Friday, April 18, 2014

And He Shall Be Called Servant

Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.” — Matthew 12:18 NIV


What’s your opinion about servants?

_____I wouldn’t want to be one
_____no ambition
_____low pay, no respect
_____easy job, no great skill needed
_____low class
_____great for people lacking in brains or education
_____other __________________________________________________________________

Our prejudices blind us to the many educated, intelligent and conscientious people who make a good living, and take pride in, being servants. But in Jesus’ day, being a servant was close kin to being a slave, and we’d like to think that slavery was abolished long ago.

The fuel the world runs on is not found in anyone’s oil well. The world runs on the premise that I am my own “man”, that no one owns me, and that no one can tell me what to do. We work very hard at trying to be islands where there is no ocean. We like to think that it is actually possible to be independent when every gimmick, gadget and advertisement screams the opposite. If we really were “free” we wouldn’t need the internet, deodorant or traffic lights — just to name a few. Paul told us two thousand years ago that we were slaves to whoever we obey (Romans 6:16).

Who do you obey?

We all obey something or someone. So it is not a question of whether or not; the issue is who, or what, we will serve.

For the Lord Jesus to be called, or to call Himself, a servant was a simple acknowledgment of a fact. And the Bible is full of instructions on servanthood.

Check out the following scriptures on being a servant. Beside the phrase write the number of the verse which corresponds to it.

1. Deuteronomy 10:12

2. Joshua 24:15

3. Matthew 4:10

4. Matthew 20:26

5. Matthew 20:28

6. Matthew 25:21

7. Luke 16:13

8. Luke 17:10

9. Romans 12:11

10. Ephesians 4:12

11. Ephesians 6:7

12. Philippians 2:7

13. Colossians 3:22-24

_____we serve whatever we are most devoted to
_____good service brings divine commendation
_____serve the Lord by serving men
_____no matter how much we do, it isn’t enough
_____who we serve is a choice we make
_____saved to serve
_____serving is a spiritual exercise
_____ the ultimate service is to God
_____Christ chose to be a servant
_____greatness comes with servanthood
_____serve because of your relationship with Christ
_____the only service is to God
_____Jesus was the ultimate example of servanthood

Read John 13:1-17. (Remember that Judas was still present with the other disciples and that Jesus washed his feet too, knowing that Judas was about to betray Him). Translate this incident in the life of Christ into your life. What is the most personally humbling service that you can render to someone who isn’t your friend?

How would you go about carrying out this act of service?

Ask the Lord for a servant’s heart, for humility and for a gracious spirit that will allow you to follow the example of Christ, and to serve wholeheartedly in His name. Invite Him to show you areas in which you have refused to ‘dirty your hands’. Ask forgiveness for denying yourself the opportunity to follow Him in these areas. Commit yourself to being a better servant of His, so that you can better serve others.

Christ’s servant spirit took Him to the cross. He gave all so that He could offer salvation to all. Paul put aside his rights so that he could minister to all in order that some might be saved (I Corinthians 9:19-23). We are called to follow Christ’s example. To do otherwise is to name Him a fool for allowing Himself to be taken advantage of. To do otherwise is to consider ourselves better than He was. To the one who is secure in his identity as a child of the King, focused on his divinely appointed purpose in life, and sure of his special place in the kingdom, washing feet becomes a great privilege, not because of the nature of the act, but because we are serving Him, by serving others.

How’s your foot washing going? What service can you render in the name of Jesus, and for His glory? Where is this act of service noted on your calendar or in your daybook?

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