Practical Qualities of Servanthood

Faithfulness

“It is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Cor 4:2).

The quality of faithfulness is needed if we are going to maintain diligence (persistent effort or work) and perseverance in the work that we have been called to.

AdobeIconBeing faithful means:

  1. Faithful to the Master Himself (in loyalty) –  Rev 2:10;  20:4
  2. Faithful to the task He has given us to do (in obedience) – Lk 19:17
  3. Faithful to the truth He entrusts to us (in faith) – 1 Cor 4:2

Empathy

  • = “the power of projecting one’s personality into (and so fully comprehending) the object of one’s contemplation” (Concise Oxford Dictionary)
  • =  seeing as through another’s eyes and feeling as they feel.

We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16).

A good servant will understand how His Master’s mind works and get into His ways of thinking.

 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?    But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16).

If we are in empathy with the mind of the Lord, our viewpoint, feelings and reactions will be as His, rather than those of the natural self.

For example:

  1. Compassion and help for the lost and needy: Matt 9:36
  2. Love and giving of self for sinners: John 3:16
  3. Hatred and rejection of sin: Heb 7:26
  4. Delight in, and obedience to, the Father’s will: John 4:34; Phil 2:8
  5. Readiness for service: Phil 2:7

Leading by Example

Readings: Heb 13:7; 1 Cor 4: 16-17; Phil 3: 12-17

Each heading will lead to a pointed question.

* The spiritual temperature of any people will depend largely on the quality of its leaders.

  • elders, deacons = Church;
  • house group leaders = Fellowship;
  • youth leaders = Youth Group;
  • parents = children;
  • government = Country.

1.  What is a leader?

People will be following me.  Appointment does not make a leader.   Function does!

  • Of Christ: “Follow me.”    “…. and they left all and followed him”.   “Great crowds followed him”.
  • Of Paul:   Phil 3:17  “Join with the others following my lifestyle”.

Question: Who is following me?

Remember: Function before appointment.

You do not have to be leaders of 100’s – 10’s, 20’s, 50’s, 100’s, etc – Jethro and Moses.

2. How does he/she lead?

1 Cor 11:1  “Be followers of me even as I am of Christ”.

Followers = Literally ‘Imitators’.

It is scriptural that they should follow us – we find this hard to accept.

This is God’s key method for growth and development in the Kingdom.    

  • “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations ” = followers.

They must be your disciples.   Ultimately we point them to Christ.   Paul said  “Of me … even as I am of Christ”.    * Disciples of John, Cornelius, etc.   

Question: Am I willing for others to imitate my lifestyle?

3. Some common problems, fears, etc.

The Fear of Cloning

What would the world be like if they were all like you?
(eg: ‘It seems so false …’)

  1. It does not matter in early days
  2. When mature, they will develop their own style

The Problem of our own Weakness

If people start looking at you closely they will see what you are really like, eg in the home, at play, with the kids.

  1. This is a great incentive to stay clean,
  2. This is a great opportunity to show you are human,
  3. They need to see your problems before they can see how you deal with them.

4. In what areas are we called to be examples?

Notice: overseers, deacons – same standards apply.

Hebrews 13 – verse 8 (likewise);   verse 9 (keep hold of deep truths of the faith).

Three Areas defined:

  1. Home – “He must manage family well”
  2. Ministry – “Teach and hold the truths of faith”
  3. Character – “Self controlled, not quarrelsome”

 Home

  1.  Do our children obey us out of love and respect?   Bedtime, etc
  2. Are we the same in private in the home as we are in public?  What do our kids say?
  3. Do we display the qualities of a good husband/wife relationship … love, romance, affection?

Ministry

  1.  How much of Word is in us?  (Psalm 112, Psalm 128)
  2. Do we take the lead in:  prophecy, prayer, devotional life?
  3. Do we monitor our own ministry development?

Character

  1. Are we careless with words?
  2. What about personal discipline?  Examples: Time keeping;  Devotional life; Rest time – family time.
  3. Do we keep our word?
  4. Are we submissive or argumentative?

Heb 6:12   Imitate those who have already entered into promises.

1. What is a Servant?

One who has undertaken to serve, carry out orders, support, attend, be in submission to, another person.

In the world  servants are seen more as slaves, often paid in money or in kind, and are characterized by:-

  1. It is not their chosen lifestyle
  2. It is a lifelong commitment
  3. They are under pressure to conform to the demands of others
  4. They are looked down upon
  5. They serve for long, tiring hours
  6. They suffer harsh, cruel treatment

Examples: Hebrews working for the Egyptians (Ex 1);  Centurion (Lk 7:1-10).

In Christ servants are servers, who subject themselves to Christ and others without any hint of obligation or reward.   Their service is characterized by:-

  1. A willing commitment
  2. Loving obedience
  3. They are treated as equals
  4. Loving relationships

See Col 3:22-25;  remember that every Christian believer is a servant with a heavenly Master and so all our service should be unto him.

Examples:  Paul (Rom 1:1); Christ (Phil 2:7).

