Summary: Even within the churc we fall prey to the temptation to look after ourselves. Too often it is about what we get over what we give.
1. Mark Twain once said that the only one who likes change is a baby with a wet diaper. That may be true, but change is inevitable.
2. Examples of change
Service Stations have become Gas stations or Convenient stores – once full-service; now, self-service
Grocery stores – bag and carry to car – now Do It Yourself, even with self-checkout lanes; long ago I am told that some groceries would even allow you to call in your order and have it waiting for you when you arrived.
Business are catching on to the idea of second mile service and are profiting from it – Chick -fil-A's purpose statement reveals the heart of their company: "That we might glorify God by being a faithful steward in all that is entrusted to our care, and that we might have a positive influence on all the people that we might come in contact with."
Church – Is it Service or Serve Us?
In business for the sake of others
Needs – Matthew 25
Reconciling people to God – 2 Corinthians 5.17-19
17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
3. Luke 22.24-30
4. God has set the pace for service – it involves:
I. Service Involves: Proper Motives (22.24)
A. Disputing Reveals the Problem of Self
[Boxing great, Muhammad Ali boldly declared, “I am the greatest!” On one occasion Ali was flying to a fight and refused to buckle his seatbelt; the flight attendant insisted but Ali said, “Superman don’t need no seatbelt.” The attendant replied, “Superman don’t need no plane.” So he buckled.
Dispute about greatness may have involved the mother of James and John (and Yeshua’s aunt) in Matthew 20.20-21
James and John are out of focus – thinking of selves instead of Yeshua (Jesus) and their place in his mission
B. This is a Continuous Battle – James 4.1-3
1What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
1. We battle this even within the church
2. We try pulling rank; push our agendas over God’s simple commission
II. Service Involves: People Mattering
Too often I am consumed with ME like James and John – Yeshua (Jesus) shows something different
A. The Priority of Others (Philippians 2.3-4)
3Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
1. Danger of Burnout – Galatians 6.10
2. Danger of Abuse – Doormats; Losing Personalities
B. The Place of Servant Leadership
1. The Kingdom of God is the opposite of the World’s Pattern
2. Shepherding vs. Managing
3. Serving as Youngest/Least – Shepherd – low in prestige
C. One Category in Kingdom of God – Servants All
1. There are special servants – Elders/Deacons
2. Our calling – to be servants of Yeshua (Jesus)
a. To belong to Yeshua (Jesus) -- 6including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, Romans 1.6
b. To serve righteousness -- 17But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. Romans 6.17-18
A businessman once asked his Bible study group, “How can you tell if you have a servant attitude?” “By the way you react when you are treated like one,” was the reply.
D. Question – Which is Greater – Study or Serving?
1. Study is “greatest form of worship”
2. Study is given so we can DO the words we learn
III. Service Involves: Portraying the Master
A. There are Many Great Servants
Abraham – Genesis 18
Joseph – second to Pharaoh
Daniel – Great in King’s Court/no negative criticisms
Elisha – served Elijah
So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. 1 Kings 19.21