Thursday, March 31, 2011
A Servants Heart
30But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
I read a story about a satellite named Pioneer 10. This little satellite had only an 8 watt transmitter. It was launched in 1972 to photograph Jupiter and its surroundings. By 1995, this small satellite was 6 billion miles from the sun!! 25 years later it transmitted pictures from tht distance back to earth! They called it, "the little satellite that could". Amazing, an 8 watt transmitter is about the equivalent to a night light!! It was not qualified to do what it did. It was only designed to last for 3 years! It was still going strong 25 years later.
Thats the way it is for us when we offer ourselves to serve God. God can work with someone with an 8 watt capability. However, He cannot work with someone who quits!! God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. When we offer ourselves to God as servants, we become servants to all.
Philippians 2:12-14 says, 12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
and Mark 10: 44-45 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Now if I was to ask you what you want for your life, I truly do not believe you would say, "I want to be a servant. I want to clean toilets in the church, change dirty diapers in the nursery". If we are honest with ourselves, being a servant is not #1 on our list of priorities. We might say it is but when it comes to doing those things, do we really want to? Generally, we want the better things, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, preaching, etc. We all think we know what God wants us to do but do we truly ask Him or do we only volunteer for what we want to do. Do we say Lord, whatever it is,show me and I'll do it?
When Jesus washed the disciples feet,He wasn't trying to make them feel guilty. He was showing them a servant's heart. Something that would not only change their lives but the lives of all around them. Acts of service are NOT burdens we bear to please a demanding God, they are a path to true joy and significance in this life.
The other side of humility is pride! Pride will destroy us -- being a servant, keeping a servants heart will keep us closer to God. There is no greater sin than pride. Pride is what caused satan's fall, got Adam and Eve kicked out of the garden of Eden, caused Cain to kill his brother Abel. Every sin after has been caused by pride. We don't think of ourselves as prideful. We think of pride as bragging and boasting. But anytime we put ourselves ahead of or above God or others, that is pride. It's a sin we are all guilty of at one time or another. If we look at most of our problems today, they come from pride.
Money problems - Can't say no to self. Need/want more stuff. (Stuff-thats a whole nother sermon lol)
Emotional problems - Focusing on self, self pity.
Children - We've taught them to think about themselves, we made them our focus, our priority in the wrong way so they became their own priority!
Marriage - think about self, what do I want? me, me, me instead of spouse.
Jesus was trying to teach us humility. He was Lord of All, yet He washed His disciples feet!! He didn't have to do that! He didn't have to walk everywhere He went! He didn't HAVE to suffer and die! He served us, now it's us that should be serving Him. How do we do that? By treating others the way Jesus would. There is no great secret to a fuller spiritual life -- it's right there in the Bible, our instruction book. It's called humility. Being a servant, putting others first. Why else would God say, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"?
There are 2 enemies to humility. Philippians 2:3-4 tells us they are selfish ambition and conceit. The secret to humbling ourselves is there also in verse 4. We are to think more of others than we do of ourselves. All through the New Testament that is what Jesus did. He was ridiculed, he was interrupted many times, what He did was not appreciated most times - still, He kept on. He gave until He gave His very life! Amen He was the ultimate example.The disciples learned from Him, the apostles learned from Him, we need to learn from Him. There are basically 2 attitudes: 1) Live by the flesh, provoke one another, or 2) Live by the Spirit - love and serve one another. So how do we become a humble servant? 1) Give up the idea that it's all about me and what I want. Do you really think Jesus wanted to die on the cross, have his flesh ripped open with a whip, wear a crown of thorns? You say, well He was Jesus, it was different for Him. How is that? He became human, He felt all we feel and more. Phil 2:5-8 says He gave up all His rights. 2) Give up the idea that our interests, our wants, our ideas are more important than others.
What are you clinging to today?
What is it in you that makes you think your way is the best, maybe the only way?
Whatever it is, let it go. Empty yourself of it. Follow Christ's example. Become a servant. Begin at home with your wife or husband, (make the bed, do their laundry, put it away), move on to your mom and dad, friends, neighbors, then to your enemies! Yes enemies. Charity/love begins at home but what have you done if you have only loved and served those who love you back? How much will does that take? Be a servant, take your eyes off self, place them on Christ. See Christ in everyone you meet. Feel the peace and freedom you will have when you begin to place others first. Remember though, this is NOT a microwave religion. You can't expect to see results the first time, praise God if you do but most times you won't. The key is perserverance. Keeping on no matter what. If just one who reads this gets this message, God says it will be worth it.
Are you that one? Are you willing to say today - Jesus, I am not above You? I am nothing, nobody without You. I need a servant's heart. I need humility. You are King of Kings, Lord of Lords, yet you humbled yourself for me!!
Will you give Him your all today? Say Lord, forgive me for being prideful, forgive me for always thinking of me.
It's all about You Lord, it's all about You. Make me a servant, use me as You will. Open doors and help me willingly go forth, whether it's cleaning toilets or preaching Your word.
Until next time,