Sunday, 18th March 2018
Pastor Bruce McDonald
“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” (Luke 17:7-10)
There are a lot of different words in the Bible that describe our relationship with God. God calls us many names such as kings, priests, His sons, His friends, disciples, Christians… we feel wonderful when we hear God calling us these names. But this morning Pastor Bruce shared with us a different name we are described in the Bible – ‘servant’.
What does it mean to be a servant? Many great men of God in the Bible are called servants: Moses is said to be the servant of God, Joshua is called the servant of Moses, Elisha is described as the servant of Elijah, and Timothy is known as the servant as Paul. The Bible also calls Jesus the Servant of God.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:5-7)
In Hebrews, the word ‘servant’ mentioned here is ‘doulos’, which is different to the ‘servant’ used for Moses. Doulos is the word for a person, who is not a servant but chooses to be a servant. Jesus didn’t have to be a servant, He chose to be the servant. And Pastor Bruce shared that this is the right word to describe what God is asking of us, someone who is not a servant but chooses to be a servant, a volunteering relationship.
1. Being a servant is a choice that we make
“But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.” (Exodus 21:5-6)
According to the Law, after seven years, a servant is allowed to be set free, but sometimes good things may happen to a servant that when the time comes for him to be free, he may choose to continue being the servant to his master. When he chose to continue to be the servant even though he didn’t have to, then he became ‘doulos’.
Jesus didn’t have to be a servant, He could stay in Heaven with Father God, but He chose to come down to serve on earth. Jesus was a ‘doulos’, and that’s also what God called us to do. Being a servant is a choice we willingly make, and as it describes in the Book of Exodus, as a servant we may begin to prosper.
2. Being a bond servant is an attitude that we have
In the Book of Philippians 5, it says, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus“, you have to allow it to happen. Pastor Bruce said that he loves to serve God and this verse is a key to teach us that we have to live in the mindset of Jesus, to let it happen, to give permission to our lives to serve God. Pastor Bruce shared with us a small poem: “God where You lead, I will follow; what You feed, I will swallow”. In another words, being a servant is to do what God wants us to do, it is an attitude, a choice we make. Some people are willing to be the servant of God even to the point of giving up their lives.
Another kind of servant is written in Luke 15, in the story of the prodigal son. When the prodigal son got home, his father was very excited and called everyone for a party. When the older son came home, he didn’t know what was happening and therefore he asked the servant. The servant at the front door has the job of washing the feet of the guests. It’s most likely that the servant didn’t have a good attitude, and so he gave a bad report, which spoiled the older brother’s heart.
Servants’ reports are powerful. We can report on our church or on each other, and we can choose if we want to give a good or bad report. As a servant we can be powerful, and we must choose to give a good report to those who ask us.
3. Being a servant we receive great reward
Moses was the servant of God, and his reward was also great. He was able to lead 3,000,000 people through many dangerous places into the Promised Land; he saw miracles such as food falling from the sky and feed all the people he led; his leadership and stories are still so well know even after 3,000 years later! That’s a good reward of being a leader.
Joshua was a servant. He was able to see the children of Israel posses the land, to receive the promises of God, what a great reward of being a servant? Elisha was described as the servant of Elijah, and he did twice as many miracles as any of prophets did in the Old Testament!
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.” (Philippians 2:9)
The reward of Jesus as the Servant of God is to be exalted to the highest place. When Jesus was able to give up His glory in Heaven and to come to the earth to serve, God has given Him a Name above every names.
God honors servants. It is a great privilege to be servants of God. We should all excise being a servant in our lives, looking for opportunities to serve people around us, and having the excitement to serve one another in our church and our community. Because there is a reward for each one of us.
“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'” (Luke 17:10)
The life of a servant, is to do only what God has asked us to do, to do our duty. While knowing there is a reward, we get to choose to be a bond servant, with everyday we have, with every breath we breath, with the one life that we live.
What would you choose today?