the certainty of the love of Christ and you know that He’s not gonna quit. This gives me assurance and comfort, because like you, I’m a human being, and like all of us, we have our times of not quite making it, and we have to say, “Oh, God, I didn’t obey you there,” or “I disobeyed you there. Please forgive me.” Sinful, erring human beings. Jesus doesn’t stop loving you. He doesn’t stop loving you.

I did some childish misdemeanor or other, back in my early high school days. I was living in Toledo, in a rented room with my father, and the lady who owned the house, we called her Aunt Molly. Actually, I don’t believe she ever was an aunt. I think she was a second cousin once removed, something like that. Dear lady she was and sort of a second mother to me in those days, but there was something that I did, that I thought nobody knew about. And the days went by, and the months, and then they stretched into years, and I went away, and then came back again to visit, after having been away at school, and was talking with her, and I said, “You know Auntie, I never told you, but I did so and so, and so and so.” She looked at me and she said, “I knew all about it, Robert.” [chuckle] She always called me Robert with the first vowel stretched out, said, “I knew all about it,” but she said, “I didn’t stop loving you.”

Your Savior looks at you, and me, and childish people that we are, we think we got away with something. But if we really leveled with Him, He’d smile and He’d say, “You know, I knew all about it, but I didn’t stop loving you.” “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” The grace of God is big enough for the needs of the whole human race. And so they’re big enough for you, and for me. No, that doesn’t mean that we are to live in what I call ‘easy believism,’ just profess to be a Christian, and do what you please, and live fast and loose. Oh, no, not that, not that. But it does mean that when you’ve done your best, and you haven’t measured up, and you know it, or when you find that life has been too much for you, and you caved in somewhere, you can look up, and say, “Lord Jesus, I’m still trusting you,” and He’ll answer back, “And I still love you.” “Having loved His own, He loved them unto the end.” Isn’t that great truth?

Ahh, thank God for the love of Christ. “Also the love of Christ can straineth us.” It means makes us do what we do. Because Jesus loves you so much, it makes a difference in the way you want to live. Our Lord Jesus gave us, also, as recorded in John 13, this beautiful example of service. He said, “He rose from supper, and laid aside His garments, and took a towel, and girded Himself, and poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded.” This was the act of a servant, slave, we would say. It was done by people whose job it was to take care of such menial details. And here you have the Lord of Glory, the one who created the universes, and who maintains them by the Word of His power, now in human flesh, and giving us an example. He said, “As I have washed your feet, you are to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example,” said He, “That ye should do as I have done to you.”

Now, there are some denominations that have what they call foot-washing services. I’ve been in them, and they’re very beautiful, and very holy, and very touching. I have the idea, however, that the thrust of this passage, is not that we should have foot-washing services, but that we shouldn’t be above doing service for other people, just as Jesus, our Lord, wasn’t above doing service, menial though it was, for His disciples. Paul said in Galatians, “Ye have been called unto liberty. Use not that liberty as an occasion to the flesh, but by love, serve.” The verb is ‘douleuo,’ serve like a slave. “By love, serve like a slave for each other.” He said in Corinthians, “We preached not ourselves, but Christ Jesus, as Lord, and ourselves, your servants. ‘Douloi,’ slaves for Jesus’ sake.

So the major thrust, it seems to me, of this passage, is not just the washing of the feet. If you belong to a denomination that has that custom, it’s beautiful. It’s alright, go ahead, be blessed with it. But the major thrust, it seems to me, is that service, even though it be menial service, is to be performed in love for other people. “If I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye had also to wash one another’s feet.” He said, “He that would be great among you shall be your servant.” The index of greatness is the extent of service. You got a job, many of you go to business everyday, men and women. And so you have a job, maybe you’re a supervisor, maybe you’re an employee, just in line, whatever. Let me tell you something. The index of your success will always be based upon the amount and attitude of your service to others.

Unrequested service done freely and in love will endear you to people and will create for you a following. That, my friend, is exactly where it’s at. If you’re the boss, don’t be above helping to fold some things for a mailing that has to be gotten out. Get on down there with the folk that are struggling to meet a deadline and help them. That’s what I’m talking about. If you are a member of one sub-department and you see somebody just across the way that is overburdened with something that you could help with, offer to help. Now, don’t interfere. There’s nobody worse than somebody who is nosy and interfering with somebody else’s work. Don’t do it. And don’t bother giving orders to somebody, “You know, you could get along a lot better, if you’d do this or that.” No, come on, don’t do that.

But to go cheerfully out of your way to help another without being asked, that is the secret of real service. And if you’re a Christian, you and I, who are believers, should be the first to initiate that blessed course of action, “Here, let me help.” Will you try that out today? Or if you’re listening to this broadcast late at night, will you try it tomorrow? “Here, let me help.” Don’t interfere, don’t be nosy, don’t be officious, don’t give advice, just help. Go cheerfully out of your way to help others without being asked. Foot-washing, Jesus was not above performing a menial service that was usually done by slaves and He said, “That’s what I want you to do. I want you to be willing to do something for others, even though it’s not your place and you don’t get any credit for it, but be willing to help.” It’s quite a thought, isn’t it?

Well, I wanna tell you something. That principle that I have given you, I’ll say it just once again, “Go cheerfully out of your way to help others without being asked.” That principle will work… I almost said, “Miracles.” It will work tremendous changes in the attitude of other people, and in your own attitude towards your job, and in the atmosphere of the workplace. You try it. It works with families too, by the way.

Dear Father, today, oh, may we be willing, happy, Christ-honoring servants. I ask in His name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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