Service is defined as "the condition of being a servant, the fact of serving a master." Service is the rent you pay for the universal space you occupy. Service is a particular ministerial office or charge, a duty, serving God by obedience, piety, and good works.

Service, the 33rd Degree of the Via Christa, is Wisdom, Love and Selflessness in fourfold action: To protect others, keep to purity, give to others, and to praise. Service is a virtue, which we perfect under the Degree of Priest, who practices selfless sacrificial service.

Edna Lister's Sermons and Lectures on Service
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Edna Lister on Service

You can stand steadfast, and be worth what you desire to be worth in the service of God only while you remain in the heart of the fire. – Edna Lister, The Sermon on the Mount, January 31, 1933.

Service is Wisdom, Love and Selflessness in fourfold action: To protect others, to keep to purity, to give to others, and to praise. – Edna Lister, Recognizing Your Good, April 22, 1934.

Love is the divine tempter, to tempt you divinely to serve God. – Edna Lister, Divine Love, August 26, 1934.

Success comes not for the wanting of it, nor for the desire of it. You must plan for, serve for and sacrifice for success. You bring it forth, push it forth from within, according to your loyalty, our steadfastness under the Light, and no one may add it to you from outside. You must build each step to success by your own service to God. – Edna Lister, August 25, 1938.

Fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. – Joshua 24:14-15. Whom will you serve today, God or self? – Edna Lister, November 14, 1938.

Let us ever be in selfless sweetness, sacrificial firmness, and in service founded in finality of and from the one great Source, God. – Edna Lister, January 1, 1939.

If we, the Elect, served God in the Light as well as we have served self in the darkness of self, our lives would be creations of delight. – Edna Lister, January 13, 1939.

As a servant who leaves a master partakes no longer in the master's abundance, so do you, when you lose your heavenly contact with God, by letting go of soul expression to allow self to control, lose partaking of your Father's life, Power and Substance. – Edna Lister, January 19, 1939.

Freedom from all darkness means to lift and give all burdens for God to change them into the Light, to love the service you give where you are so that God may emancipate you into His perfect place for you. – Edna Lister, February 3, 1939.

The Disciple vows "to surrender completely to become the servant of all the Power." – Edna Lister, Vows, January 7, 1940.

The one who makes the greatest gains is the one who offers the greatest, selfless, sacrificial service. – Edna Lister, February 29, 1940.

A good steward in God's house is alert and ever watchful over the Father's business. – Edna Lister, February 29, 1940.

Jealousy, revenge or condemnation means you are not yet ready to serve. – Edna Lister, July 10, 1941.

Once you start to "save" one or a million, the work of saving continues, no matter what they do, until Light completely redeems them, which is your service. – Edna Lister, October 7, 1941.

Surrender always to be a greater and more useful servant of all Power. – Edna Lister, October 23, 1941.

Forget self in worship of and service to the Light. Then you shine. – Edna Lister, January 1, 1942.

Let law use you to its own glory and more glory will pour on you, for law ever seeks a new means of serving God. – Edna Lister, January 5, 1942.

Law serves only God, not man. Perfect law will use him who lends himself as a servant of God to express the fullness of all life perfectly. – Edna Lister, January 5, 1942.

The idea must always be greater than the man, to fulfill the law of "forgetfulness of self in service." – Edna Lister, Crusaders of Light, March 8, 1942.

Outer personal desires must serve the I AM consciousness of the individual, which is the inner mental life. – Edna Lister, Gates of Gold, March 22, 1942.

The same situations will arise wherever you are, whatever you do until you serve God only, and never notice how others treat you. – Edna Lister, December 15, 1944.

Every time you fail to do a duty or commit an inconsideration, you break a line of Light and must patch it. – Edna Lister, July 8, 1945.

Choose whom you will serve, Light or the dark of the self. – Edna Lister, July 25, 1945.

Let the lights shine on you as revelation to place you in new lights for greater service. – Edna Lister, February 25, 1946.

"Take up your cross and follow me," and "The works that I do and greater shall you do," are active orders. Christ has called us to mastery of self through surrender to become the servant of all the Power. – Edna Lister, Vicarious Atonement, January 5, 1947.

A true servant always stands ready to be used by Power, alive and alert to the need to release Power, praising in joy to become the law of the love of God, embodied and serving on earth. – Edna Lister, June 2, 1947.

You are the servant of all Power. No weakness or indecision resides in Power, yet its servants must find a way around instead of hurting another. – Edna Lister, June 2, 1947.

Recognize the soul's need to become a servant of all Power. – Edna Lister, June 2, 1947.

Move up in consciousness and see God in every opportunity for service. – Edna Lister, June 20, 1947.

Inner vision opens only while you serve and do selflessly. – Edna Lister, December 13, 1947.

Be a servant of the Supreme. – Edna Lister, January 8, 1948.

Complete surrender to Light, to be possessed of the first principles of God, leads you to become the servant of all Power, exercising compassion for all others and yourself. – Edna Lister, What I Do Have, I Give, October 1, 1950.

Through faith, love and compassion we become the servant of all Power. – Edna Lister, To Seek the Light, June 10, 1951.

You can freeze water into ice or boil it into steam, but you cannot have ice and steam together. No one can serve both God and self. – Edna Lister, To Seek the Light, June 10, 1951.

The greatest in Light must be the servant of all Light. He who would become the greatest among you must first become the servant of all. This does not mean that you must become a doormat. He who would be the greatest before God in love, joy, wealth and power must surrender and become the servant of all Light. – Edna Lister, The Whole Armor of God, July 8, 1951.

