Saturday, March 31, 2007

Day 34 – Thinking like a servant

Thinking like a servant

Today’s lesson is a follow up from yesterdays. Like the title suggests, service starts in the mind, and will require a change in our attitude as God is more interested in why we do what we do, and not what it is we do [An example in the bible can be seen in the life of king Amaziah of Judah who did what was right in the sight of God but not wholeheartedly - 2 Chronicles 25 vs. 2 - He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly].

In order not to follow the mistakes of king Amaziah, we need to be of the following attitudes:

1) To think more about others than about ourselves, but not necessarily thinking of ourselves less – a form of true humility – to loose ourselves in the service of others [Philip. 2 vs. 4 – 7 - Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness]. Unfortunately much of our service today is often self serving, as we serve to be admired by others or achieve our own goals. We are told that this is manipulation not service as real servants don’t try and use God for their purpose, but rather let God use them for His purposes, a quality that is very rare today. Thinking like a servant (humbling ourselves) is very difficult and require a re-learning process, as we by nature are selfish and think mostly of ourself, and need to relearn all that we have previously learnt. In thinking of others, we need to have in the fore front of our mind, that if taken advantage of or treated unfairly because of our servant hearts, to use it as an opportunity to practice the servant life [Matt. 5 vs. 41 - If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles]

2) To think like stewards not owners, since God owns it all. We are stewards, servants entrusted to manage the things of God [1 Corinth. 4 vs. 1 – 2 - So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful]. In cultivating this attitude, we are requested to settle issues concerning money [Luke 16 vs. 13 - No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money], to choose to live for God and recognize that all our time belongs to God as money has the greatest potential to replace God in our life. To remember that wealth is not a sin, but failing to use it for God’s glory is. This is because how we manage our money affects how much God can bless our life.

3) To think about our work for God and not what others are doing. As we’ve learnt from previous lessons, we’ve found that servants of God don’t compare, criticize or compete with each other, because for one, all are illogical since we are on the same team, and secondly, are forms of wasting time that should be spent glorifying God [Gal. 5 vs. 26 - Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other]. The bible gives us an example of Mary’s sister Marta, and how she had lost her servant heart as she complained to Jesus concerning unfairness to Mary. This is wrong, as it is not our job to evaluate God’s other servants [Rom. 14 vs. 4 - Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand]. We need to be focused to be like Moses and Nehemiah [Neh. 6 vs.3 - so I sent messengers to them with this reply: "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?]; who were steadfast on their work for God. Our service for Christ is never wasted regardless of what others say [Matt. 26 vs. 10 - Aware of this, Jesus said to them, "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me].

4) To base our identity in Christ, because we know that we’re loved and accepted by grace, and now as servants we don’t need to prove our worth. This makes us willing to accept with our servant hearts jobs that insecure people would consider beneath them [John 13 vs. 3 -4 - Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist]. This is why it is important to settle our identity quickly as only secure people can serve the way God requires us to serve [2 Corinth. 10 vs.18 - For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends].

5) And Finally to think of helping others as an opportunity not an obligation; to enjoy helping others and meeting needs to serve the Lord with gladness [Psalm 100 vs.2 - Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs]. Purely because we love Him and are grateful for His grace, because we know that serving others for God is the highest use of our life. To remember that there is a reward from God in obeying [John 12 vs. 26 - Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me; Heb. 6 vs. 10 - 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].

No comments: