[0:00] We're working through Mark's Gospel on Sunday mornings, and last week we looked at the same passage and talked about how James and John asked for greatness.
[0:12] They asked that Jesus would make them great. And by that they meant that they wanted to be powerful men. They wanted when Jesus's kingdom finally came, they wanted to be the CFO and the CEO of the kingdom of God.
[0:24] And so they meant when they asked for greatness, they were asking for power based on achievement for ultimately a great name. And this is a pivotal moment in scripture.
[0:37] It's why we've come back to it again this week because you learn here in some ways, this is a turning point in the Gospel, where you find out that to be truly great is a life spent knowing God.
[0:49] And we saw last week that greatness is not fundamentally about achievement, it's about who you become. And Jesus says that if you wanna be great, verse 43, that you have to cry out for mercy and you have to follow Jesus on the way, as he calls it.
[1:07] We saw that last week. And that means that when he talks, when Jesus says there is a way, the way to greatness, a path to greatness, it's turning every single conception of greatness in every human culture throughout history on its head.
[1:24] He's turning it all upside down to the point where the apostle Paul will later come in Corinthians in his letter and say that God, Jesus has made me a fool. I am a fool for Christ, he says.
[1:36] Meaning that my choice to choose the way instead of the greatness I could have had in my previous life looks to the world as foolishness, but it's really wisdom. It's really the path to greatness.
[1:48] And so it's been said many times by many people, what Jesus came to bring is an upside down kingdom. Everything he does, he flips the world on its head. And so he says that if you wanna be first, you've gotta become last.
[2:02] If you want to gain, you've gotta live a life of sacrifice. If you want to be great, you've gotta make yourself nothing. And last week, we did not look at the primary word that he uses to describe the path to greatness.
[2:19] There's one word here. We looked at two out of three, but we didn't get to the third. And the third is he says, if you wanna be great, verse 43, you must become a servant. So he says, last week, you need to cry for mercy.
[2:32] You need to follow him on the way, look for ransom. But then he says, ultimately, you have to become a servant to live a great life. And so that's what we've got to look at this morning.
[2:42] This very clear statement from him in verse 43, that to be great is to become a servant of all. He says, servanthood. So to do that, two things.
[2:53] First, he tells us that we have to be aware. We have to see how we have been served. And then, and only then, can you grow into a person who sees your calling to serve.
[3:06] Okay, so he says very clearly first that we've been served. And you can only serve, you can only become a servant in the kingdom of God unless you know yourself served already.
[3:17] Okay, so let's look at that. First, how we have been served. Now, there's always fear, fearfulness, I think, when a preacher revisits a text.
[3:30] You say, didn't we look at this already? And yes, but you know, it's been said many times that the gospels in particular are shallow enough, they're clear enough for a toddler to wade comfortably and safely.
[3:48] But they are so deep, they get so deep that an elephant can swim. And that means that you can look at a passage every single week for 52 weeks and you might be ready to move on, but boy, you'll never get to the bottom.
[4:01] You'll never get all the way to the bottom. There's always more. And so we didn't get to the bottom last week, we didn't even see the primary thing, which is Jesus is called a servanthood for us. And this is the principal verse, it's in verse 45.
[4:15] He says, even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve. So that's the big moment. That's one of the biggest moments in Mark's gospel.
[4:26] And in this moment, when Jesus says this, he is putting together two very important ideas. So he says that he is the quote, Son of Man.
[4:40] And then he says, and the Son of Man came to serve. Now, all the readers around him, the disciples standing there, they're Jewish and they know the Old Testament.
[4:53] And so they would have been triggered, they would have known exactly what he was trying to say. Jesus there is putting together two big ideas that both come to us from the Old Testament. The first one is this little name, this phrase, Son of Man.
[5:07] And really the word Son of Man, the phrase Son of Man just means human, human being. And it comes to us from Daniel chapter seven. So everybody listening to him at the moment, in this, at this moment in the first century knows, he's talking about Daniel seven.
[5:22] And here's what Daniel seven says, verses 13 to 15. Daniel has a vision. He says, in my vision I saw, and there was before me one like a son of man. And then he says, where is it?
[5:34] Here it is, one like a son of man, coming with the clouds from heaven. And the Son of Man approached the ancient of days, that's God the Father. And he was led into his presence and he was given authority and glory and power in all the nations of every age and every language worshiped him.
[5:51] And his dominion became the everlasting kingdom. All right, so Daniel seven says, the Son of Man title means a human being who will appear before God and God will grant to him the kingdoms of the world.
