One word that keeps standing out to me as we read through John is the word glory.
Jesus uses it often. In John 5:41 He says, “I do not receive glory from people.” In John 7:18, “The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of Him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.” In John 12:42-43, we are warned, “Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in Him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”
I have to confess that too often I love the glory that comes from man. It is hard to really live by the truth of John 12:24-26: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
Where was Jesus? On His way to the cross. A place of death. Literal, painful, physical death.
I might not be called to physically die for Jesus, but every day I fight the battle of death to my desire for man’s glory, for attention, for praise. I remember those difficult years of raising young children, and snapping at them in my weariness one day, “I’m NOT your SERVANT!” Only to feel God pierce my heart in the next second—“Yes, you are.”
Servants are meant to be invisible, unseen, filling others’ needs without thanks or notice. We serve the ladies of Wayside through Women’s Ministries, not just through Bible studies and functions but through how we walk through each moment, how we care, how we speak, how we encourage, how we confront, how we pray. We might be invisible but we are NOT unseen. God sees, and He will grow much fruit out of our sacrifice. I want to be where my Savior is, loving the glory that comes from God more than the glory that comes from man.