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Friday, May 1, 2009

A SERVANT

Service. We talk about it with flowery terms and preach and teach it with much earnest; but do we really know what it means to be a servant? Paul gives us one of the prime motives for service in 2 Cor 5:9 “Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
The greatest desire of a servant should be to please the Lord! The Christian’s longing should be to labor and be acceptable to Christ! It is our love for Him, our desire to please Him, and to be pleasing to Him that should move our hearts and govern our lives and cause us to suffer reproach for His name! Our desire should be to be acceptable unto Him no matter what our circumstances are! I want you to notice the word “labor” in 2 Corinthians 5:9. It is translated from a word that means “to be fond of honor.” Today we would liken the word to “ambition”. Paul was saying, “….we make it our ambition, that….we may be accepted of him.” Paul was speaking of his ambition in life, but not the kind of proud, selfish desire that “ambition” expresses in English. Paul demonstrated that it is right and noble for the believer to strive for excellence, spiritual goals, and all that is honorable before God…Paul’s ambition was not altered by his state of being—whether he should be in heaven or on earth—he cared how he lived for the Lord…This was Paul’s highest goal and should be so for every believer.

Friends, many believers today have no idea what a servant looks like. We have lost the servant’s heart, the servant’s love, and the servant’s faithfulness. Many today refuse to serve unless they can do something where they can be seen, praised, and admired. But those who serve the Lord with the servant’s heart with the servant’s love, and the servant’s faithfulness though unseen by men are still blessed by God! Listen to what someone wrote and see if it does not speak to your heart:

A CHOSEN VESSEL
The Master was searching for a vessel to use;
On the shelf there were many - which one would He choose?
Take me, cried the gold one, I'm shiny and bright,
I'm of great value and I do things just right.
My beauty and lustre will outshine the rest
And for someone like You, Master, gold would be the best!

The Master passed on with no word at all;
He looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall;
I'll serve You, dear Master, I'll pour out Your wine
And I'll be at Your table whenever You dine,
My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true,
And my silver will always compliment You.

Unheeding the Master passed on to the brass,
It was widemouthed and shallow, and polished like glass.
Here! Here! cried the vessel, I know I will do,
Place me on Your table for all men to view.

Look at me, called the goblet of crystal so clear,
My transparency shows my contents so dear,
Though fragile am I, I will serve You with pride,
And I'm sure I'll be happy in Your house to abide.

The Master came next to a vessel of wood,
Polished and carved, it solidly stood.
You may use me, dear Master, the wooden bowl said,
But I'd rather You used me for fruit, not for bread!

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken it helplessly lay.
No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
To cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.

Ah! This is the vessel I've been hoping to find,
I will mend and use it and make it all Mine.
I need not the vessel with pride of its self;
Nor the one who is narrow to sit on the shelf;

Nor the one who is bigmouthed and shallow and loud;
Nor one who displays his contents so proud;
Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right;
But this plain earthy vessel filled with My power and might.

Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay.
Mended and cleansed it and filled it that day.
Spoke to it kindly. There's work you must do,
Just pour out to others as I pour into you.
~Author Unknown

3 comments:

Andy said...

To gain "genuine and lasting" respect and love we must have a servant's heart which takes consistency and time. Lord, help each of us to have a servant's heart.

Thanks Bro. Dave for your encouraging words yesterday. May God's richest blessing be upon you and your family today.

Don Porter, M.Ed said...

Preacher, we have become lazy. Labor is a word that scares most Christians right back to the easy chair. Oh, but let me say thank you to those faithful workers, followers, and leaders who have been at it for years and years. They are my heroes. Let's, also, pray those who have the desire to serve and are seeking God's will.

bwilber777 said...

The word christian means "Christ like". You can't be "Christ like" from your couch.