Posted by: admin on Thu, Feb 28, 2013
sent by sister Internet Tel-Evangelist,Debbie
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellows ervants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
“Who here qualifies for the job of overseeing the kitchen? A person the Master can depend on to feed the workers on time each day. Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him doing his job. A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you. It won't be long before the Master will put this person in charge of the whole operation. “But if that person only looks out for himself, and the minute the Master is away does what he pleases—abusing the help and throwing drunken parties for his friends—the Master is going to show up when he least expects it and make hash of him. He'll end up in the dump with the hypocrites, out in the cold shivering, teeth chattering.”
Focus Verse: Philippians 2:7
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
Focus Thought: The King of heaven and earth took the position of a servant, and by so doing left us an example to follow.
There is not higher place in the kingdom of Heaven than to be a servant. Jesus Himself established the lofty nature of this lowly position when He said, “And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all” (Mark 10:44). Not only did our Lord express this maxim, but His life was the perfect example of this truth in action. In spite of being the exalted King of kings, Jesus was willing for our sakes to become a servant who was obedient even to death.
Having observed and benefited from a life so lived, the call now rests on us to offer ourselves as servants to Christ. In the course of this lesson, we will discuss both the example of Christ’s servanthood, His commandment to be a servant, and the benefits of being His servant.
Any discussion of a life lived for others must begin with the examination of the life of Jesus Christ on earth. If ever there were one who could claim the right not to serve, it would have been Jesus. To the uninformed, He may have appeared to be nothing special. After all, from the natural perspective. He was merely the son of a nondescript carpenter from a village of such disdain that people immediately held its inhabitants suspect. “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” were the taunting words of derision that surrounded Jesus early in His ministry. (John 1:46).
Philip went and found Nathanael and told him, “We've found the One Moses wrote of in the Law, the One preached by the prophets. It’s Jesus, Joseph’s son, the one from Nazareth!” Nathanael said, “Nazareth? You've got to be kidding.” But Philip said, “Come, see for yourself.”
To fully grasp the significance of Christ’s action of washing the disciples’ feet one would have to posses some understanding of the cultural norms of that time. Travel was naturally constrained to modes of transport that entailed dust and dirt. Most journeyed on foot while those who were well off often rode a beast of burden. In either instance, the sandalclad traveler was destined to arrive at his destination was feet covered in the dust of the journey. It was common practice that a gesture of courtesy be extended to arriving guests by washing their feet. As this was unenviable task, the homeowner generally assigned the job to the lowest-ranking servant in the household. It was not a sought-after responsibility. Yet Jesus Christ, the sovereign Lord of Glory. willingly wrapped a towel around Himself and condescended to the position of a lowly servant to wash His disciples’ feet.
The characteristic of servanthood demonstrated in the life of Jesus Christ cannot be forced on anyone. One can force lowly tasks upon a slave, but an attitude of servanthood comes about only through intentional submission. It is a role we willingly take on or willfully reject. Jesus is our example in this, for no one forced Him to serve. He chose to be a servant, and if we are to follow Him, so also must we. (Philippians 2:5-7).
Although He had the right to refuse to do so, Jesus became a servant for all mankind. He accepted that role with all its attendant costs and consequences. Certainly we can do no less.
Ministers as Servants
Examples of servanthood are not limited to the pages of Scripture. The church today also provides us with lives after whom we would be wise to pattern our own. If one chooses to notice them, the body of Christ is populated with individuals who replicate Christ’s servanthood and Paul’s servanthood week after week in a variety of settings.
Every true minister demonstrates servanthood. In this context, it is important to understand that the word “minister” is not synonymous with “preacher.” Not everyone is called to a pulpit ministry of preaching, but all are called to be ministers, for everyone who serves in the kingdom of god is a minister. The word minister in the Greek language of the New Testament means “to attend: or “to wait upon.” Ministers are by definition servants.
Those who clean the church are ministers. Those who watch children in the nursery are ministers. Those who visit the sick and the shut-ins are ministers. Those who send notes of encouragements are ministers. They may never occupy a pulpit, but there service to others makes them a minister. As we take note of those around us who serve, our own desire and commitment to serve should grow as well.
Rewards of Servanthood
Believers in Christ Jesus do no serve a harsh taskmaster. He is not a tyrant before whom we cringe in fear and loathing. We are servants by choice because of our love for Him. He does not abuse or take advantage of those who serve Him. Rather, there are great rewards for those who give their lives willingly to Christ.
Certainly, we do not serve Jesus for the rewards, for then we would be hirelings. But He does promise rewards for those who give selfless service to Him. What can a servant of Jesus Christ expect? What is ahead for one who offers his or her life on the alter to Him?
Recognition by Master
Cynicism claims that no good deed goes unpunished, but Christianity assures that no good deed goes unrewarded! The blessing of being a servant of Jesus Christ is that He observes every act offered to Him. One need not worry that perhaps what he is doing for the Master is being lost in the shuffle of life or that God has not noticed what the person has done for His kingdom. The master recognized everything offered to Him in service to His kingdom.
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus shared what is commonly known as the parable of the talents. The spiritual lessons to be drawn from the passage are numerous, but in the present discussion it is worthy to note that the master came to check on the work of his servants. Certainly, he noticed what they had not done, but his true purpose was to notice what they had done. God seeks out and recognizes the faithful service of His children. Paul wrote, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” ( 1 Corinthians 15:58).
Most of us have attempted to use a tool for something other than its designed purpose. Generally, this produces humorous, if not disastrous, results. Things just perform better when they are functioning according to their created purpose. Believers are created to serve the Lord. It is woven into our very born again nature. When we are not functioning appropriately, we become cancerous in the body of Christ. We turn inward and may become bitter. We may find fault with all those who are laboring for him. From one’s uninvolved position in the grandstand, satisfaction seems distant and unattainable.
On the other hand, those in the dusty arena, battling in service for the Lord, find contentment and satisfaction even in the conflict. It stems from living in perfect alignment with God’s purpose for their lives. We are created to serve and called to serve. We are content only when we fulfill our purpose and serve the Lord.
Gary Enrig relates an account in his book titled A Called to Excellence that reveals the secret of greatness in service. A large group of European pastors came to attend one of D.L. Moody’s Northfield Bible Conferences in Massachusetts in the late 1800s. As was their custom, they placed their shoes in the hall at night expecting that the hallway servant would shine them before morning. They were unaware that such a servant did not exist in the United States.
Walking through the hallway late the first evening of the conference. Moody recognized the problem and, determined not to embarrass his guest, he asked several students to intervene. Sadly, he was met with silence and pious excuses. Moody simply waited until everyone else had left, and then this man who was arguably the most famous evangelist in the greater Christian world at the time gathered up all the shoes, took them back to his room, and stayed up a great portion of the night shinning and returning them all.
Servanthood? It is the mark of everyone who would be great for God. No one has ever been truly great in God’s sight without being willing to serve Christ bye serving others. No one can claim to be like Christ without serving others as He did. No one can claim to be obeying Christ without serving others as He commanded.
It is not God’s responsibility to “make us” into servants. It is our responsibly to take on the role of servants. It is our responsibly to take on the role of servanthood. We must be willing, faithful, wise, humble, and available servants who serve other not out of obligation, but from delight. And as such we enjoy a wonderful sense of fulfillment in this life and relish with anticipation the reward that will come in the next. Our Master notes with delight each selfless act of service we offer to Him through others. “Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” (Matthew 24:46).
Love, Internet Tel-Evangelist,Debbie
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