There was a day when people so understood and appreciated the sacrifice of Christ that they gladly served in his kingdom and for his glory. Many went to reach people with the Good News of the gospel in far away lands. Others devoted themselves to reaching the broken and oppressed of society. God’s people took care of widows and orphans. Everyone rejoiced when a life was changed or a decision was made for God’s kingdom.

Fast forward to today. Everyone, including those in the church, is chasing after personal satisfaction and selfish pursuits. People choose churches, if they take the time to participate, based on what amenities are available to meet their own personal demands.

Gone is the servant attitude of “How can God use me here to do ministry?” This antiquated inquiry has been replaced with, “What’s in it for me?” Consumerism and shallow commitment have replaced servant-hood and deep devotion, both to God and to the local church.

Instead of repentance and salvation, popular churches speak of life and behavior change. Psychological talks have ousted the plain preaching of biblical truth. Calls for repentance and sacrifice for the kingdom are offensive to modern sensibilities. Rightly dividing the word of truth has been jettisoned for inch deep mile wide diatribes that produce no lasting effects for the kingdom. Even unbiblical practices have been christianized so that everyone can be comfortable in diversity.

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me .25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?* Is anything worth more than your soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. (Matthew 16:24-27)

“You must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” A true relationship with Christ does not follow our terms, but his. To follow Jesus is to serve him by testifying of his grace, mercy, and love. To follow Jesus is to love the Lord with everything that makes you who you are, and to love your neighbor as yourself. To follow Jesus is to deny self, and to prefer others first. We must follow Jesus’ very example of doing the Father’s will.

It is time for the church to return to sacrificial servant hood for the glory and honor of the Lord. He laid down his life willingly. He who was first, became a servant to all of us. How dare we think we can serve him on our terms.