[6:04] God will say to this great man, the kingdom of God is yours and every person from every language and every nation of history will worship you. Well, that's real greatness.
[6:17] Is there anybody who's ever done that? James and John asked to be great, but nobody's ever been like that, the Son of Man. See, the Son of Man is not a title of weakness, but great power.
[6:29] But then he says, the Son of Man came to serve, not to be served, but to serve. And immediately there, the first century listener says, he's talking about Isaiah.
[6:40] And then in Isaiah, there's a whole series of songs called the servant songs about the servant. That's the great moment in the Old Testament about the servant.
[6:50] And he puts together this idea of the Son of Man with Isaiah, particularly 53, which is the pinnacle of the servant songs. And what does it say? Isaiah 53 said, this servant would come and have no beauty or majesty that we would look at him, that he would be despised and rejected by mankind.
[7:09] He would be a man of suffering, familiar with pain, and that people would be so bothered by him in his suffering that they would have to hide their faces in the horror of what he would go through.
[7:21] And it goes on, it says that he will take our pain and our suffering. Surely he is being punished by God. He is taking on our transgressions, being pierced and crushed for them. Now you see what's happening here in this verse, back to the first century, Mark chapter 10, verse 45, he's saying, the Son of Man who is the greatest human that will ever exist, true power, the kingdom bringer is being combined with the Isaiah 53 servant into one person, the servant king.
[7:53] And it's suggesting that somehow this man will bring the kingdom of God to this earth. And every single nation and every single tribe and language and people will bow down before him.
[8:06] And it will be a kingdom of peace. And at the same time, he will be pierced and crushed to the point where you can't even look at his face. You see, it's bringing together the idea of horror and glory.
[8:20] And it's talking about the cross. You see, Jesus, when he says this, when he brings together Son of Man and servant, he's talking about his cross. And you might have been with us last week to see that in the paragraph just before what we read, he predicts the cross for the third time and says that I'm going to be murdered.
[8:38] I've got my face set towards Jerusalem. And here it is, he's saying right here that the moment where the Son of Man, the kingdom, and the horror of the suffering servant come together is at the moment of the cross.
[8:52] That it is both glorious and horrible at the same time. The horror is that God would take on human flesh and become the Isaiah 53 servant to the point where his own creatures would murder him.
[9:08] And the glory is that in that moment, this is the great act of service in all of history that would bring about the kingdom that only the Son of Man can bring. And so the cross is this great moment of paradox and it's the moment in all of human history of ultimate servanthood on display.
[9:29] He is the servant. That's what he's saying. Now here's what we learn. What do we learn? Here's what we learn. Lesson one. Only, part of the point of this passage is to say that only the Son of Man, only this man, Jesus Christ, can ever serve anyone like that.
[9:48] In other words, there has only been one person in all of human history who can truly serve in the way that people actually need to be served. And that's this man, the Son of Man.
[9:59] He's the only one. And the reason that we know that's one of the points of the passage is because James and John, remember they ask in verse 36 to 38, will you make us great?
[10:10] Will you make us the CFO and the CEO of the kingdom of God? Your right hand and your left hand. And he says, okay, you wanna be great? You think you're able?
[10:21] He said, you're gonna have to drink the cup that I'm about to drink. Are you able to do that? And they said, we are able. And he said, oh man, you have no idea what you just asked for.
[10:33] Because he said, you want to be like me? You want to be glorified like I'm gonna be glorified? You got to drink the cup. And the cup is another image from the Old Testament, usually displayed in the Old Testament as the cup of wrath.
[10:47] And Jesus was saying that every single moment of injustice that every single human being has committed throughout all of human history, all the nations, all the languages has been dripping, dripping, dripping justice into this holy cup.
[11:05] And he's saying, there is only, don't you see James and John, there is only one person who can drink that cup and it mean anything. There is only one person in all of human history who could take on that, the wrath of God that all of humanity deserves and actually turn it around and serve humanity with it.
[11:24] He's saying, do you think that you could take the wrath of God and it mean anything but your destruction? That's what he says to them. And he says, you have no idea what you've just asked for. You see, the first lesson is that we've got to be awake and see the uniqueness of Jesus, that he is the only human being in all of history that could take upon himself God's wrath and turn it into service for other people.
[11:51] Now, the second lesson you see here, is this then, that means today, existentially in your heart, in your soul, that means we're being invited to see that we have been served.
[12:06] Be awake and aware this morning that you have been served by God in a way that you can never imagine. Look, here's the claim, this is astounding.
