Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011 … Servanthood: Humility In Action

Passage of the Day: Matthew 20: 24 – 28 – emphasizing 26 – 27 [see underlined] - 24 When the ten [the remaining inner disciples] heard about this [after the power play by James/John], they were indignant with the two brothers. 25Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

My Journal for Today: In this passage, especially the two verses emphasized [see underlined above], we have Christ’s operational definition of the humble servant, i.e., the disciple who serves God’s kingdom with distinction. Since I’ve grown in my understanding of my relationship with Christ, it has become my deeply sought desire to one day stand before my Lord in heaven and hear Him say to this humble disciple, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” And Jesus makes it very clear, in this emphasized passage, what it takes in the servanthood of discipleship to receive that accolade from Him – and that is to become His “slave,” surrendering all of myself to Him as Lord. Therefore, the key to “greatness” in God’s kingdom, both here in this life and the next, is the degree to which we’re willing (and it’s always a choice!) to humble one’s own needs/desires and serve others, modeling the Servanthood Jesus displayed in His ministry on earth; … and that is to serve in the in the hard places, … the lonely places, … and the places where rejection and persecution are often found. It is the attitude of Romans 14: 8, “… whether we live or die, we are The Lord’s.”

So, what does this role of servant leader (“diakonos” in the Greek) look like? And I’ll bet you can answer that. … It, of course, looks like Christ; and our ability to fulfill that role for God’s kingdom depends solely on the degree of one’s surrender as our Lord’s disciple … i.e., … the degree to which one has surrendered to God’s Spirit; … and the obedience to which one walks in submission to our Lords commands/teachings (mostly found in God’s word).

Note in verse 26-27 from Matt. 20 above, Jesus equates being a servant-leader, using the Greek term “diakonos,” and relating it to that of serving others by become a “slave” to the needs of others. That term for “slave” in the Greek is “doulos;” and it often is softened in biblical translations to read as “servant.” But Paul (and God) meant that it should indicate what our attitude should be as we seek to emulate Christ in our relationships with others. Christ wants for us to lead by being the “slaves” of others; and in doing so we become “doulos” [i.e., a "slave"] to Christ.

So, we’ve got to ask ourselves, again in the light of that all encompassing command of our Lord found in Luke 9: 23; … just how much are we willing to deny ourselves, … to take up Christ’s cross daily, … and just how much are we willing to really follow Christ – as His slave? He held the attitude that “… the last will be first; and the first will be last.” Do we (I) have that attitude? Only to the degree we do will we be in line for that wonderful confirmation in heaven, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

My Prayer Today: O, how I desire to be Your servant, Lord … Your slave! Amen

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