Posts Tagged ‘service’

Good and Faithful Servant

February 18, 2016

We hear a lot about leadership these days.  Today I want to address the idea of being a servant.

I.  Washing Feet:  John 13:1-5, 12-15

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

12 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? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

Don’t get nervous, we are not going to have a foot washing service.  Although there are some churches that practice that ritual, we are not going to do that here today.

I do want us to recognize this action of Jesus as a powerful symbol of humble service.  We are called to be the servants of God.  If we are to follow the example of Jesus then we would recognize that there is nothing that we are ‘too good’ to do.

II.  Be a Servant:  Matthew 20:25-28

But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

We have a tendency to dream of greatness.  We want to be powerful, successful leaders; not humble servants.  Yet, we are called to serve.

There are many ways to serve.  If we ask God to guide us, He will.

Sometimes faithful servants are elevated into positions of leadership.  Sometimes they are not.  The goal for us as Christians is not worldly success, but faithful service to the Father in whatever capacity He calls us to serve.

III.  Bearing Burdens:  Galatians 6:2-5

 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.

At first glance these verses seem contradictory.  Which is it?  Bear one another’s burden, or bear our own load?

It is both.  A part of our load is to help each other.  However, when we stand before God, we will not be able to point our finger at someone else to blame them for our choices.  We are to help each other, and we will each answer for our own choices.

IV.  Not Grow Weary:  Galatians 6:9*

 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

A life of service is hard work.  Sometimes we see the fruit of our labor, and sometimes we do not.  We are called to continue to do good, and not lose heart.  God is faithful.  We should be faithful to Him.

Our ultimate goal should not have anything to do with success as this world measures it.  Our ultimate goal should be to one day stand before the Father and hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  (Matthew 25:21)

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Go! Serve! Praise!

April 13, 2015

I appreciate that so many churches all around the world will be focusing on the same basic topic both today and next Sunday.  In a small way it shows the unity that there is supposed to be in the body of Christ.

Luke 19:28-40

 When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’”

32 So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. 33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”

34 And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” 35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. 36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.

37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:

‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

I.  Go!

The disciples were given instructions by Jesus.  They followed those directions.  We are given directions by God in the Scriptures.  We are to follow them.  We also grow in our ability to hear the voice of the Spirit.  The Spirit will also give us direction if we are willing to be sensitive and obedient.

II.  Serve!

The people lay their clothes in the road to show their love,respect and admiration.  In what ways do we show our love and respect?  We are called to lay down our lives for Christ if necessary, but what are we doing with our lives?  We should be willing to serve God in whatever capacity we are able to serve.

III.  Praise!

Certainly we should offer praise to God.  Whether it is with our voices, or our instruments, it is good, right and fitting to give thanks and praise to God.  He is worthy to receive our worship and praise.  We should praise God not just outwardly, but with our whole hearts.  Our attitudes should be humble and obedient to the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.  We should praise him not just with our voices, instruments and hearts, but with all of our lives.  May our very lives be an offering of praise.

This message from Palm Sunday is not meant to be a single Sunday in the year, but rather a pattern by which we live out our lives.

This message was preached on Palm Sunday 3/29/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

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?

 

A Time to Serve

April 2, 2012

Here are the sermon notes from April 1, 2012.

I.  Luke 19:28-40  A  Time to Celebrate

There are times in our life that we celebrate.  The times of celebration are fun.  What would life be like without times of celebration?  Yet not all of life is celebrating.

II.  Luke 19:41-44 A Time of Weeping

Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem.  He knew that the city would be destroyed within the century.  This saddened him.  There are times in our life when we want to cry.  Sometimes it is due to events in our own lives, and sometimes it is in response to what is happening in the lives of others.

III.  Luke 19:45-46  A Time for Action

Sometimes the circumstances of life motivate us to act.  This motivation may be caused by injustice, or sin, or compassion for the lost.  There are times that we might be angry, we should use that anger in the right way,  as motivation to right a wrong, not to do wrong.

IV.  John 13:1-17  A Time to Serve

As Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, it was a lesson for us in humility and service.  We are called to live a life of service.  We live to serve, and in serving, we live.

Conclusion:  We recognize that life is not all about the celebrations.  There are times to weep, there are times to act, and there are times to serve.

Thank You, Veterans

November 11, 2010

Today is Veterans Day.  I would like to thank each person who has served in the military, in all of its branches, over the years.  Our country would not be what it is today without the willing sacrifice of the many who have served.  That service comes at varying prices.  Not all have had to endure combat, but all have given years of their life, in service to our country.  For those who have endured the horrors of war, it is a very difficult scar to heal in their lives.  Even for those who have never seen combat, their lives are forever changed by their time in service.

They all deserve our thanks, our prayers, and our support.