Summary: Churches and Christians need to have a servant’s heart.
The Attitude of Christ Phil. 2:5-9
INTRO.: Illus. Of a job interview.
Contrast this young engineer’s attitude with the attitude of Jesus, Who spent His entire life in the service of others with no compensation, very little appreciation, and considerable opposition.
In our world, and especially in the business world, there are very few who have the attitude of a servant. Our society has taught us to be self-centered, self-seeking, and self-assertive.
Jesus teaches us the greatest rewards come to those with the heart of a servant. He lived a servant’s life.
I. Consider the example of Jesus: John 13:3-5
A. His service sprang from His confidence in His standing before God
1. “So” in verse 4 connects Jesus’ action to this confidence, stated in 3
2. He knew He had nothing to prove and didn’t need to “stand up for His right” to be served.
3. Jesus spent His entire life serving others with no thought of personal gain.
B. He neither got nor sought any appreciation: John 13:6-10
1. Even the beloved Peter rejected His offer to serve at first.
2. There were some even Jesus found reluctant to accept His service. He never gave up.
3. This was not the end of His service. In fact, it was the very least.
C. Ultimately, His reward came after He gave the utmost of Himself in the service of others. Phil. 2:9-11
1. “Therefore” in Phil. 2:9 shows why God exalted Him.
2. Only after the arrest, beating, bleeding, and death on the cross did He receive that Name above all.
3. We don’t remember Him for His teachings, miracles, healing. We remember His sacrifice.
II. Apply the example of Jesus to the Church:
A. The Church exists to do the work of God.
1. Many seem to have the idea we are only here to worship.
2. They are satisfied if a large number attend “services,” which are not really services.
3. Worship is good and necessary, but we must not think “Church” is a destination or activity.
4. “Church” is what we are: the Body of Christ.
B. The Church exists to serve God by serving people:
1. Illus.: Interview of a servant.
2. Sometimes we try to serve people in ways that make them never want to come back.
3. That’s when we expect them to accept our way of doing things and follow our traditions.
4. We need to listen to people and discover their needs.
C. The reward will come after the sacrifice:
1. If visitors have babies, they are distracted by their care and cannot worship. They need a nursery and if we provide it, our attendance will increase.
2. If children, acting like children, get nothing from the sermon, they need a separate service for children. If we offer it, our Church will grow.
3. The Church thrives as it meets the needs of non-church people.
4. Sometimes we have too narrow a definition of the Church
III. Apply the example of Jesus to your life:
A. You cannot separate yourself from the Church:
1. Like it or not, you are the Church. What you do reflects on the Body.
2. When you sin, the Church is hurt.
3. When you serve, the Church is serving and will be blessed.
B. God wants to work through you: Phil. 2:13
1. When there is an urge or opportunity, God is working in you.
2. He is working in you because He wants to work through you.
3. It is a glorious privilege to participate in the Lord’s work. We enter partnership with the Almighty. Phil. 2:12, 13
C. As Jesus did, you may have to wait for your reward.
1. But it is certain. Eph. 6:8
2. Paul suffered for the Lord all His life because he looked beyond to his reward. II Tim. 4:7, 8.
CONC.: Jesus lived a life of obedience to the father and servanthood toward men. He sacrificed His life. But, it was “for the joy set before Him that He endured the cross.”
When we learn to live our lives for others, we are living for God.
Reaching the end of a job interview, the human resources person asked a young engineer fresh out of MIT what kind of a salary he was looking for.
"In the neighborhood of $140,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."
"Well, what would you say to a package of 5-weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical & dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, & a company car leased every 2 years...say, a red Corvette?"
"Wow! Are you kidding?"
"Yeah, but you started it."
A servant’s heart is sorely lacking in our society today.
God’s people should have a servant’s heart.
A woman was interviewing a prospective servant and asked, “Can you serve company?”