Summary: Christ came into this world to do some amazing things, and to show us the way to live. He wants us to be servants, to make sacrifices and to flow in the supernatural power of God. Peter did, Paul did, Philip did and so can you and I.
Phil 2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death –
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Christmas in many ways is associated with light and lights. And so today I want to speak about The light of Christmas. The true light of Christmas.
2000 years ago the Light of heaven broke into the darkness of earth. But what was this light? What were the characteristics of this light?
1. The True light of Christmas speaks about Servanthood
V7 says that Christ took on the very nature of a servant
Jesus spoke a lot about The kingdom....
- at the start of his ministry he said: repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.
- During his ministry...in his parables and teachings...he spoke mush of the kingdom
- At the end of his life: he tells Pilate: my kingdom is not of this world...
The kingdom of God, friends is based on humility....on servanthood...
Jesus taught that in the kingdom:
You gain by giving... he said give and it will be given back...
To find your life...you have to lose it
The way up in the kingdom is the way down
The way to greatness, is to become a servant of all
In fact it was in the context of leadership, that Jesus said:
Matthew 20: 25 “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. 26It shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,…
Donald Walters echoes the same truth: leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.
In life, the people who are remembered with honour the most are those who served others the best.
Martin Luther King, Jr said: Life's most important question is: What are you doing for others.
Are you living to serve others or are you seeking others to serve you?
This is s searching question.
And whilst we ponder that, let me say this:
The greatest service we can offer is to the one who Created us in his love...and who redeemed us by his grace.
Jesus had this attitude. He said
John 4:34 My food is to do the will of him who sent me
John 5:30 I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me
John 6:38 I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me
Often as believers we want to serve God. But many ask how can I know what his will is. How can I serve him if I don’t know what he wants me to do?
So, how do we discover the will of God?
a. The voice of conscience.
It tells us to stop....go.....we must never disobey it
b. Voice of the saints.
Advice, counsel, rebuke from the spiritually mature, godly.
Often these people are Gods voice to us.
c. Voice of the Church.
Gods will is spoken to us. Often from The pulpit.
d. The voice of God’s Book.
You may not understand everything, but there is enough to help us understand what God wants.
e. The voice of prayer.
Often God speaks to us as we speak to him. But ask for a humble and obedient heart.
The voice of Jesus. Greatest. Jesus is not just a character in a book. He is alive and present with us.
The light of Christmas is not just about Servanthood, but also about sacrifice.
For us to truly obey and honour and serve God ... we must be willing to make sacrifices.