Lift, ascend, be the surrendered servant of Power. A servant of Light cleans up all darkness around him. – Edna Lister, Forgiveness, the Path of Glory, October 21, 1951.

The secret of the law of joy is to serve God, and love man. – Edna Lister, March 30, 1952.

If you have consecrated yourself to service, and desire to do something about a situation, you may find yourself suddenly saying something shocking, which is how God drives in a wedge of Light. Ascend on it and declare it good instantly. – Edna Lister, October 6, 1952.

Charity begins at home, but service is the best action. If you want love and devotion, serve in that capacity toward others, offer God a balanced devotion and faith. – Edna Lister, The Mantle of Messiahship, October 12, 1952.

You are not on earth to be served, made happy, to demand of others, to have everything beautiful, but to serve, make others happy and give, give, give. – Edna Lister, From Surrender to Ascension, January 15, 1954.

Faith is the servant of God. – Edna Lister, Your Life's Plan, May 16, 1954.

The world's base metals turn into gold, not on demand but because you serve the universes. – Edna Lister, December 10, 1956.

Your first step must be fervently to desire to serve God and humanity in unconquerable faith to do. – Edna Lister, March 7, 1957.

Don't put a price tag on your service, just love God. – Edna Lister, March 7, 1957.

The now demands your steadfast standing under the Light as God's perfect surrendered servant, permitting God, allowing God to send Power to close the mouths of lions, to cover all transgressions, including yours. – Edna Lister, April 10, 1957.

The way of exaltation is the way of service, day and night, alive and alight, never alone. – Edna Lister, October 30, 1957.

You do not receive credits for service on demands you make of others. – Edna Lister, September 21, 1958.

You are only as great as your capacity to serve. You descended to serve. When you want to be served or ministered to, your Guards must bring you up on a short leash. – Edna Lister, October 9, 1958.

He who is the servant of all and takes blame, that one God will find ready when the world is about to be splintered by evil. He can withstand a shot of Power that no one else could take, to save a vibration. Whom the Lord loves, He depends upon. – Edna Lister, December 8, 1958.

You cover a cosmic debt with a cosmic service. – Edna Lister, June 28, 1959.

A creator, standing as the servant of All before an altar, merely speaks the Word to release Light to move in to do the perfect work. Light needs or tolerates no interference. Light is sufficient to do the whole job. The law to apply where Light is needed is always to prepare the way of the Lord by declaring the object of prayer declarations "good and very good." After that, use the proper phrases to express need, such as, "Let there be Light," or "Let Thy Light go forth," or "Oh, God, according to Thy loving kindness." – Edna Lister, January 28, 1960.

Credits are added to talents with which to appreciate, apprehend and grow into the new glories of service to God. – Edna Lister, May 20, 1960.

You choose when you will become, whose you are, how completely surrendered and devotionally you will serve. – Edna Lister, December 29, 1960.

You can help the younger souls on earth. This is both your duty and responsibility. – Edna Lister, Heaven, a Place to Fill, April 10, 1962.

Repine not. You must give every hour's service freely without a grudge or blame for the one who demands the service. – Edna Lister, February 1963.

Do your duty where you are, which can bring no greater credits. Ascension takes you higher for greater credits. Only a hair's breadth separates a proper joy in being used, and crediting yourself, a delicate sensitivity to achieve. Take credit only for being an instrument. When you are there, you will look for no credit, just to be used for the right thing at the right time. – Edna Lister, March 3, 1963.

Law gives no credits for doing your duty. You receive no credits for playing the role in which you are cast. You must serve beyond duty, with no thoughts about credits for praying, holding, loving enough or obedience to all laws. – Edna Lister, June 10, 1965.

No task appointed is too hard or long. You have no right to demand payment for any service, no matter how long or hard to complete. – Edna Lister, May 5, 1966.

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Stories That Illustrate Service:

Wedding at Cana: And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. – John 2:1-11.

Separating the Sheep From the Goats: When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. – Matthew 25:31-46

A Servant's Creed: Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. – 2 Corinthians 6:3-10.

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New Testament on Service

Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. – Matthew 20:27-28.

He that is greatest among you shall be your servant. – Matthew 23:11.

If any man desires to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. – Mark 9:35.

Whoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. – Mark 10:43-45.

If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor. – John 12:26.

Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he comes shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. – Luke 12:37.

The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. – Luke 22:25-27.

If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor. – John 12:26.

The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serves Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. – Romans 14:17-19.

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Old Testament on Service

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. – Psalm 100:2.

He who walks in a perfect way, he shall serve Me. – Psalm 101:6.

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Service in Other Sacred Writings

If you come to serve the Lord, prepare your soul for temptation. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 2:1.

It is impossible for a servant to serve two masters; otherwise he will honor the one and treat the other contemptuously. – Gospel of Thomas, Codex II, 2.

Visible light shines on your behalf, not in order that you remain here [on earth], but rather that you might come forth; whenever all the elect abandon bestiality [animal nature], this light will withdraw up to its essence, and its essence will welcome it, since it is a good servant. – Thomas the Contender, Codex II, 7.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 –1971
The original Pioneering Mystic
minister, teacher, and author

Edna Lister

Etymology of service: Latin servitium, "slavery," from servus, "slave."

Service is a soul virtue.


The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV), Public Domain.

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, editor. San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1981.

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