Summary: This sermon covers four steps to serve God. 1. Develop a servant mentality. 2. Have a determination to serve. 3. Commit to following God. 4. Serve where you are.

Four Steps To Becoming A Successful Servant Of God

If I were to ask you this morning; “Give me the simplest definition of a Christian that you could think of? What would you say?”

(What I am seeking is “A follower of Christ.”)

A simple definition of “Christian” is to be “A Follower of Christ.” In the gospel of Matthew – Jesus is walking by the sea Galilee and He sees Simon Peter and his brother Andrew and he says to them. "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." The scripture goes on to say that Jesus went along the beach a little further and “He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.” Matthew 4:19-22 (NKJV) A simple definition of a Christian is: “A follower of Christ.” Jesus also said in Matthew 16:24; "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24 (NKJV)

What does following Christ involve? Following Christ involves becoming a servant of Christ. Look at verse twenty six from John chapter twelve with me.

“If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” John 12:26 (NKJV)

Jesus called His followers servants. If you are truly striving to be a follower of Jesus – if you are striving to be a successful follower of Christ – you must become a servant. As Christians we should all want to be successful servants of God. How do you become a successful servant? Here are four steps to becoming a successful servant. Step one:


This is the first step in becoming a successful servant. You must have a mentality that says, “My purpose on this earth is to serve God.” You must realize that God is in charge. You must realize your position in life. You must change your way of thinking from “Me” centered thinking to “Him” centered thinking. This world does not revolve around you. Everything that happens in the world is not about you. You are here to serve God – not the other way around. Your pattern of thinking should reflect a servant mentality. Follow along with me in Matthew 10:24.

“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.” Matthew 10:24 (NKJV)

Look at the way the Message Bible puts it.

"A student doesn’t get a better desk than her teacher. A laborer doesn’t make more money than his boss.” Matthew 10:24 (MSG)

The question is, “Who do you think you are?’ You are not the boss of the universe. You are not the master of the world. Your thinking should say, “I am a servant of the king.” Jesus is “King of kings and Lord of lords.” He is the creator of the universe. He set the stars in place and controls the universe by His power. He is above all – and in all – and at the end of time – the beginning of eternity – “every knee will bow, every tongue will confess – that He IS LORD.”

A successful servant will reflect this fact in their thinking. A successful servant will give of their time, resources, energy, money, expertise, etc. – to glorify God. Jesus becomes the center of a servant’s actions – the center of their motives. The servant’s purpose for living is to please Him. A successful servant gives all that they have – for the glory of God.

The second step to becoming a successful servant is:

2. Have a DETERMINATION to serve.

It is not enough just to have a servant’s mentality – you must be determined to serve –you must be determined to help.

Look at 2 Corinthians 8:1-4

“Now, brethren, we wish to make know to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality, For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability they gave of their own accord, begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints.”

The churches in Macedonia had an awesome determination to help. Nothing was going to keep these churches from helping. Not the affliction they were suffering not the poverty they found themselves in. They were determined to help.

Do you know what I have found? I have found that there are three types of givers:

A. The first type of giver are those who give because they can. They have an abundance and they give out of their abundance.

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Victor Aldana-Marie

commented on Aug 25, 2014

Tom, What an awesome Message! Curious if it would be ok for me to utilize for a Teaching Lesson??? Please email me Thanks in Advance, Rev. Victor

Tom Shepard

commented on Jan 10, 2015

Feel free to use the message. Thank you.

Victor Aldana-Marie

commented on Aug 25, 2014



commented on Jul 27, 2015

Dear Tom, thank you so much for the wonderful message. May i ask you to kindly email me your sermons just to read and internalize on my email.

Tom Shepard

commented on Jul 27, 2015

Thank you for the nice comment. Currently there are 281 sermons that I have placed on Sermon Central - free for reading and study. My hope is that you will utilize the web-site as you see fit to access my sermons. Just type in Tom Shepard on a search and you should be able to see them all. Blessings.

Finian Chinonyerem

commented on Nov 2, 2015

pastor Tom, please i need more encouragement to become a true servant of God Thank you.

