God’s Servants-July 20, 2014
We are here to nominate Deacons today. The word deacon means to be a servant. Although we are coming to nominate some that will later be set aside for this specific office of servant, it is really the work of the whole body of Christ to do the work of service. So what does that look like? What are some of the hurdles we face? What will it require of us? How do we live that out in practical ways in our day-to-day life?
Richard Foster Quotes:
In services we must experience the many little deaths of going beyond ourselves. Service banishes us to the mundane, the ordinary, and the trivial. (pg. 126-127)
The authority of which he spoke was not an authority to manipulate and control. It was an authority of function, not of status. (pg. 127)
“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant…even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve” (Matt. 20:25-28). Therefore the spiritual authority of Jesus is an authority not found in a position or a title, but a towel. 128
True service is a life-style. 129
Self-righteousness fractures community. In the final analysis, once all the religious trappings are removed, it centers on the glorification of the individual. Therefore it puts others into its debt and becomes one of the most subtle and destructive forms of manipulation known. True service builds community. 129
Nothing disciplines the inordinate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition. It will devise subtle, religiously acceptable means to call attention to the service rendered. If we stoutly refuse to give in to this lust of the flesh, we crucify it. Every time we crucify the flesh we crucify our pride and arrogance. 130
We must see the difference between choosing to serve and choosing to be a servant. When we choose to be a servant, we surrender the right to decide who and when we will serve. 132
God’s servants communicate, participate, imitate, demonstrate, invite, and replicate.
Communicate the good news of Jesus Christ (John 3:16)
Participate in the life of the body and particularly in worship. The church gathers for worship first and foremost and then for discipleship fellowship is a natural outflow of worship and discipleship. If we simple gather for fellowship we run the risk of gathering for ourselves and not for Christ or His Kingdom and are no different from a social club. (do not forsake the assembling of yourselves…)
Imitate Christ in his Character, Consistency, and Compassion (Phil. 2:1-16)
Demonstrate the love of Christ (washing feet, feeding the hungry, helping those in need)
Invite others to begin the journey of worship and service. (Matt. 28:16-20) I have heard it said communicate the gospel by any means possible and use words if necessary. I do not disagree that our lives must be an example of what we say but to the one who gave us the written word and the Word incarnate we must use words, if not then no one will know why we do what we do.
Participate teach others to grow the Kingdom of God, the more we do the faster it will grow. The growth will not be through adding but will be exponential multiplying its result. (Acts 2:41; Acts 9:31)
God’s servants should model Christ in service, love, and dedication to His bride and the world He came to save. In doing so we become leaders not because of power or position, but in service and in love.
How best is this lived out…in faithfulness in our relationships
1st In relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
2nd In relationship with our families
3rd In relationship with our family of faith
4th in relationship with the world that Christ died to save
Direct Quotes from The Celebration of Disciplines, Richard Foster