Summary: Peter's example in this text reveals to us some qualities of who a servant is and what a servant does.
* Concept of serving others and God is woven throughout Scripture
* Why serving others/God is important:
- It's commanded (Gal. 5:13)
- Service to God is linked to worship (Matt. 4:10)
- When we serve others, we are actually serving God (Matt. 25:40)
* What does Peter's example in this text teach us about being a servant today?
1. A servant is involved (v. 32-33)
* Peter is on the move, which made it easy for God to direct him
* People God uses as servants are people who are involved with the mission of God and the ministry of the church
* One reason the church is important: it is a venue through which we can serve God
* Being involved means several things...
A. Involvement means we constantly look for someone to serve.
B. Involvement means we get outside the church instead of staying inside (Mark 16:15)
C. Involvement opens the door for service to others
2. A servant serves for the glory of God (v. 34-35)
* A temptation we face in serving is to make it about us, our church, our denomination, or our agenda.
* Peter was careful to give credit to God and God alone so that God would be the only one to receive glory
* The desire of a servant's heart: Psalm 115:1
3. A servant is available (v. 36-39)
* Peter's response in verse 39 reveals that he was available to serve, even when his life was already full of things to do
* The old excuse - "I'm too busy" = if we're too busy with life to be a servant, we're not living the life God wants us to life
* "God is not looking for ability, but for availability."
* God can do big things through available people...
- David: couldn't use Saul's sword & armor, but God did something great with what was available...a sling and some stones
- The poor widow: didn't have all the money others had, but God did something great with what she did have...2 simple coins
- A young boy: didn't have a catering business, but God did something great with what he did have...5 loaves of bread and 2 fish
* The people God used in Scripture were all available...
- Moses (Ex. 3:4)
- Samuel (1 Sam. 3:4)
- Isaiah (Isa. 6:8)
- Ananias (Acts 9:10)
4. A servant is empowered by prayer (v. 40-42)
* Peter did not presume anything about God's will, but simply prayed because he knew that was a source of his power.
* We need divine power as we serve, because service to God and others is a matter of spiritual warfare
* Without prayer, service becomes an act of mere benevolence instead of a life-changing event.
5. A servant serves all (v. 43)
* Simon the tanner = tanners were despised in this culture because they dealt with the skins of dead animals; tanning was considered an "unclean" occupation; Simon would have been shunned in the synagogue
* Peter, a true servant, served someone regardless of who he was, what he looked like, or what he did
* True servants today follow this example...