The Bible tells us that Jesus “…came to serve, not be served – and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.”
It hit me as I read these words this morning…how many people do I know that are being held hostage? I am still hoping not to be held hostage by certain emotions, fears and memories. Do you have some collateral damage that you wish would go away and never surface again? Maybe there is something happening right now that threatens to leave you bound in fear and dread.
There is no one you know or will meet tomorrow who isn’t battling becoming a hostage of something. Here, Jesus tells us we are to be like Him and He…came to serve and give away his life in exchange for the ones held hostage. But how can you and I find the strength to give anything more? How to we give our lives?
We get tired in a day’s time. Some days we start out emotionally weary. Some days the first exhausting blow within our family circle hits before we have had our first cup of coffee. Sometimes our own dreaded concerns hit us the moment we open our eyes in the morning…before our feet hit the floor.
The enemy intends to hold us hostage. He intends to hold hostage those we love…those in our sphere. He is cunning…subtle. He works to make us believe our bondage is to be expected…just part of our makeup. Somewhere underneath, we know better, especially when we are using our God-given weapons.
On the days when we feel we need rest…we need to be freed…the enemy of our soul is going to do his best to make us feel we cannot give another thing. He is going to tell us that we deserve a rest from the person who is exhausting us with their own self-destructive patterns.
There are, of course, times we need refreshment…a break…a boundary. God will provide those times, as we lean into Him for wisdom. In the meantime, it is our calling to reach out to others. We must do what we can to help them fight the good fight…see their worth…break the chains.
The beautiful part is that, when we push through our own weariness in order to give of ourselves…we gain strength! Our bodies and minds might be exhausted at the end of a day but our spirit will soar because we will know for certain we have made a difference.
Our fulfillment, our joy, our deepest sense of purpose comes through serving, but not in our own strength. He promises us the strength to serve…to encourage…in exchange for the hope and freedom of those who are being held hostage.
Matthew 20:25-28 (MSG) 25 So Jesus got them together to settle things down. He said, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. 26 It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. 27 Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. 28 That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.”