[12:17] God himself came into this world to become your servant. That's what he's saying. Listen carefully, he came not to be served.
[12:29] God came in human flesh not to be served, but to serve you. God came into the world to become your servant. He says, I came to even become a slave to you.
[12:41] Now, if we really believe that and if we really saw all the dimensions, the many faceted ways in which God serves us every day, it would change our lives.
[12:56] Let me just mention a few ways that today, most of us, we've struggled this morning, we haven't been aware of it, but today, Jesus Christ is currently serving you.
[13:09] Let me just mention a few of them very briefly. One is this, he came not to be served, but to serve. And that means, number one, you can't serve Jesus Christ.
[13:21] Did you hear what he said? He said, he came not to be served by you, but to serve. You can't serve him, not at all. And that's true in so many dimensions, but let me just say one of them.
[13:32] One of them is that you say, I am a Christian, I'm a servant of the Lord. But do you know that every act of service you do adds nothing to him? It doesn't give him anything.
[13:42] It doesn't add to his glory. It doesn't attack a nice good deed onto his fullness of being, not at all. Jesus Christ truly in his absolute being came not to be served.
[13:54] You can't, you can't give him, that's why the Psalms say, magnify the glory of the Lord. Don't add to it. You can make much of it, you can serve him by praising him and make a lot of him, but you can't add anything to him.
[14:09] He truly did, in his absolute plenitude of being, try and God, Father, Son, and Spirit, came into this world not to be served because he can't be. He's absolute in his being and fullness.
[14:20] But another way we've got to see Jesus serves us every day. Do you know that today, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the one who is giving us the sunshine through the windows.
[14:35] He is the one who is giving us the rain and the crops and the food on our table in the recent switch to the autumn weather. He's the one that's providing that for us every single day.
[14:46] Everything in this world could be worse, everything. And it's not as bad as it can be only because Jesus continues to serve every one of us, every human being by giving good gifts.
[14:59] He serves us in that way every single day. But third, most important and last, verse 45. Jesus Christ says, I came not to be served but to serve.
[15:10] And here's the pinnacle way. He said, I came to serve by giving you the once for all ransom, the once for all ransom that you need. Right, Jesus says this, the cross is my ultimate service to you.
[15:27] He's putting the cross at the center of his work. And he's saying that the meaning of the cross is ultimately about ransom. That means this morning, whatever's going on in your life, your greatest need today is not to get out of your bad circumstances.
[15:47] You know, when he says that his cross is ultimately about service, the ultimate act of service, and about ransom, your greatest need today is not deliverance from your difficult circumstances.
[15:59] Your greatest need today is to see that you need to be ransomed from your sin by King Jesus. He came for that.
[16:09] And in the first century, in the first century ransom, we said this last week, is to be purchased out of slavery or prison.
[16:19] So that's what it meant in the first century, that if you're going to be ransomed, someone was going to come and buy the debts, pay the debts that you owed, to get you out of prison or out of slavery.
[16:32] And in some extreme instances, even then, a father, a son, a sibling, a friend could come and give themself to the prison, give themself to the indentured servitude so that you might go free.
[16:49] That's the heartbeat of ransom. And Jesus Christ says that he came to ransom you, that he would give himself into the prison of your sin, that he would give himself to the debt, the drip, drip, drip, into the holy cup of wrath that you owe in cosmic injustice.
[17:05] For the sake of justice, he would give himself so that you could come out, you could be ransomed. Now, he said, that's your greatest need in life. That's what you need more than anything. And that's what he came to give.
[17:16] Now, Jeremy Treat, it's printed in the bulletin. He talks about what kind of ransom we need, what Jesus came to deliver us from.
[17:26] And this is what he says. He says, what are your greatest problems in life? Jeremy Treat says, Christ's death in your place deals with your sin in a way that forgives your trespasses.
[17:40] It defeats the devil, it demonstrates God's love, and it unites heaven and earth. So he says, when Jesus Christ went to the cross, he does these things for you. He really accomplishes for you the forgiveness of your sins.
[17:54] You no longer are in debt to God. You no longer stand under the wrath of the Lord. And he says, he really does also at the cross, defeat personal conscious evil.
[18:07] He crushes absolute evil. And he says, he really does at the cross, say to you, God the Father loves you and wants you. And he really does at the cross, come and bring all things together that sin has divided and cut through.
[18:23] He really does, the cross is multi-dimensional in all the ways that Jesus comes to ransom, to save, to bring you out. Now today, if you are hearing his voice, if you're hearing his voice, and if you are seeing your need, let me just say, do not harden your heart against what you need.
