Is it really self-serve? There we were at Mount Rushmore. Angela and I were visiting this National Park and we were getting hungry. So we found the food court. My eyes immediately saw the sign: Buffalo Chili. They had me at Buffalo. So I innocently wandered over to what looked very much to me like a self-serve soup line. There was chicken noodle and Buffalo Chili. I lift the lid of the chili, grab a large bowl, and start serving myself. A heaping portion I might add. I start thinking "Wow, how do they make any money with people making such heaping bowls of chili? Mine was overflowing the edges of the bowl. I was going to get my money's worth and more. And then I see Angela out of the corner of my eye, and she seems to be motioning to me that it isn't self-serve after all, and as I turn to walk away the server walks up looking at me a bit puzzled. Then, I not-so-innocently ignore her gaze and keep walking to the checkout stand.  I said jokingly to the checker, "someone really messed this one up." He smiles and says, "Yeah really, you should put on an apron." I really enjoyed that chili, but I guess they really don't have self-serve chili at Mount Rushmore after all.

And this gets me to thinking: Is life really self-serve? I think a lot of people ascribe to the idea that they need to serve themselves. Because if you don't look after yourself who will, right? But I have found there's a better way. Wake up in the morning and ask God who you can serve. Who can you bless? Ask Him to make you a blessing to others. Look not to be served but to serve and give your life for others even as it says in Matthew 20:28 of Jesus: "The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many." His life-giving ransom purchased redemption for all who believe. By His mercy He holds back the punishment we deserve for our sins, He took all the wrath upon Himself. He substituted Himself in our place. He shed His blood and died so that we might live. He gives life to the spiritually dead and gives them a desire to live for Him. When you come to faith in Jesus Christ He enables you to be free to serve rather than looking to serve yourself. If you profess faith in Christ then to be consistent you must live for Jesus and the Gospel. Reject your self-serving ways and live to serve His purposes. Jesus Christ is better and greater and immeasurably far more worthy of our worship and service.

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You say it so well, Pastor Mike. We are so glad to have you back.

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