Greatness is determined by humility in God’s Kingdom. Humility has been described as not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. Service is more about a mindset than actions performed. Philippians 2 provides an excellent way to think about service . Three steps are involved in service. Jesus Christ displayed each of these.
It is not about what you “do for God”. Jesus taught in Matthew 7:22 many would think their wonderful acts of service would get them a spot in Heaven. However, Jesus said they would be turned away. Service is not great and wonderful acts. Service is a state of mind.
This mindset begins with emptying oneself. Recognizing you have great value and worth. However, you willingly lay all that aside to be of help to someone else. You in no way deny your value. Instead, you choose not to exercise it for your own advantage. Jesus displayed this perfectly. He understood himself to be the Son of God. He knew God was His Father. He had a perfect union with God and knew the Father would do anything He asked of Him. He did not use that for his own advantage, but he emptied himself of that privilege.
Next, service is determining to represent yourself as a servant to everyone. You think of yourself as someone hired to work in another’s household. You are willing to do the little tasks to ensure the lives of others run successfully. Doing what needs to be done to get the job done is a motto for service. Jesus’ popular example of washing the disciples’ feet (John 13) was doing something for his disciples that needed to be done. He saw something that needed doing, and he did it. Service is displayed in this way.
Finally, service for others is a deep desire to take the other person’s place to the greatest extent possible. Paul had a service mentality in Romans 9:3. He would have been willing to have been cursed so that others could be saved. Though that was not possible, Paul had a state of mind that would have acted upon that desire if given the opportunity. Jesus had the ultimate servant’s mindset for his desire to take our place and die in our place. Jesus not only had the willingness to take another’s place, he did it. Jesus’ death on the cross is the ultimate example of service.