Christian servants are:

  1. Disciple-makers – Matt 28:18-19; Mk 16:15
  2. Shepherds or leaders – Jn 10
  3. Spiritual watchmen – 2 Sam 18:25;  2 Kings 9:17;  Isa 21:5+11

A servant of Christ must:

  1. Live in holiness – Col 3:1-17
  2. Display love – Col 3:14; 1 Cor 13:4-8; Prov 17:17
  3. Be alert – Luke 12:35-48; 21:34-36
  4. Be above reproach – 1 Tim 3:2
  5. Be temperate or vigilant – 1 Tim 3:2
  6. Be self controlled – 1 Tim 3:2
  7. Be respectable – 1 Tim 3:2
  8. Be hospitable – 1 Tim 3:2
  9. Be able to teach – 1 Tim 3:2
  10. Be gentle – 1 Tim 3:2
  11. Be dignified – 1 Tim 3:8
  12. Be sincere – 1 Tim 3:8
  13. Have a clear conscience – 1 Tim 3:9

A servant of Christ must not (1 Tim 3:3):

  1. Be given to drunkenness
  2. Be violent
  3. Be quarrelsome
  4. Be a lover of money

Matthew 5:1-12 teaches us much about being a servant of Christ; for example, it shows the need for:

  1. Inward humility       verse 3
  2. Deep sensitivity      verse 4
  3. Joyful submission    verse 5
  4. Spiritual appetite     verse 6
  5. Ready forgiveness   verse 7
  6. Righteousness         verse 8
  7. Right relationships  verse 9
  8. Total commitment   verse 10

2. Leading by Example: The Life of Timothy

See 1 Timothy 4

Timothy had:

  1. A Greek father – Acts 16:1
  2. A godly mother and grandmother – 2 Tim 1:5
  3. Been trained in the Scriptures from a young age – 2 Tim 3:15
  4. Become Paul’s assistant – Acts 16:3
  5. Been given responsibility at a young age – 1 Tim 4:12

His character displayed:

  1. Teachable ness
  2. Humility
  3. Submissiveness
  4. Loyalty
  5. Obedience

His life demonstrated three principles:

  1. Faith – 1 Tim 4:6
  2. Love – 2 Tim 1:13+14
  3. Purity – 1 Tim 4:12

1Timothy 4:12 shows us that he was an example in SPEECH and in CONDUCT (or life).

3.  Further Biblical Lessons about Servanthood

1)   God demands that we serve Him – Deut 10:12; Ps 2:11;  Eph 6:7;  Heb 12:28

2)   Our spiritual service is necessary as an act of witness – Mk 10:43+44; Matt 23:11-12; Lk 10:30-37; Prov 14:21;  Jn 13:34;  Jn 21:16;  Gal 5:13; Gal 6:2+10

3)   Service must be performed in humility –  Matt 10:42; Jn 12:3; Acts 20:18+19, 32-35

4)   Joy is the product of true service for God – Ps 40:8; Ps 100; Ps 126:5-6; Lk 10:17; Jn 4:36

5)   Good servants have right relationships   Phil 2:5; Jas 1:19-27;

For example:

  • Relationship with God

Ex 3; Phil 1:22; Gal 2:20

  • Relationship to authority

Ex ch 5 – 14; Ex 3:1; Rom 13:1-5

  • Relationships with the family

Ex 3:1; 4:18+20, 24-26; 18:1-27; Eph 6:1-4; 1 Pet 3:7; Eph 5:22-28; Col 3:18-21

  • Relationships with fellow workers

Ex 4:14-17; 4:27-31; 18:25+26; Eph 2:19-22; 1 Cor 12:12-31

  • Relationships with the people of God

Exodus 4:30+31; 17:8-16; Eph 4:2-6; Rom 15:5-7; Col 3:12-17

  • Relationships with those outside the family of God

Col 4:5+6; 1 Peter 3:15+16

4. Servanthood: A Continual Process of Preparation

1. Learn to become spiritually mature – Matt 5:48;  Phil 3:7-15;  Eph 4:14-5:2

2. Learn to wait on God – Psalm 27:14; 130:5; Isaiah 30:18; Titus 2:13

3. Learn to hear God’s voice – Heb 3:7, 12+13;   Psalm 24:3-5

4. Learn to respond favourably to testings – 1 Peter 4:12+13;   James 1:2-15

5. Learn to avoid pitfalls, such as    

  • pride – Heb 12:1;   1 John 2:15-17;   Rev 3:19;   2 Cor 7:10
  • moral weakness – Rom 12:2;   2 Cor 10:3-5;   1 Peter 2:1, 11+12;   Prov 4:23-27
  • covetousness – Luke 6:22-34;   Col 3:2+5;   Haggai 2:8;   Malachi 3:6-12
  • selfishness – Rom 15:1;  1 Cor 10:24;   2 Cor 5:15;   Phil 2:4;   James 2:8

6. Learn to live daily in the anointing of the Holy Spirit – Eph 5:18;   Heb 19:19-23;  1 Cor 3:16

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