Tom Shepard

commented on Nov 3, 2015

Regina Aiyamenkhue

commented on Oct 27, 2017

What is hypocrisy? The dictionary definition of hypocrisy is: hy·poc·ri·sy [hi-pok-ruh-see] 1.a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess. 2.a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude. act or instance of hypocrisy. Etymology: Middle English ypocrisie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin hypocrisis, from Greek hypokrisis act of playing a part on the stage, hypocrisy, from hypokrinesthai to answer, act on the stage, from hypo- + krinein to decide1 So, a religious hypocrite is, by definition, a non-believer, since he is only pretending to be an adherent of the faith. A hypocrite is not a person who commits some sins on occasion (all people commit sin occasionally), but someone who practices those sins on a routine basis. The truth of the matter is that hypocrisy has been a problem for those who claim to follow God for a very long time. In fact, God challenged Cain (the first son born of Adam and Eve) on his hypocrisy when he submitted an inferior offering to Him.2 What did Jesus say about hypocrisy and hypocrites? By far, of all preachers and prophets of the Bible, Jesus had the most to say about hypocrisy and hypocrites. Since He didn't mince any words on the subject, but directly confronted the religious hypocrites of His day (the scribes and Pharisees), they hated Him intensely - eventually having Him arrested on trumped up charges. Here is a list of some of the hypocrisy that Jesus spoke against: •Giving to the poor to be recognized by others3 •Praying in public to be recognized as "God's man"4 •Letting everybody know you are fasting to get recognition by others5 •Complaining about other's behavior when yours is even worse.6 •Pretending to honor God through lip service only7 •Testing other people to try to make yourself look superior8 •Deceiving people from knowing God9 •Repressing the poor and widows10 •Teaching proselytes to be hypocrites11 •Tithing (giving to the church), but neglecting justice and mercy12 •Doing everything for show, while really being self-indulgent and unrighteous13 •Treating stock animals better than fellow human beings14 •Being able to analyze the weather, but unable to distinguish between right and wrong15 Jesus indicated that those who practiced hypocrisy would be sent to hell,16 indicating that they were really non-believers. In other books of the New Testament, the writers associate hypocrisy with such things as evil,17 lying,18 perverting the gospel,19 envy and slander,20 and jealousy and selfish ambition.21 James contrasts the evil of hypocrisy with the "wisdom from above," which is characterized as being "pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering."21 Modern day hypocrites Is the Bible Intolerant? Sexist? Oppressive? Homophobic? Outdated? Irrelevant?The news media loves to make a big deal when a "Christian" preacher commits some sort of sexual sin, with the most recent example being Ted Haggard, who rabidly preached against homosexual practice, while he himself was involved in it on a routine basis. Everybody loves to hate a hypocrite. It is not surprising that there are hypocrites today, as there were in Jesus' day. The Old Testament prophet Daniel even predicted that there would be more hypocrites in the end times, as the cost of faith could well be your life.22 Jesus also predicted that many would fall away23 although they would claim to be His disciple at the judgment: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' " (Matthew 7:21-23) Christianity should not be judged on the basis of those who claim to be its adherents, when, in reality, they practice the opposite of what it teaches. Atheist hypocrites Yes, hypocrisy is not just limited to those who believe in God. When I first started reviewing Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion I expected to find some pretty crazy atheists' arguments, but did not expect to find any intentional misquoting. However, like some of the creationists he detests for misquoting, Dawkins, in his defense of atheism, used the exact same tactic - not just once or twice, but a bunch of times.24 It's good to know that even atheists can be hypocrites. Conclusion Top of page Christians are often accused of being hypocrites. However, the Bible clearly indicates that those who practice hypocrisy really aren't Christians at all, but will be judged to be non-believers and sent to hell. If you are a non-believer, this is a good reason to consider the Christian faith, since you don't want to end up in hell with all the hypocrites. Having attended many Christian churches, I can assure you that the pretenders are few and far between. One should judge Christianity not on the basis of what the fakers do, but on the basis of what Jesus taught and how He lived. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)

Dan Spangler

commented on Aug 24, 2018

Totally incorrect, this is not even close to how one becomes a servant. For starters, one must be refined and purification from earthy mind set and tested by trials, please read Malachi 3.3, palsm 66.7. and that is just before one can begin to be a servant

Tom Shepard

commented on Aug 25, 2018

Hi Dan - I think that when you referenced Psalm 66:7, you may have been thinking of a different verse. If you read Malachi 3:3 in context it is addressing the "sons of Levi". Those who were set apart in the nation of Israel to serve as priests. God says that He will refine them as gold and silver are refined. Does He refine all Christians? It seems so. I know He wants us all pure and holy (Lev. 11:44-45; 1 Peter 1:16). Does He refine us through tests and trails? Yes. (James 1:2-4) The process of sanctification is directed by the Holy Spirit and is unique to each individual. But if a person has gone or is going through the trials and purification process - How can they become a Successful Servant of God? Perhaps by these commitments: 1. Develop a SERVANT MENTALITY. (Humility) 2. Have a DETERMINATION to serve. (Commitment) 3. Commit to FOLLOWING GOD. (Devotion) 4. Start serving WHERE YOU ARE. (Action) Would you not agree that these are good steps? Dan if you have a sermon on the process of becoming a Servant of God - I would be happy to review it for you and give you my feedback. Blessings.

Nick Elliott

commented on Sep 1, 2018

I'm not a sheep; I'm his free will! God gave up absolute power! Plato said this would corrupt absolutely! He is our vision and beauty, she is our wonder and chance. God tells us 'love foremost in expression of virtuosity!' The pillar of the servant narrative/ nice but in the reality this is; it is up to you to find God! take it from the source, his rebellious son! Nick

Tom Shepard

commented on Sep 1, 2018

Nick - you'll see how that works out for you. Blessings.

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