“What are you doing at 8 am tomorrow morning?”

It won’t surprise you that my answer was – “Er, not much I think!”

I was at Soul Survivor C for a couple of days over the summer, and a good friend of mine was Chaplain to the Stewards. Once he discovered I had no plans for first thing the next day, he asked if I could come and do a short devotional for the Stewards.

I gave an enthusiastic yes, and in God’s kindness, I had an immediate sense of what I should speak on.

The volunteers at Soul Survivor are incredible people. Giving up precious holiday time in their various workplaces, they then work crazy long hours to serve the 8000+ young people who attend the Festival. They truly embrace the call of Jesus to embrace a life of sacrificial, loving service. Putting others first. Putting in the hard graft. And not expecting anything in return, other than the joy of being a blessing to others.

So I told them, early the next day, that they were ALL inspiring awesome examples. Jesus does indeed call us to serve and all Heaven would be cheering them on!

BUT…there’s something more important than that! Something more wonderful than that! The most important thing to EVER know…

Before we are servants of God, He calls us to be His sons and daughters. We are the children of God. Loved not because we serve, but loved because He is a perfect Heavenly Father who relentlessly and eternally loves us. We serve FROM His approval, not FOR his approval.

I love the moment of Jesus’ baptism where Father God opens up the heavens and declares with pride – “This is beloved Son – in whom I am well pleased!

Pleased? Why? What has Jesus done at this point? He’s not preached the Gospel, healed the sick, cast out demons, fed thousands or gone to the cross. It’s a great reminder of that same truth – God doesn’t love us because of what we do – He loves us because He is love and we are the beloved. That’s it! End of story!

And God doesn’t have two kinds of love. He loves us as much as He loves Jesus. Incredible!

So keep serving others. Definitely keep doing that. Thanks for serving, for sure. But remember, that before you are called to be servants, you are called to be beloved sons and daughters. If only you dared to believe it was true…