Serving the Lord and others no matter what

It was 20 years ago on Feb. 23rd that I first spoke with James Walker.  We met as a “blind date” on that Sunday after church in the foyer of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN.  He, a seminary intern at Bellevue and I, a 2nd grade teacher who had been praying for my husband since the eighth grade. I remember what I was wearing that day as if it were last week: a blue & black plaid flannel dropped waist dress with a large white collar, white hose, black flats and big hair.  That day changed my life.  Though it wasn’t love at first sight, exactly one month later I knew I loved this man and that He was God’s answer to years of prayers.

One of the things I love about James is the way he leads through service.  Service to the Lord and service to others, no matter what.  He doesn’t have that unquenchable need to be up front soaking in the praise and is most happy and fulfilled when those he serves and loves are secure and successful.   This blessed and grateful woman has learned much by watching my husband serve.  It is my daily joy to stand beside him and serve the Lord and others wherever it is that God has placed us. 

I share all of this today because it seems that everything I read of late has something to do about determining to serve the Lord and others, no matter what difficulties arise.  {I’m reading the most wonderful and terrible book right now that I can’t wait to share with you – a huge encouragement-challenge in serving the Lord and others, no matter what. When I’m not reading it, I’m thinking about it… awful and awesome at the same time!  But I digress…}  This topic of serving the Lord and others has been woven through my Sunday school lesson studies, Bible studies, and even devotional books.  In fact, yesterday’s My Utmost for His Highest reading was exactly about that.  So in honor of the day I met my servant-leader-lover, and with a most sorrowfully repentant heart over my lack in this area, I offer a few quotes from the Lord and Oswald Chambers on determining to serve the Lord and others, no matter what.

The Determination to Serve

“The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister”
  Matthew 20:28″

Paul’s idea of service is the same as Our Lord’s: “I am among you as He that serveth”; “ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”  We have the idea that a man called to the ministry is called to be a different kind of being from other men.  According to Jesus Christ, he is called to be the “doormat” of other men: their spiritual leader, but never their superior.  I know how to be abased,” says Paul. This is Paul’s idea of service – “I will spend myself to the last ebb for you; you may give me praise or give me blame, it will make no difference.” So long as there is a human being who does not know Jesus Christ, I am his debtor to serve him until he does. 

The mainspring of Paul’s service is not love for men, but love for Jesus Christ.  If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, we shall soon be crushed and broken-hearted, for we shall often meet with more ingratitude from men than we would from a dog; but if our motive is love to God, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men.

Paul’s realization of how Jesus Christ had dealt with him is the secret of his determination to serve others. “I was before a perjurer, a blasphemer, an injurious person” – no matter how men may treat me, they will never treat me with the spite and hatred with which I treated Jesus Christ.  When we realize that Jesus Christ has served us to the end of our meanness, our selfishness, and sin, nothing we meet with from others can exhaust our determination to serve men for His sake.

My Utmost For His Highest, Feb. 23

Click here for the link to each day’s reading from My Utmost For His Highest

Honey, thirty years ago I began praying for my husband – a man strong in the Lord, yet tender to His people.  God has blessed me beyond measure, James Walker, and I praise Him for the twenty years and one day I’ve known  you. I love you with all of my heart and am honored and humbly proud to be your partner in serving the Lord and others, no matter what!  

PS:  Photo – 1993.  Skinny James, skinny me, and my extra-large hair.  All three of us determining to serving the Lord. {You’d be surprised at how much He’s used the hair in ministry..} 😉

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at