[18:42] Don't allow your heart to be hardened against the cross of Jesus Christ. One theologian this week, I was reading, he said it, something like this. He said, if Jesus got together with his consultants in the first century, and he said, 20 centuries from now, I want to be the most famous man in all of world history.
[19:07] They would have been sure to say to him, well, you need to make sure you write a book. It needs to be best selling. And you need to make sure that you gather an army, and you work towards political office, and above all else, do not die at the age of 33 in the most shameful possible public way as a criminal on a cross.
[19:31] He said, this is the path to greatness, Jesus. Write a book, gather an army, seek political office, and do not die at the hands of the Romans. And you see, Jesus is the greatest man in all of human history.
[19:46] He is the Son of man, the only one that could bring the kingdom, and the way he did it was by the cross. And that means that what he was trying to preach and say is that the way up is down. The way up is down, and the way into real greatness today is to actually deny yourself and give up.
[20:06] Not go forward in your greatness, not go forward in your achievement, not try to fight by way of religion to get what he offers you. And instead, you see, that's the way of the cross. It's to go down. It's to say, it's to be passive.
[20:19] It's to say, I've got to give up. I can't keep working for this. I can't keep fighting for this. I've got to let go. I've got to realize my need and just let go and say the cross really is this for me, forgiveness, the defeat of my personal evil, the defeat of death itself.
[20:35] It really is that for me. You see, Jesus comes to say, step one, if you want to become a servant, you've got to see yourself served. You've got to allow yourself to be served.
[20:45] That he really did come in the middle of history to serve. Secondly then, and finally, how do you know, how do you know then if that power, the ransom of Jesus who came to serve you is getting through, is getting deep down into your heart.
[21:04] Here's how you know that this is happening to you. When you know how you've been served, you begin to grow and service to others. Jesus really puts it that simply in the passage.
[21:17] And he says that this is the way, so he says you can see it in verse 43, if you want to be great, you must become a servant. And whoever wants to be first must be slave overall, among all.
[21:29] Now, there's a special word for this in church history. The Christians throughout every century over time developed a particular word for this.
[21:41] And the word is the cruciform life. So Jesus is talking to us here about how the cross is everything we need. And then he says, but also if you've experienced the cross as power in your life, power to save, then there is a call upon you to take up the cruciform life.
[22:02] So in other words, if you've experienced the salvation of the cross, then the cross also does become your example. It becomes the path of life. And so early Christians and later Christians have called this cruciformity, or a life that takes on the form of the crux, the cross.
[22:19] And so that's the meaning of the way. It's a cruciform life. Now, I just want to close by giving you three things that Jesus, I think, gives us here of pursuing the cruciform life.
[22:29] If you know that Jesus is for you in the cross, then now he calls you to a cruciform life, a life of service, of servanthood.
[22:40] Here's how you do it. The first step is that he's teaching us here that the cruciform life begins with the heart. And that means that when the cross, when you experience the power of the cross in your life, the first thing it does to you is it sets you free from posturing.
[22:58] That's clearly the meaning of the passage of reading. Why? Because James and John come and they say, we want to be better than the 10, we want to be the CFO and the CEO, we want to be great.
[23:09] And he says, look at the cross, the Son of Man came to serve, not to be served, and so with you, if you want to be great, you've got to become last. And that means that when you see the beauty and the horror of the cross and you experience it, it tells you that you can now feel free to give up the need to posture.
[23:30] And the need to posture is really just what Ecclesiastes calls vanity. He says that the cross sets you free from the pursuit of greatness by way of self-centeredness, which is vanity.
[23:42] The cross sets you free to put it crudely from caring about what people think about you. Because at the cross, Jesus Christ preaches to you the word of God the Father, which is I love you and I have you, and now you're free, you're free from posturing.
[23:59] You can just be humble and humility is just to think less of self. He says, the only way you're ever gonna become a servant in this life is when you look at the cross and you know the cross has set you free from posturing.
[24:13] And so there's a beautiful moment, a helpful moment. You love it when the Bible does this. Philippians chapter two, verse three, Paul takes this moment in Mark 10 and he preaches about it and he gives me all the application.
[24:27] I don't have to come up with any of it. I don't have to say a single thing, I can just read what Paul said. And he gives you the application. He says in Philippians two, verse three, St. Columbus, St. C's, people of St. C's, do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, rather in humility, count others above yourselves.
