Summary: Serving, Revolution, Leadership
I WILL – “I Will” Serve
Matthew 20:25-28 (pg. 690) October 25, 2015
My buddy Frank Cloud, one of our older members gave me a book the other day called “True North” by Gary Inrig...It’s about discovering God’s Way in a changing world...I haven’t finished it yet but when I read Chapter 5 entitled God’s Compass I thought... “Man, that’s right on advice for us all!”
Here’s how it starts:
In the world of country music, Alan Jackson has superstar status. Among more than sixty awards and honors, he was named Entertainer of the Year in 1995 by the Country Music Association and twice the Male Vocalist of the Year by the Academy of Country Music. In a seven year period, an amazing twenty of his songs reached number one on the country music charts. He has sold more than twenty five million records and amassed a fortune of more than forty million dollars. He lives in a thirty thousand square foot mansion that contains most of the creature comforts known to man. Any reasonable accounting would have to consider Alan Jackson a successful man.
But appearances can be deceptive. In 1998, Alan Jackson found himself in deep personal trouble. His marriage to his high school sweetheart was on the rocks, and for the first time in his life he found himself in what he told a reporter from USA Today was “an almost suicidal depression...I kept trying to let everything else make me happy. Maybe that’s why I’m successful. I worked so hard to get all the stuff to make me happy. Then that didn’t do it. I actually got worse.
The Jacksons managed to work through their difficulties and renewed their vows as a special nineteenth anniversary celebration. But Alan Jackson wasn’t the first, and he won’t be the last, to discover that in the midst of public success, he was experiencing private failure in the things that mattered most. His life required a radical course alteration if he was to get to where he wanted to go, not to where he was headed. For many of us, the danger isn’t that we will fail to reach our goals but that we will have the wrong goals. The worst failure may be to succeed in things that don’t really matter, to arrive at the wrong harbor.
There’s this continuous thought for each of us...it goes something like this... “If I can just get what I want then I’ll be happy.”
We can’t help it...it’s part of our sinful nature...we long for a Lazyboy recliner much more than we do a cross. We long for the power, popularity and funds to be King’s of our own empire.
But Alan Jackson, Solomon and a multitude of others who got just that, will tell you “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired, I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor. And this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done...and what I had worked to achieve, everything was meaningless...like chasing after the wind...nothing was gained.” (Ecc. 2:10-11 p. 461)
Satan always leads us to try to be our own King....Selfish pursuits are always held out as the answer for happiness and satisfaction...but it’s a lie...from the King of Liars. It’s a mirage in the desert. It looks like water for those dying of thirst...but it’s just an illusion. The reward we thought we wanted ends up being a huge disappointment.
It happens with people in the Church all time...the focus turns to themselves...their wants, preferences and likes...a serve me mentality...but our King has a different plan for His people.
I. WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
All you have to do is look at the encounter between Jesus and the mother of James and John to know.
She wants what every mother wants for her boys...success...power...she wants them to be kings...rulers.
“Jesus, promise me that each of my sons will share power with you...let one sit to your right...one to your left in your Kingdom.”
Jesus tells her, “you have no idea what my Kingdom is all about.”
And the other 10 disciples become “indignant.” “Indignant” is a mixture of anger, jealousy and pride. These worldly emotions wash over the group...because they probably wanted the same seats. They wanted to be kings too...Don’t we all?
But Jesus loves these men...He knows it’s a teachable moment...so He calls them over and says “You know the unbelieving Kings domineer their subjects...men with lots of power who make people do what they want...It can’t be like that with you...just the opposite...if you want real greatness become a servant...That’s what I’ve done...I came to serve others...not have them serve me...In fact I’m going to die to pay for their debt.”
Those are the clearest words ever spoken about what it means to be a Christ follower in a self centered world....what it means to move from “I want others to serve me” to “I WILL serve others.”