Most people wouldn’t use a picture of an ox to teach an object lesson. However, one creative Sunday school teacher did. The picture she displayed was of an ox standing between a plow and an altar. The beast of burden is ready to work hard and serve his master in one moment, and lay down his life in sacrifice the next. This provides a fitting picture of a servant.

God has commissioned us as His servants. We ought to stand between service and sacrifice. The willingness of the ox to give his all should characterize our service to our Master. At the end of our labors, may it be said of us that we held nothing back.

Consider some of the greatest servants in your life—they may be parents, pastors, or teachers. What servant traits do they share in common—Dedication? Humility? Perseverance? Compassion? Which traits would you like to demonstrate in your own life?

Here’s how you can make it happen. Study Philippians 2 and take note how Christ served others. His selfless spirit motivated both His service and sacrifice. Pray that God would help you put others’ needs, desires, and feelings first. Finally, subordinate your will for the benefit of your brothers and sisters in Christ. These brushstrokes will help paint the perfect portrait of Christ-like service.

Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay? — David Livingstone

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.