Serve One Another
In the Book of Revelation, the very last book of the Bible, the resurrected Jesus comes to the apostle John and he gives him seven messages for seven local churches in Asia, and each message is tailored for each church.
And what’s fascinating about the messages is that we see that Jesus has real thoughts about local churches. Jesus has opinions on how these local churches are doing. He says that:
Ephesus Church has done a great job confronting false teaching, but they lack love.
Smyrna Church is a persecuted church who has experienced great suffering.
Pergamum Church has been swayed by false teaching.
Thyatira Church has made moral compromises.
Sardis Church is sleepy and checked out.
Philadelphia is patient and enduring.
Laodicea is lukewarm and lacking self-awareness.
Jesus gives assessments on local churches. He has thoughts about local church. And that should make us wonder: What does he think about Cities Church?
How would Jesus assess how we’re doing?
That really is the question that matters most. Who cares what we think?!
If Jesus has thoughts — and he does — then that’s what we’re living for. That’s what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:9. He says that at the end of the day, no matter what, “we make it our aim to please him.”
So what does he think? What do we want him to think?
Well, there’s a lot of different things I could say here, but I’m going to put it like this: Let one of the ways we please Jesus be how serve one another.
I want our church to be a lot of good things, and some are more important than others, but for this moment, for where we are at “four years in” … I want us to be good at serving each other. And I mean, not in theory, but in actual, roll-up-your-sleeves-and-do-stuff serving. And I see it. It’s happening. And we need it to happen more. Keep serving in childcare, and in set-up, and in greeting and coffee, and in all the other ways on Sunday mornings. Stay a little later after Community Group meetings to do the dishes. Don’t just wait to be directed, but look for ways that you can serve and love and help your brothers and sisters.
Serve one another in ways that delight the heart of Jesus.
This reminds us of our need to confess our sins.
Father, we confess right away that the reason we’re not better at serving others is because we’re great at serving ourselves. This is a human problem. It’s an American problem. And it’s our problem, Father, for we are sinners. We are sinners who have offended your glory in thought, word, and deed. We have sinned against you in the things we have done, and in the things we have left undone. And so now we humbly repent and seek your mercy in our silent confession. …
Now, Father, we remember the truth of the gospel. We are the ones for whom Jesus died. He loves us and he has set us free. We were dead, but Jesus made us alive; we were lost, but Jesus has made us found; we were your enemies, but Jesus has made us your sons and daughters — all because he lived and died for us in our place, because he is risen from dead, because he is reigning for us now and coming for us soon. And it’s in his name we pray, amen.