10.  Servanthood

“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.” (Mark 9:35)


Servant defined

Webster’s Dictionary:       1) To work for as a servant. 2) To be of service to, wait on 3) To obey and to give homage to: to serve God

Jesus' definition:       Greek rendering, 1249 diakonos {dee-ak'-on-os} probably from an obsolete diako (to run on errands, cf - minister 20, servant 8, deacon 3; 31 1) one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister 1a) the servant of a king 1b) a deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use 1c) a waiter, one who serves food and drink.

Paul’s definition:       1401 doulos {doo'-los} - servant 120, bond 6, bondman 1; 127 1) a slave, bondman, man of servile condition 1a) a slave 1b) metaph., one who gives himself up to another's will those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men 1c) devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests 2) a servant, attendant.

A servant is selfless

“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.”       (Phi 2:3, 4)

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”       (John 3:30)

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”       (John 15:13)

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”       (Luke 9:23, 24)


Jesus’ example

He humbled Himself:
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:”       (Phi 2:6, 7)

He offered Himself:
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”       (Isa 53:5)

He left us His example:
“If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”       (John 13:14, 15)


Paul’s response to Jesus

Love for God:
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”       (2Co 5:14, 15)

Love for others:
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”       (2Co 5:14, 15)

His drive:
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”       (Col 3:23, 24)


Your characteristics

Your heart:
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”       ( John 13:35)

Your actions:
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”       (Mat 5:16)

Your attitude:
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”       (1Co 12:12)


How do I serve the Lord?

Throughout scripture we see service to the Lord coming from a relationship with Him. He calls and it requires a step of faith on our part. Abraham responded to God in faith. He served the Lord by his obedience to the actions God called Him to, when to leave his family, where to go. whom he should trust (i.e. God the attempted sacrifice of Isaac) and so on. (Genesis ch. 11-50). David loved the Lord and it caused him to defend Israel against Goliath, avoid killing Saul, becoming the king of Israel. (1 Sam.-1Kings ch. 2).

Through faith Esther humbled herself for her people. Ruth submitted herself before her mother-in-law and served her God, Jehovah. Elijah acted by faith and so did all the other prophets.

Pure service is doing what God wants us to do. Not what we want to do for God. (
Psalms 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.) It begins with obedience to His word. Our relationship to the Lord is developed through His word. We find ourselves at crossroads whenever His word directs us to behave contrary to our understanding, or comfort level. We are taking a step of faith by obeying.

Service is contrary to the nature of fallen man. Matthew 20:25-28 states, “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” As we obey the word our heart and mind is renewed and service becomes a developed characteristic. Ephesians 4:22-24says, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Col 3:8-10 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” Our relationship with God will have us focus on the things that are important to Him. He will bring it to pass!!

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”      
(Proverbs 3:5, 6)


Food for thought

Have you considered Jesus’ life as a servant?

Have you been sensing the Holy Spirit drawing you to service?

Is there a particular burden on your heart?