Summary: How do we spot someone who is a true servant of God? Is it immediately obvious? Can it be spotted from what they do...? (indirectly this is a subtle challenge to be the right kind of servants of God)

"Spot the servant". 2 Cor 6:1-13. WBC 5 May 2005 am

Thought you’d like this!

"I’m going away for a while. Please could you water my pot plants for me

when I’m gone. Once a day should be fine. (PPT after reading out to reveal "please water my plants while away.jpg" in My pictures\illustrations & Jokes)

Well- how do you ’spot a servant’?

It’s here in this passage- but why is Paul addressing it?


He’s been talking about ’reconciliation’- and that’s because there is a need for a bit of it!

- with God (5:20 - they are believers and need to be reconciled to Him- so something’s out of kilter)

- with him. As you know

o are folks who have been discrediting him

o he’s asked them to act over someone who’s out of line and they have reacted

So he’s had to justify his own ministry as an Apostle- and a servant

- v1 he says he is a fellow- worker for GOD (clear in the way it’s written)

- v4 describes himself as a servant of God

So- we get to listen in on him justifying what a servant of God is/isn’t!

So- how do you ’spot a servant’?

- is it the person who gets invited to speak at a ’super servant seminar’… like someone I know did? (In Hawaii!)

- is it me who says ’ha! Mega servant’- when I take Robin/Liz coffee? (or to Maureen on Fri- PLEASE let me make you a cuppa so I’ve got an illustration!)

- Illustr: ’Looking for the best’. Advert for pastor of a Texas Baptist CHurch (geunine!). (’The 25,000 member Church has voted to get a co-pastor to work alongside its 78 year old former Southern Baptist convention president . The pastor said the man would have to be a fundamentalist. he added "We are seeking the finest, best, most gifted and successful, most God-blessed pastor in this universe to come here and be pastor co-equal with me

- In fact- is the servant of God the kind of person who makes a noise about it at all; "I’m gonna serve the old folks, now!"


- servants here are ’servants of God’ - so ultimately only He knows and ’spots the servant’

o that is both incredibly consoling and challenging, eh?

" God knows! He knows whether you are serving Him or not- so don’t worry about people… but also don’t think you can pull the wool over His eyes!

" Illustr: praying so people can hear

" But -who are we to judge someone else’s servant?

- Secondly- it doesn’t say a lot about what someone DOES, here

" (as that will be different for different people)

o rather HOW you do it…. live… react

From this passage you spot a servant in

SUFFERING v4,5, 8-10

Actually- this is a big chunk of this text, eh?! Most of it!

- you spot a servant when the going gets tough! How they react to that

- that they keep going- because it’s God not glory they are serving

o = one of the reasons they bear such fruit… as they are ’long haulers’

And he addresses 3 kinds of tough-times serving, here

1) The stuff of life- uninvited stuff v4

"trouble, hardship and distress" (afflictions, hardships, calamities)

- those things that come our way because we are in the world and human. Uninvited

o Ilustr: watching ’why do bad things happen to good people’ thurs pm. One answer: "because they do. Why shouldn’t they. It’s how you react that counts"

- Illustr: best example I currently know is Rob Lacey. Email again about health-

o But he’s a servant of God alright. HUGE fruit! Wal-Mart

- It is there in the Bible: in Isaiah the NIV entitles him the ’suffering servant’. In fact there are 4 or 5 passages about him. And he achieves God’s powerful purposes in the suffering. Uninvited

- It’s Jesus, of course: but also maybe the OT prophet… or the people of Israel

o Though they (the Jews) didn’t understand this aspect of God’s working. But we must! Do!

2) Suffering for serving v5

The second kind of tough-times serving is the active stuff against the servant as a consequence of them serving

- as though they invited it!

It’s beatings, imprisonment, riots

- and they stick at the serving because they are serving God

o and this is people and Satan kicking against Him and the fruitfulness

- Illustr: I jest not. Those who do not believe in ’attack’ have probably never done anything warranting it! Fruitful! It’s very real. Temperature has gone up over the Feast- and some of you are bearing the heat/consequences

3) Suffering service v5

It’s the way they serve- "in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger"

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion