Archive for January 21st, 2013

A Servant’s Heart

January 21, 2013

Here are the sermon notes from 1/20/13.

I.  Great Things?  Jeremiah 45:1-5

The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book at the instruction of Jeremiah,in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: ‘You said, “Woe is me now! For the Lord has added grief to my sorrow. I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.”’

“Thus you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, what I have built I will break down, and what I have planted I will pluck up, that is, this whole land. And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,” says the Lord. “But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.”’”

Apparently Baruch wanted great things.  That is certainly common enough.  Many people dream that they will be great in some way.  God chides Baruch for wanting more.  God was about to pour out His wrath on the nation of Israel.  Baruch was assured that he would not be one of the many that would die.  Baruch also did receive a degree of fame in that his name is recorded in scripture for all time.  Most importantly, Baruch had a job to do for God.  He should be content with what God give him to do.

Many of us dream of greatness, we should be content to be the people who God has called us to be; to fulfill the role that he has for us.

II.  A Servants Heart Revelations 1:1

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

I notice that this letter is written by a servant, to servants.  John, at the time of writing Revelation,  was the senior saint.  He was the last surviving disciple of the original twelve.  There would have been no one more worthy of claiming leadership of the church; yet he was referred to as a servant.

I am concerned that some Christians today prefer to think of themselves as the King’s Kids; a form of royalty.  Now, it is true that we are encouraged to call God, our father, but I am concerned that sometimes Christians act as spoiled brats.

III.  The Greatest Mark 10:42-45

But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

If we truly want to be great in the kingdom of God, then we are to serve.

I am reminded of a song by Larry Norman “I am a Servant”.  There are lines in the song that go:

I am a servant

but I sit here in the hall.

How can He use me

when I’ve never given all?

My encouragement to you today is to give your all to Jesus.  He desires to use you in the work of His kingdom.  We all have a part that we can play, but are we willing to do a bit part, or do we need a starring role?

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Day.  While he is best known for his work in civil rights, he was also a strong advocate for people to be involved.  The question “What are you doing for someone else?” was a challenge to think of the well-being of other people, not just our own dreams.

What are you doing for someone else?

What are you doing for God?

Do you have a heart to serve?