1 Peter 4:10 (ERV) God has shown you his grace in many different ways. So be good servants and use whatever gift he has given you in a way that will best serve each other.
The Bible gives us the most powerful example of servant leadership: Jesus Himself!
- Mark 10:45 (NKJV) For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
- Philippians 2:3-7 (NIV) In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
- Jesus exemplified leadership when He came to Earth as man not to be served, but to serve
- Jesus humbled himself so that He can serve others
- God gave Jesus the title “My Chosen Servant”.
- Matthew 12:18 (NKJV) Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.
- HE was not ashamed to be called a servant, how can we (sinful man) then despise that role?
- Good Attitude
John 13:1-5 (ESV) Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, … He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Jesus didn’t serve out of servitude, but servanthood.
- Servitude: Bondage, Slavery, Superficial, Begrudging care, Involuntary labour, Duty, Fear
- Servanthood: Willingness, Choice, Genuine, Intentionality, Voluntary, Love, Empathy
- Psalms 100:1-2 (NKJV) tells us: Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
- Moses had a harsh warning for the Israelites: Deuteronomy 28:47-48 (CEB) Because you didn’t serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly above all else, you will serve your enemies—the ones the LORD will send against you
Remember the Israelites in the desert? They were always grumbling to God about this and that
- Many times we serve God and yet in our heart we murmur, we complain, we start to compare ourselves with others, but when we serve, it should come from a joyful heart
- We’re serving God and He has given us the privilege to serve Him; by serving others!
This is God’s promise to all who serve him
- Exodus 23:25-26 (NKJV) So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.
- Hebrews 6:10 (NIV) God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
- God always watches over His righteous servants, establishes and promotes them, and grants them prosperity and pleasures throughout their lifetime on earth
- During the storms of life, God will preserve His people and those around them for their sake
- And everything they lay their hands on will prosper for God’s glory
- Secure Heart
We are unconditionally loved and accepted by God’s grace
- We don’t have to prove our worth when we are given seemingly insignificant tasks
- A servant is secure and not intimidated by the lowliness of a task.
- Real servants don’t get themselves into the limelight and getting recognition
This scripture reveal that Jesus knows His origin and His destiny.
- John 13:1-3 (ESV) Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, … knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God
Jesus demonstrates an act of serving
- John 13:12-15 (NKJV) So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? …If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
- Washing the feet of His disciples which can seem like a menial task, but it didn’t make Jesus any less secure of His own identity.
- Simon Peter had a difficult time in allowing Jesus to wash his feet.
- This action was the role of the “servant.” Jesus made it clear to him that this was the foundation of all that he had been teaching the disciples.
The more insecure we are, the more we’ll want people to serve us, and the more we need approval
- But when we base our worth and identity on our relationship to Christ, we are freed from the expectation of others, we are freed to serve and that allows us to really serve them best
- Resolute Purpose
Those who do as Jesus did (as a servant leader) will be blessed
John 13:16-17 (NKJV) Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Peter 5:2-3 (NIV) Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
In his letters, Peter reminds the church leaders of a trait Jesus consistently valued: Willingness
- Luke 5:4-6 Peter was willing to throw out his nets again after not catching anything all night
- Matthew 14:28-29 He was willing to step out of the boat and walk on water towards Jesus
- Luke 22:61-62 And even after denying Jesus moments before His death, Peter was willing to repent and return to his assignment
- They enjoy helping people, meeting needs, and doing ministry. They serve with gladness.
- We serve with gladness because we love the Lord, were grateful for his grace, we know serving is the highest use of life, and God has promised a reward.
- Jesus promised: The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.
- Paul added: He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians
Application: Let us serve at least one person this week. It could be as simple as buying someone coffee, doing a household chore to help your parents, child-minding for someone, etc.