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The High Calling of Servanthood

Scripture: Philippians 2:5-11

I. Introduction: As believers, we should follow the example of Jesus, who was equal with God but humbled Himself and became a man (Phil. 2:5-11). Christ told His disciples, “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave” (Matt. 20:26-27). Each of us must stop focusing on ourselves and generously meet the needs of others. If we do this without expecting recognition from people, Scripture promises that the Father will honor us.

II. Servanthood is . . .

A. God’s work for every believer. All our actions should reflect the fact that Jesus is not only our Savior but also the master of our lives. Salvation means more than forgiveness and the assurance of heaven; it signifies that we are now servants of the living God. By actively serving Him here on earth, we are preparing for eternity with the Lord (Rev. 22:3).
B. How God carries out His work. In John 14:11-14, Jesus told His disciples that they would do even greater works than He did. While our actions can not compare to the work Christ accomplished on the cross, none of us know our maximum potential. As we surrender our lives to the service of the most high God, He will honor us with true greatness.
C. Essential to spiritual growth. Unless you are serving God in some fashion, you aren’t maturing spiritually. Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” We should humbly seek to serve people with the attitude Christ had. Even when our giving is overlooked or taken for granted by everyone, our heavenly Father notices (Heb. 6:10).
D. The purpose for spiritual gifts. Every believer has one or more spiritual gifts, which we are to use in serving the body of Christ (1 Peter 4:10). That same attitude of humble service should extend outside the church as well.
E. No assurance against conflict. Servanthood does not guarantee harmonious relationships. Paul and Barnabas disagreed about whether or not to take John Mark with them on the second missionary journey (Acts 15:36-38).

1. Those who serve the Lord aren’t always popular. Some people may not like you, or they may falsely accuse you. When that happens, concentrate on maintaining a servant spirit, and allow the Lord to handle the unfair criticism. And don’t leave a job or ministry position unless He tells you it’s time to move on.

2. How can you get through a difficult conflict?

A. Remember that serving God means allowing Him to work in and through you––not striving to serve Him in your own strength.

B. Keep in mind that you are working for the Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 3:23).

C. Let go of selfishness. If you angrily decide to walk away from a position, you are serving yourself. Serving God means obeying His commands and trusting Him to take care of you despite hardship.

III. Conclusion: Greatness is not found in a title, a salary, or a position of influence. True greatness is found in servanthood. Willingly meet the needs of others without looking for recognition from people. God’s Word promises that He will honor your humility (John 12:26). When believers finally realize that our calling is to serve—not merely to seek our own interests—then we will have an irresistible impact on this world.

(by Charles F. Stanley –Copyright 2010 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.)