It was in His hands that He took up the towel and served those men; those who trusted Him with their livelihood, their future, their purpose and of a hopeful promise of more to come. This Jesus, using His hands to serve those whom He loved, gave us the greatest example of servant hood. He gave it for many reasons, but I also believe it was to help liberate us to do the good work He planned for us long ago!
Another wonderful part of the masterpiece God has created for you to serve. As I look at my hands, I ask… “what DO hands do?”
I think about Jesus’ hands. In every scripture verse I recall about His hands or how he used them, I find that they are serving hands. What first comes to your mind about His hands in scripture?
These were the hands that healed the blind, bid the disciples to come, cooked on the seashore, overturned tables in the temple courts, provided comfort to those in need, fed the thousands, and then, ultimately they were nailed to the cross.
These few examples are during Biblical times. Stop and ponder how He is still using His hands in your life today.
I just returned from a wonderful 20th wedding anniversary vacation with Brian….destination, Nova Scotia for 10 days! Upon my return, I discovered that our electricity had been out for a long time due to a storm, and as I opened my refrigerator, I realized that nothing was safe to eat. Everything had to be trashed including all freezer food! I spent a good part of my first day home cleaning out the refrigerator. I had nothing to send to work with Brian for lunch and no breakfast to serve! Later that morning, I received a text message from a friend welcoming me home and offering me lunch. She had no indication, at that moment, that we were foodless! And I was really hungry!! Sure, I could have driven to MacDonald’s but I wasn’t ready to stop the cleanout process! I’m telling this story because it is a prime example of how a member of the body of Christ heard His prompting and responded. When she arrived, she discovered my dilemma. “It was a God thing!” she exclaimed. You see, she really didn’t have time in her schedule to even have lunch with a friend…but she chose to obey the Lord’s tug and we were both blessed! There was enough food for the evening and for Brian’s lunch the next day. I didn’t have to rush to restock. God used His hands of provision through the hands of a friend. I’m forever grateful!
Can you see how God is at work in your life? How have you been blessed by the hands of others? How long has it been since you even thought to serve someone? Are your hands being used for selfish purposes or are they intentionally at work serving others?
After Jesus rose from the grave, that same day, he met the two on the road to Emmaus and walked and talked with them. They discussed everything from Moses to Jesus’ suffering. He then entered into their home and then served them with his hands by breaking bread. These two, then realized that they had been with Jesus and they rushed back to tell the disciples what had happened!
(read the account in Luke 24: 13-33)
While these two were telling of the event, Jesus appeared.
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
Luke 24: 36-40
I find it amazing that He was asking them to recognize Him not by His face or the sound of His voice, not even by the piercing of His side or the stripes on His back, but by looking upon His hands and feet! Perhaps they were the part of His body that the disciples were most familiar. His hands had served them and His feet had walked many paths with them.
After He met with them, He ate broiled fish (a healthy meal), He encouraged them, then led them out of the city, raised His hands and blessed them. Then, He ascended into heaven.
In the Emmaus Road account, Jesus:
When He appeared to the eleven and these two from Emmaus, He instructed them to “See my hands and feet.” Jesus used His extremities for service. (I will discuss feet next time.) He was recognized by the hands that served and the feet that walked.
Do you notice other people’s hands of feet? Can you recognize them by their extremities? Perhaps how they walk or how they serve?
Extremities are defined as:
~ the farthest or outermost point of section
~ the greatest or most intense degree
~ the end part of a limb, as a hand or foot
~ a condition of extreme need or danger
Hands and feet are located away from the center of our body (away from self-centeredness) they are used in helping in a condition of extreme need or danger! We ought to use them sacrificially, reaching out for the greatest needs of others. God gave us 5 fingers to help us serve. He gave me 5 more points to help us know how to serve.
1. First finger! Serve. It’s the right thing to do! We are created in the image of God. Scripture is
full of how “God gave and Jesus served!”
2. Create – first you must create space in your life to serve. Create a meal, time for helping someone out, write a note, hold another’s hand and pray with them. Serve creatively…not so much “arts and crafts!” but think about it, Jesus served creatively. He took what was around him and used it to serve another. Fish/loaves, mud and spit to heal a blind man’s eyes, all were creative acts of serving. Think creatively! I once loaded my backpack with my china and crystal glasses, tablecloth, flowers and simple lunch. I popped in on a friend while she was at work and we turned her desk into a beautiful dining table. It was just the “pick me up” she needed for the day. It was creative, not expensive, spontaneous, and was instructed by the Lord. He knows just when to send showers of blessings…make sure you are listening!
3. Serve with someone. Think of the friends of the paralyzed man who served him creatively. They gathered rope, opened the roof and let him down so that he could get to Jesus.
Don't forget that two are better than one!
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
4. Serve by a touch. Touching is powerful. Something that everyone can simply do, but it may not be easy for some. A simple appropriate touch offers meaningful moments, feeling of security, concern & care, and love. Research indicates that there's a reduction in the action of the hypothalamic area of the brain, which controls the so-called "fight or flight" response. The body's level of stress hormones decreases and the level of endorphins increases, leading to a minimized perception of pain and a greater feeling of well-being. Touching can help heal…emotionally and physically. Jesus stretched forth His hand and touched…people were healed.
5. Keep it to yourself.
Careful not to brag or speak much about serving or giving to others.
It’s a heart attitude!
Look at your own hands. Think of the times you have served others and received a blessing.
Now read Exodus 17: 1-12. It seems that Moses was always using his hands to serve God’s people. Notice in verse 12 that his hands became heavy. One of the common temptations as Christians is succumbing to the pressure of having to "have it all together." We may be tempted to hide our fears and weaknesses, feeling that we need to be strong for others. We may find it difficult to trust others with our insecurities and doubts, believing that this would somehow compromise our integrity as mature believers. Such tendencies are rooted in our cultural ethic of self-reliance, and they can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation that will ultimately handicap our effectiveness of ministering to others. To truly grow and do the good work He has called us to and planned long ago, we must, like Moses, be willing to embrace the support of trusted friends and advisors. How often do you accept the assistance of others? Is there someone whose hands you help hold high? Jot down any thoughts or feelings you have about hands in your journal or put them on a sticky note and place them where you can reflect on them throughout the day.
I’m the type of person that would rather struggle through things myself rather than ask for help. This is not wise! I’ll jump to serve others, but often, I find myself reluctant to receive help. As I am maturing in my spiritual journey, I am realizing that God really does speak to the heart of others in order to help me out. I must be ready to accept, and in doing so, I am blessed and they are as well! Like Jesus, we must serve using our extremities, the part that is far way from our center...self centeredness! Our hands were made for reaching out, unclenched.
An open hand is a universal signal = invitation!
It quietly speaks of a willingness to serve.
Won't you use your hands in service to Him today? I promise that you will be blessed as you bless another!
From a servant heart,
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