BOOK: Who We Are In Christ
Chapter 12: A Servant

12    A Servant

                Matthew   25:21
                His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good
                and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful
                over a few things, I will make thee ruler over
                many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

We all are servants of the Lord.  We all long to hear Jesus say, "thou good and faithful servant".  But in order to be a good servant or a faithful servant, we need to know what a servant is and what his responsibilities are.

A servant is one under authority.  Obligated by debt, bondage, or even free will choice to obey and to be subject.  In our culture today, a soldier may be as close of an example as you can find:

                Luke       7:8 
                For I also am a man set under authority, having
                under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and
                he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh;
                and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

But in the Law of Moses, there is a more fitting example which I believe reflects the saints of the Lord.  It describes a free will servant, one who was purchased with a price and then set free to go any way he chose.  But the servant chose to stay subject to the master because of love:
                Exodus    21:5-6 
                And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my
                master, my wife, and my children; I will not go
                out free: Then his master shall bring him unto
                the judges; he shall also bring him to the door,
                or unto the door post; and his master shall bore
                his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve
                him for ever.
Jesus loved us so much, that He purchased us with His own blood.  He does not force us to obey Him, but leaves us to freely choose whether we will serve Him or not.  If we do, then He will stand before God the Father, the Judge of all, and confess us as being His brethren.  We bare His mark, not in the flesh, but in the circumcision of the heart, to obey Him in truth and in love.

Paul considered himself a servant of the Lord, freely choosing to obey God in all matters, and to serve the brethren in love.

                Romans     1:1 
                Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be
                an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
                I Cor      9:19
                For though I be free from all men, yet have I
                made myself servant unto all, that I might
                gain the more.

12.1    Humility - The Mind of Christ

We are to minister or serve each other in love.  We are not to have our own selves at heart, but to have the interest of others in mind as we do things.  We should continually be of the attitude, "What can I do for you today?". 

                Phil       2:2-4 
                Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having
                the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
                Let nothing be done through strife or
                vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each
                esteem other better than themselves.
                Look not every man on his own things, but every
                man also on the things of others.

                I Cor      2:16
                ... we have the mind of Christ.

This is the mind of Christ Jesus, to love and serve others.     

                Matthew   20:27
                And whosoever will be chief among you, let him
                be your servant:

                Mark       9:35
                And he sat down, and called the twelve, and
                saith unto them, If any man desire to be
                first, the same shall be last of all, and
                servant of all.

The disciples had some serious problems before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2.  One of these was a continual debate about who was the greatest.  This debate was even raging at the last supper.  Jesus sought to teach them love and service.  He knew that truly the greatest in heaven would be the one who loved others and served others the most. 

In biblical days, the lowest servant in the house was responsible for washing the feet of others.  This is why John the Baptist said he was not worthy to even loosen the latch of the sandal of the coming Messiah, referring to taking off His sandals to wash His feet.

The disciples had come to supper unwashed, not only too proud to wash others, but even to wash their own feet.  This hardness of heart, being unwilling to even do the simplest or lowest of task for others, deeply grieved Jesus.  So He took on the task Himself, not only to teach them, but also because He loved them.

Are you willing to do as Jesus ask of you?  Or are you too bond up arguing about who is better than another?  Or it is not your job? Or it is too meager and lowly for you? 

                Phil       2:5-8 
                Let this mind be in you, which was also in
                Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God,
                thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
                But made himself of no reputation, and took
                upon him the form of a servant, and was made
                in the likeness of men: And being found in
                fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became
                obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

To humble oneself merely means to set aside one's own will and to receive another's.  Jesus set aside every thought or will He had, including the temptation in the garden of Gethsemane to not go to the cross, and received the will of the Father.  To receive His will is to do it.  This is the mind of Christ, to humbly set aside our wills, thoughts, and desires for our lives, and to receive the Father's, which leads to glory and peace.  This is true servanthood. 

An example of the mind of Christ is be in a marriage where the wife lays aside her will to receive her husband's.  This does not mean that she does not think, nor that she does not communicate her desires with her husband, but that she follows his headship.

Humility is not crawling along the ground crying and begging.  Nor is it licking the ground someone walks on.  Humility is a simple choice of free will, to love and serve someone else.