[24:49] And he says, in your relationships to one another, have the same mindset as Jesus Christ had for you. Well, that's back to Mark 10, 45, where Jesus says, I came to be a servant and if you wanna become great, follow me, become a servant.
[25:05] And Paul says, have the same mindset as Jesus Christ, who being in the very nature of God did not consider equality something to hold onto with God, but he made himself nothing.
[25:17] And there's the application. He says, the first step in servanthood is humility, humility, humility, humility. Now, John Calvin, we haven't had a Calvin quote in three weeks, it's time.
[25:30] Calvin says this, he talks about reading earlier Christian writers about this issue, the issue of humility towards servanthood, of giving up posturing, of giving up what people think about you, of giving up vanity, of going low, the lifetime struggle that every single one of us has.
[25:50] And this is what Calvin says, he says, I've always been exceedingly delighted to read the words of John Chrysostom. He says, the foundation of our faith is humility.
[26:01] And he said, and I love to read the words of Saint Augustine, who said this, as the great orator he was, when asked, what is the first precept in eloquence, in delivering a speech?
[26:11] And Augustine answered, delivery. What's the second? Delivery. What's the third? Delivery. And he said, so Calvin writes, if you ask me in regard to the precepts of the Christian faith, I will say to you, first, second, and third, humility.
[26:30] And by humility, I mean when one realizes, my happiness I owe entirely to God. And Calvin asked us, what have you to bring, but your own sin?
[26:41] First, second, and third humility. He says, how do we grow in humility? This is gonna be our refrain here at the end of the sermon. Here's the refrain, how do you grow? Step one, towards servanthood.
[26:53] Taking on humility, putting away vanity, getting out of self-sunderness, thinking of others more than yourself, that's the path to servanthood. How do you do it?
[27:03] Set, you've got to grow in this. We all, we have to set before our minds and our hearts every single day the cross of Jesus Christ.
[27:15] The way to grow in servanthood and humility first is to glory every day. Do you have a moment every single day? A moment, every day, where you step across the threshold and contemplate the beauty and the horror of the cross of Jesus Christ.
[27:33] What it means for you, how it sets you free, it's ransom, it's servanthood. Do you have a moment every day where you contemplate it? That's the path, every single day. Now second, of three, and we'll be done of applications here.
[27:46] Second, the second way into servanthood, he tells us here, is that the cross also sets the pattern for the cruciform life. It sets the posture, humility, but then it also sets the pattern for the cruciform life.
[28:01] And this is real cruciformity. You can see it in verse 39. James and John say, we want to be great. Jesus says, can you drink the cup?
[28:11] You have no idea what you're asking. And then Jesus turns around and says to them, but after I drink the cup for you, you will also drink the cup. Did you hear him?
[28:22] He said, I'm going to drink the cup, you cannot drink the cup of God's wrath, but you also are going to drink a cup. And most commentators think that he was talking there about James's martyrdom and John's suffering and exile on the Isle of Patmos.
[28:37] Every single one of the apostles, besides John, were murdered for their faith. And here he signals that. He's saying, there is a cruciform life. We are all set towards Jerusalem.
[28:50] In other words, he's telling them that the path of the cruciform life is that when you believe in the power of the cross, there's a calling in your life to embrace the fact that there will be suffering that comes with the Christian life.
[29:02] That grace is free, is free, but it's not cheap. It's costly. And the cruciform life, that means, is one at least of this where in being called to a public faith, there's going to be some form of loss.
[29:21] Because of what you believe in. He's saying that you've got to expect in the cruciform life some measure of suffering as you become a fool for Christ in the midst of the wisdom of the world.
[29:35] And at least that means something like giving up your time and your money and your entertainments and pleasures you probably would have chased apart from Jesus Christ.
[29:46] At least that. And for James, it was so much more. How do you grow into being able to have the strength to live a cruciform life like that that's willing to count the cost, willing to suffer?
[30:00] Do you have a moment every day where you step across the threshold and contemplate in your mind and heart the glory and horror of the cross of Jesus Christ?
[30:11] That Jesus Christ went to the cross for you. That he drank the cup that you should have drank it would have destroyed you. But in his destruction, he came alive.
[30:22] Do you have a moment every day? You see, again, the power, the strength to become a servant in humility and in cruciformity is to look at the cross every single day.
[30:32] Now finally, we close. The last thing that we're told here is to become a servant like Jesus like we're called to in his example, the cross is that he says, well, become a servant.
[30:45] And the word that he uses for servant here in verses 43 and 44 and then in 45 as well is the word diaconos in Greek. You'll hear the English, it's deacon.
