13 Feb 2015 by Adeline Lum CM-
On 1st of February, Pr Michael Tan shared in Glad Tidings Petaling Jaya, a sermon on serving like Jesus.
Jesus exemplified servitude in all He did. He stooped low to wash the feet of his disciples, which marked a true sense of humility. (John 13:13-17)
13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, 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 also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[a] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (John 13:13-17)
Imagine yourself stooping down to wash the dirty feet of your friends. Not only that. Imagine washing the very feet of the person who would betray you to your death. Jesus washed the feet of even Judas Iscariot. Serving like Jesus meant serving our enemy as well!
When the mother of James and John came to ask Jesus to grant her two son special positions, Jesus corrected their understanding of political power to one of servitude.
25 Jesus 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.” (Matt 20:25-28)
Jesus is the servant-king, where the down is the new up. To be the servant of God meant God first, others second, and me last of all. That is why Jesus asked His disciples to follow Him. And why all of His disciples, including Paul, had the mind of servitude like Jesus.
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Phil 2:5-7)
In fact, to be the servant of God is a position of the highest honor. Even the apostles greeted each other as servants of God. (Roman 1:1, Titus 1:1, James 1:1, 2 Pet 1:1, Jude 1:1)
And the amazing thing is God does not choose us based on our intelligence, position, wealth, appearance or acumen. But He chooses the weak and foolish to shame the wise, so none can boast. (1 Cor 1:26-31)
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Cor 1:26-31)
God is in the reject business. Although Pr Michael shared how he caused pain, shame, and even destruction to himself and his closed ones, God completely redeemed and restored him by His Grace.
Serving God meant serving Him in His terms and not our own terms. But sometimes, we delay our time in serving God because we wanted to complete our studies, achieve in our career, or reach financial stability. However, we might not have the time to serve Him in the future because Jesus might be coming back anytime soon. The opportune time to serve God is now.
Serving God also meant serving Him from a position of humility. God owes us nothing but we owe God everything. We serve because God is our Master, and we are His servants. But if we were motivated to serve by the praise and applause by humans, we would only end up in disappointment. The Bible says serving God meant quietly doing good deeds, without appearing proud, boasting or show hoarding. We should serve faithfully, diligently, and committedly, because God sees all the good deeds we do behind closed doors. (Matt 6:2-4)
2“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matt 6:2-4)
So, how do we know we serve God? We serve God as a team. No man is an island in the family of God. The danger of serving alone is lack of accountability. But when we serve together, there is strength.
Secondly, we serve in different ways. When we serve God, all of us are equal in His eyes whether we are the sower, reaper or planter. We may think that we are the ones who brought our friend to Jesus Christ, but a line of people most likely planted in this person before we led them to salvation.
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. (1 Cor 3:5-9)
We should not serve where God has not called you. But serve where God has placed you. Every good thing of eternal value involves sacrifice, tears, pain, suffering, and perseverance. Do not compare yourself with other people but compare yourself with God. The call to serve Jesus goes contrary to what the world says. We live in a serve me, feed me, give me, love me, bless me, honor me, and respect me society. But when we serve God, we change our mindset from being a complainer to a servant.
As servants of God as well, we need to know our identity in Him. (1 Pet 2:9) It’s not what we do, but who we are in God. (1 Pet 2:9) Job changes and ministry changes. But our identity in God will never changed. We are freed from placing our identity in performance, but people who place their identity in their career and ministry are liable for depression.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Pet 2:9)
And yes, never underestimate the thing that God can use one man or one woman to do for Him. God used one man Noah to build an ark, one man Abraham to build a nation, one man Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, one man Daniel to save His people, and one man Paul to reach the Gentiles. God can use anyone. God can use you.
No matter how many talents God has given you, be faithful in using your talent. Just like the small boy who has only two loaves and five fishes, God can use and multiply what we have. And if you are faithful with the little you have, God will honor you. (John 12:25-26)
25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 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. (John 12:25-26)
The key to servitude is a consistent and daily obedience to the Master. Pr Michael shared that he would never retire in serving God because Jesus never said he would retire. Likewise, we will not give up until we die. You and I are indispensable until our mission is finished. God added a day to your life because someone out there needs you. The question of servitude is whether God can trust us with His resources. And when we truly retire in this life, we want to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.”
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matt 25:21-23)
| Share the Good News |