A wife who refuses to release her own will, who demands her way, or refuses to support her husband's decision, is not humble nor following the mind of Christ.  Are you supporting Jesus' will and decisions for your life?  Or are you grumbling and refusing to yield?  Jesus said, if you love Him, then you would obey Him1

                John      13:34-35
                A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love
                one another; as I have loved you, that ye also
                love one another.
                By this shall all men know that ye are my
                disciples, if ye have love one to another.

                John      14:15,21
                If ye love me, keep my commandments...
                He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them,
                he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me
                shall be loved of my Father, and I will love
                him, and will manifest myself to him.

12.2    Ambassodors

In serving God, we are called to the ministry of reconciliation.  We as ambassadors of Christ are to call the lost, the lame, and the downtrodden to God's everlasting peace and rest in Christ Jesus:

                II Cor     5:18,20 
                And all things are of God, who hath reconciled
                us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given
                to us the ministry of reconciliation...
                Now then we are ambassadors for Christ....

This is what Jesus came to earth to do, to reconcile man to God.  When He left earth, He commanded believers to go into all the earth, in love, and do the same.

An ambassador is someone who is sent to a far away country to represent another.  An ambassador represents the very best of his country, and stands in full delegated power and authority for his sovereign.  We are not of this world, but count our citizenship in heaven2.  We sojourn here on earth as ambassadors of God, representing His very best, His love and glory on earth.  We stand in the full authority and power of God to do His will, forgiving sins with the blood of Jesus, and setting the captives free in the name of Jesus and with the power of the Holy Spirit.  Hallelujah!

                Luke      14:16-18,21-23
                Then said he unto him, A certain man made a
                great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant
                at supper time to say to them that were bidden,
                Come; for all things are now ready.  And they all
                with one consent began to make excuse....
                So that servant came, and shewed his lord these
                things. Then the master of the house being angry
                said to his servant, Go out quickly into the
                streets and lanes of the city, and bring in
                hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt,
                and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is
                done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is
                room.  And the lord said unto the servant, Go out
                into the highways and hedges, and compel them to
                come in, that my house may be filled.

God desires us to go forth and proclaim liberty to the captives, to declare that this is the day of salvation, to call all unto the marriage supper of the Lamb of God.

                I Sam     15:22
                And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight
                in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in
                obeying the voice of the Lord?  Behold, to
                obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken
                than the fat of rams.
                Matthew    9:13
                But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will
                have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not
                come to call the righteous, but sinners to

Many people believe they are doing God's work, but are actual following their own desires or thoughts3.  Like Paul who was serving God with all his heart, honesty and sincerely, killing christians and throwing them into prison, many people don't know they are on the wrong path.  Do you think a buddhist or a hinduist is purposely following the wrong god4?  Many christians are following the way of the pharisees, following traditions and instruction books, but not following love.  Love is the divine nature of God5, and faith worketh by love6.  God would have us obey Him, and be lead by His Spirit.  God would have our sincere obedience, and our showing forth of love and mercy towards others.  

God would have us not only reach those around us, but to take time and effort to reach the unreached, to tell the untold, and to love the unloved.  Take time to build bridges of love with people.  Don't just go out and try to "win another soul".  Many people are turned off because they don't believe you really care about them.  Many others are lost because someone prays with them, and then leaves them in the streets with no further love or support. 

Building bridges of love means to spend time and effort, to reach across the barriers that separate people.  Barriers of fear and loneliness, of hurt and poverty, can be overcome by showing people that you are truly interested in them, and not just interested in getting another notch on your "soul winning" gun.  Building bridges of love not only shows you love them, but that God loves them and has not forgotten them.  He is reaching out thru you to them, and they can see His love in and thru you. 
                Matthew    5:16
                Let your light so shine before men, that they
                may see your good works, and glorify your
                Father which is in heaven.

As ambassadors and servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are to show forth His love to all mankind.  We are to let that love light shine thru actions, not just words, so men can see that God and His love are real and alive.  This will draw men unto Him, and bring glory unto His name.  Amen!  

1. Rom 6:16-23
2. Eph 2:19
3. Isa 55:8-9
4. 1 Cor 10:20-21
5. 1 John 4:16
6. Gal 5:6