Summary: A servant is a person who is under submission to another. For Christians, this means submission to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As His bondservants there are four qualities that we should possess.
A Servant of the Lord
“And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”
A servant is a person who is under submission to another. For Christians, this means submission to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Being in submission, a servant seeks to meet the real needs of or carry out the will of the person he is serving. In the Greek New Testament there are two words for servant, "Doulos" and "Diakonos". Diakonos is where we get the word “Deacon”. Doulos is a term that generally means a servant that is under submission but not in bondage. Doulos referred to a slave who after serving for a period of time as a slave and given the opportunity to either gain their freedom or choose to remain in service to their master. They were known as bondservants. Believers are called to be the servants (bondservants) of the Lord. Let us consider four characteristics or qualities of a servant of the Lord.
A servant is one who is
I. Loyal to the Lord
A. 1 Kings 8:61 “Let your heart therefore be loyal to the LORD our God”
B. An essential element to Christian service is loyalty to the King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
C. Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
D. Jesus demands that our love and our loyalty for Him be greater than any and all other attachment we may have, including our families. Anything that gets between our loyalty to Christ and real obedience to Him is nothing more than idolatry. Our loyalty to Christ must take precedence over anything else. Following Christ must be our highest priority.
E. Galatians 1:10 “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
F. Numbers 14:24 “But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land where into he went; and his seed shall possess it.”
G. Norman Geisler, as a child, went to a Vacation Bible School because he was invited by some neighbor children. He went back to the same church for Sunday School classes for 400 Sundays. Each week he was faithfully picked up by a bus driver. Week after week he attended church, but never made a commitment to Christ. Finally, during his senior year in High School, after being picked up for church over 400 times, he did commit his life to Christ. What if that bus driver had given up on Geisler at 395? What if the bus driver had said, "This kid is going nowhere spiritually, why waste any more time on him?" Thank God for faithful servants who are loyal to Christ and their call to service. - Max Lucado, God Came Near, Multnomah Press, 1987, p. 133.
II. Others Oriented
A. Loyal love is self-denying, self-sacrificing, and others-oriented. It is love that finds its fulfillment, joy and happiness in the service of another. - copied
B. Galatians 5:13 “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”
C. Philippians 2:3-4 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
D. General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, considered the principle so important that he once sent a single-word telegram to the International Convention of the Salvation Army because he was too sick to attend. The word was "others." He knew his movement would only experience on-going success as they lived to meet needs in other people’s lives. He attempted to develop the attitude of Jesus in the lives of his followers. Matthew 5:44, 46-47 Jesus said, "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you ... For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?" – copied
E. All of the spiritual gifts are others oriented and for the blessing of the whole church and not for the individual possessor of the gift. They are from God for the common good of God’s people and the glory of God.