[30:56] So he says, if the cross has transformed you towards humility, if the cross has brought you into the awareness that this is costly, that I'm gonna suffer, I'm gonna lose something, then finally he says, now you're ready to become a deacon.
[31:12] And everybody's called to be a deacon. And everybody's called to be a deacon in the small lowercase letter sense of the word. A deacon is just a servant, is just a minister in the New Testament.
[31:23] And it's basically just this, 1 John 419, we love, we serve because he has already come at the cross and loved us so much.
[31:34] And so he says, now go forth and be a deacon. He's gonna shortly after this wash their feet. He's gonna go low, he's gonna go all the way to the bottom, doing the most menial, dirtiest tasks for them.
[31:46] And he was deaconing, he was serving, he was ministering. And he says, that's it. He turns around to them and says, go and do this too. Go all the way to the bottom. True leadership, true greatness, true service is to go low, low, low for others to serve.
[32:00] And he gave us that example. He says, if you know the power of the cross, there's the example of the cross. Go low, serve, become a deacon. Now let's close, this is truly the last word.
[32:13] There is a warning here. I wanna bring back up a warning here, an awareness here. We talked about this when August, if you were around, when we were looking at the series on love. And one of the things we talked about was loving ministry.
[32:26] And it was the same exact idea as Enrollments 12. Love being a deacon for God, love serving. But the warning of the passage we're in today is be aware of vanity, be aware of posturing.
[32:41] Be aware that in this Christian life, you're fighting for humility, but the deep, deep desire to be truly great is always popping up in ways that will not make you truly great.
[32:53] You know, the James and John mentality is always bubbling back up to the surface. I wanna be great, I wanna great life, and I wanna get it and define it in the way I want to. And sometimes you hear Jesus say, well, become a deacon, become a servant, minister, go low, be a great server in the church, sign up today after worship for more serving positions.
[33:16] That's coming in the announcements. And we've got to remember that if we don't have the cross, what we deserve, what we need at the center of our sight, the eyes of our face, sit on the cross, then we can take religion, service, and turn it into the path of self-centered greatness.
[33:38] And Charles Spurgeon, you might remember this quote, and this is the last thing, he says, if your deepest motive, even in ministry, is to be active, to appear to be diligent, to win commendation for taking your share in the church's work, you have not served God, you've served yourself.
[33:55] And I could add one more too, at Thomas, T.S. Eliot, I should say, his poem, Murder in the Cathedral, about Thomas Beckett. Thomas Beckett, the archbishop of Canterbury that was martyred in the 12th century by the king.
[34:12] He went to die, he went to die in the name of Jesus, but in T.S. Eliot's rendition, he writes that Thomas Beckett's last and unforeseen temptation was the luster of martyrdom.
[34:26] And he said, as he faced martyrdom, he said, oh, I want to do the right thing, but I know it's for the wrong reason. You know, he said, am I going, am I even going this far?
[34:36] Because I want my name to be remembered, I want my name to be great. There will be statues of me all over London, he wanted it, that's what T.S. Eliot records. And you see, Spurgeon comes and says, when you serve, when you become a deacon, whose smile is it that really gladdens your heart?
[34:55] Whose frown would depress you? Whose honor do you seek in all the good that you are doing? Do you seek the smile of the Lord, the one who came for you at the cross?
[35:07] Now this is true for all of us. Every single good, deaconing thing we do is mixed in motive. Who will save us from this body, this heart of death?
[35:18] And the only answer is every single day to step across the threshold and behold the beauty of the cross. And to know that even in my mixed motives, even in the ways I serve, that I'm not really serving, Jesus Christ really did die for me.
[35:36] He really did save me from my bad motives. He really did, he saved me from my sin and my death. He drank the cup that I deserved. He was destroyed and yet he saves.
[35:48] I would have just been destroyed. How do you grow, how do you change? First Corinthians 2-2, Paul has the last word. He says, I decided to do nothing among you except Jesus and particularly him crucified.
[36:03] Let's pray together. Lord, we set before the eyes of our heart, the cross today and we ask Lord that you would teach us in all its horror, it's utter beauty that you in that moment where the sun was forsaken, you were so for us, you love us, you pronounce over us that the cup of wrath has been poured.
[36:31] It's gone, we're reconciled, be reconciled to God you say. So Lord, we seek reconciliation this morning and then from that we ask by the spirit that you would teach us to become servants.
[36:43] And we pray this in Christ's name, amen.