The New Birth can come in a moment,
but it takes time and much growth to be the Disciple (Servant) that we should be.
I would imagine that most of you are Christians,
but the question today is 'Are you a Servant of Jesus?'
So study this paper and look within and examine your own 'discipleship'.
All Christians are to be ministers!
Some by vocational calling are special ministers ONLY as we teach and train you
(the basic ministers) for the work of 'servant-hood', no matter your life's vocation. (Ephesians 4:11f)
Remember, Jesus was The Son of God,
but He was the greatest example of a Servant Who served ALL the way,
even to His death.
In life, He loved with a TOWEL when He washed and wiped the feet of His disciples.
He loved with a WHIP when He drove the moneychangers out of the temple.
Ultimately in death, He loved with a CROSS where He died for each and for all.
Upon returning to earth from the moon, Col. James Irwin said, "I'll be called a 'celebrity' but I am a servant on Planet Earth, to share what I have experienced so that others might know the Glory of God."
Warren Wiersbe calls being a servant, "Divine resources meeting human needs through loving channels, to the Glory of God. This kind of servant-love is not natural ability, but super-natural quality that only God can provide".
In Matthew 18:1f, the Disciples asked Jesus 'Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of God?'
Jesus replied, "Unless you be converted and become as little children (humble),
you can not even enter the Kingdom of God."
In Matthew 6:24, He emphasized, "You can not serve two masters."
In Matthew 5, He laid out the attitude, influence and actions of a servant.
John 12:24-26 gives further steps that are needed for servant-hood.
Here is an outline that I put together for our study today.
Please study on your own, looking up the Scriptures.
I) THE SERVANT IS NOT ABOVE THE MASTER:
a) In relation to the world: Matthew 10:32-33
John 15:16-21 "We are chosen and ordained to go and bring forth fruit."
b) In relation to self: Romans 12:1-4
Matthew 16:24-28 "We are to deny self, take up our cross daily, and follow Christ."
c) In relation to comfort, convenience and giving:
Matthew 8:18-22 "The Son of Man had not where to lay His head."
d) In relation to your devotional life (4 areas):
Prayer: Mark 1:35
Quiet time: Matthew 14:22-23
Worship: Luke 4:16
Word of God: Matthew 4:4
e) In relation to the Will of God:
Matthew 6:33: "Put first things first."
Matthew 26: 36-46: Jesus said, "Not my will, but thine be done."
Mark 3:35: Jesus said,
"Whosoever shall do the will of God is my brother and my sister and mother."
f) In relation to temptation:
Matthew 4:1-11: The temptation of our Lord in the wilderness.
Hebrews 4:15: "Jesus was tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin."
Jesus is our perfect pattern and the Holy Spirit is our perfect power.
g) In relation to what we believe about Hell:
Luke 16:19-31: Some people live as if there were no hell nor Heaven.
We need to tell them both exist!
(I'm going to depend on what Jesus said, not what some believe!)
II. AS SERVANTS, WE ARE TO BE CHILD-LIKE, NOT CHILDISH:
Traits of a child that we need as Servants:
a) Absolute dependence
b) Faith that takes God at His Word
(like a child, we need to jump into the arms of God's love)
c) Enthusiastic....never losing the wonder of it all and being able to enjoy simple things.
Life has become 'filled and complex' with 'things'.
Life is not so much what you have, as Who has you!
d) Genuine and sincere (No masks....no pretense)
e) Teachable. A child thirsts for knowledge, is inquisitive and never stops learning.
f) Growth. Children begin to look like their parents....
and we should begin to look/act like Jesus.
This growth includes 'having the mind of Christ'.
g) Love. Be free of prejudice (John 13:34-35).
This includes the mind of Christ. (Phil. 2:5-11)
The trouble can be that we are disciples 'up to a point'....
1) Up to the point of 'sharing'. (Matthew 19:16-22)
The Christian life is RECEIVING all that God wants to give us
and then GIVING all that God asks from us.
Jesus emphasized this in the story of the Good Samaritan.
2) Up to the point of FOLLOWING Christ ALL the way!
Being saved is the starting line for life's race...not the finish line!
In between the two is 'discipleship'.
3) Up to the point of DYING. (John 6:66-71)
Many left Jesus, but the disciples asked,
'To whom can we go, as you have the words of eternal life?'
Dr. Paul Carlson became a martyr during a civil war in the Congo
where he was serving as missionary.
He wrote to his parents and said, "Pray not for my deliverance, but for my witness."
At his grave is the Scripture, John 15:13:
"Greater love has no person than to lay down his life for others."
Warren Wiersbe emphasized this when he said,
"We are incarnational (Christ in you), not imitational."
You can not imitate Christ as you should without 'Christ in you, the hope' (Col.1:27)
Galatians 2:20: "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God Who loved me and gave Himself for me."
One of my favorite hymns written by Charles H. Gabriel speaks concerning this subject:
'More like the Master, I would ever be...
More of His meekness, more humility.
More zeal to labor, more courage to be true.
More concentration for work He bids me do.
More like the Master is my daily prayer,
More strength to carry, crosses I must bear.
More earnest effort to bring His kingdom in...
More of His Spirit, the wanderer to win.
More like the Master, I would live and grow.
More of His love to others I would show.
More self denial, like His in Galilee.
More like the Master, I long to ever be.'
Take thou my heart, I would be Thine alone;
Take thou my heart and make it all Thine own.
Purge me from sin, Oh Lord I now implore.
Wash me and keep me, Thine forevermore.'
I hope that this song will be your prayer and your lifestyle!
In the words of Jim Elliott, "Wherever you are, be all there!"
Another wonderful thought provoking article Travis! You wrote: ("AS SERVANTS, WE ARE TO BE CHILD-LIKE, NOT CHILDISH:") ("Eph. 4:14-that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, (15) but speaking the truth in love, may GROW UP in ALL things INTO HIM who is THE HEAD--CHRIST--")That is quite a responsiblility for each one of us to think about. Blessings, Sharon