Summary: Scripture makes it clear that we as followers of Jesus need to be servants and not self-centered – we are to serve each other in the Body and root out any self-seeking behavior so as to please God. We are all called to be servant-leaders!
“Servant of Jesus not self”
Opening Illustration: Today’s clip comes from the movie “Bella” it addresses the subject of selfishness – In the clip one brother challenges the other brother about how selfish he is – his leadership in running his restaurant is all self-centered – he is selfish and he only cares about himself. He challenges him to think about others before himself.
Thesis: Scripture makes it clear that we as followers of Jesus need to be servants and not self-centered – we are to serve each other in the Body and root out any self-seeking behavior so as to please God. We are all called to be servant-leaders!
Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 4
1So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. 2Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
6Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. 7For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
8Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have become kings—and that without us! How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you! 9For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. 10We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.
14I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. 15Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
18Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?
Our subject today “servant-hood” and what it means to be a servant of Jesus. Scripture tells us that we have to root out all selfishness in our life or we will never become a servant leader within the Kingdom of God. Selfish attitudes are very dangerous to hold onto.
Quote on the danger of selfishness:
Some years ago the MINNESOTA CRIME COMMISSION released a statement more in line with what the Bible teaches about man’s basic nature. ‘Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish, and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it – his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toys, his uncles’ watch. Deny him these once, and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness, which would be murderous were he not so helpless. He is, in fact, dirty. He has no moral, no knowledge, no skills. This means that all children – not just certain children – are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of his infancy, given free reign to his impulsive actions, to satisfy his wants, every child would grow up a criminal – a thief, a killer, or a rapist.’ THE MINNESOTA CRIME COMMISION HAS IN EFFECT INDICTED THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE! Not the first time though ROM 3:23 All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. PS 51:5 Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Contributed to sermoncentral.com by: Guy McGraw