Servant/Serving

<<one who serves another>>

Jesus voluntarily came to do God’s will, ‘not to be served but to serve’, by putting aside His divine position, rights and privileges to do good and give His life for us, and we are to follow His example (Mt 20:28; Jn 15:13; Act 10:38; Phil 2:5-7; Heb 10:9; 1 Jn 3:16). Just a few hours before being betrayed He washed the disciple’s feet – a servant’s work.  He knew the cruelty that He would soon be subject to, yet chose to do this menial, unpleasant task, concluding with the statement, ‘Do as I have done, it is the pathway to blessing’ (Jn 13:15,17).

You become a servant by serving so “Live as servants of God...serving with the strength He gives” (1 Pet 2:16, 4:10,11). A servant attitude comes from loving God with all your

     Servanthood is to bless others

being and loving your neighbour as yourself, being in submission and ministering to their needs as appropriate (Mk 12:30,31). The Roman soldiers could order any able-bodied Jew to carry their kitbag for one mile.  Jesus said, go beyond the call of duty (what is imposed upon you) and carry it a second mile (Mt 5:41). If I had been inconvenienced like this, what would my thoughts and body language reveal about my being a servant or having a servant attitude?

Becoming a servant is how we best demonstrate true discipleship and God’s love to a hurting world.  Christ sets us free from sin and bondage to self, not to live as we want but so we can truly serve and minister to others, especially our fellow believers, for serving reflects our love and submission to Him (Rom 7:6). This is ‘sowing’ to please the Holy Spirit which will result in an extraordinary and lasting reward (Gal 6:7-10).

Faithfully serve God to the best of your ability wherever He calls you without the selfish motive of seeking human praise. He calls, enables and requires co-operation from us so we must acknowledge our dependency on the Lord without making excuses (Ex 3:10-4:17; Jdg 6:12-16; 1Thes 5:24). We are the channels through which His power will flow to impact people for His glory. Like the human body, the body of Christ (the church) requires each part to fulfil its role for the whole to function effectively, so as you get involved and find your place of service to bless others you will find fulfilment and this will often open the door to further opportunities (1 Cor 12:27; Eph 4:16).

Don’t focus so much on your ability or lack of it, but make yourself fully available to Him.  Mary’s response was, “I am the Lord’s servant, be it unto me according to your word”; later she could speak from experience, urging others to willingly do what He requests (Lk 1:38; Jn 2:5). Ask, “What does my Lord say to His servant”, then through active

He gave His life for mine; can I                        give Him anything less?

involvement with Him produce the fruit of good works (Josh 5:14; 1 Sam 3:10; Mt 25:14-30; Jn 15:4,5,8). Do what is ‘at your hand to do’ for through this you will be serving God and bringing Him glory (Eccl 9:10; 1 Cor 10:31; Eph 6:7; Col 3:17,23,24).

The thrust of the parable about the Good Samaritan, who had nothing to gain by helping the wounded and helpless traveller, is “Go and do likewise” (Lk 10:30-37). Seldom is it a ‘convenient time’ to serve, often costing effort, time, money, and reputation as we choose to deny self and minister to others.

Wisdom and integrity must be exercised as we lovingly submit to others (1 Cor 16:15,16; Gal 5:13). 

Don’t just assume but ask those over you, ‘Am I fulfilling your expectations or requirements? ‘Where can I improve as a servant?’ This prevents imposing solutions on others and gives them opportunity to express what they want or require. Conversely, servants should not be treated as door mats nor tolerate physical or verbal abuse. Servanthood is not unquestioning obedience nor doing for others, what they should do for themselves.

The Bible exhorts us all to offer spiritual sacrifices to God, serve others and respect those over us (1 Pet 2:4,5,13,14). Those wanting to be leaders must serve humbly – this

    We serve God by serving others

is opposite to the world’s way of using people to further personal goals and climb the ladder of worldly success (Mt 20:26-28, 23:11,12). Servanthood is the cure for selfishness, giving up our rights for the good of others and fulfilling our responsibilities. Rebecca demonstrated a servant’s heart by voluntarily going beyond the expected (Gen 24:18-20). It is more blessed to give than receive (Act 20:35).

Paul, Timothy, James, Peter and Jude all describe themselves as "bondservants of Christ" (Rom 1:1; Phil 1:1; Jas 1:1; 2 Pet 1:1; Jud 1:1). Similarly as believers we should consider ourselves bondservants to Christ, giving Him our full allegiance and renouncing all other masters we make Him Lord of our lives (Mt 6:24, 16:24; 1 Cor 7:22; Eph 6:6; 2 Tim 2:24). The Bible declares, "Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life" (Rom 6:22).

See also: available, good works, handout/hand-up, lord/lordship, master, obedience, self-denial, self-sacrifice, service, slave, submission.


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