Summary: This sermon lays out the hope of the promised rewards awaiting all of God's servants.
A. One day a professor, a preacher and a professional golfer went deer hunting together.
1. They were all novices, but wanted to try it.
2. They had been out all day and towards dusk they all spotted a 5 point buck at the same time.
3. They each took aim and all three fired a shot at the moving target.
4. The buck went down, and so they rushed over to where the deer fell to the ground.
5. As they stood over the 5 point buck, they started to discuss who’s shot had actually hit the deer.
6. As they were discussing it, a game warden happened along and asked what the problem was.
7. They told him, and he said for them to stand back and he would try to figure it out based on the bullet hole and the rifles that were being used.
8. A minute later, the game warden declared that the preacher was the one who shot the deer.
9. They all three inquired how he could have figured it out so quickly and definitively.
10. The warden said, “It was easy to determine, the bullet went in one ear and came out the other.”
B. I certainly hope that isn’t the case with my preaching…I hope it does more than go in one ear and out the other.
1. I hope that is especially true of this series on Serving Like Jesus.
a. I began this series two months ago to educate us and raise our awareness of serving in preparation for today’s ministry fair.
b. I hope all of us will stay for the fair, so that those who have been serving well, will continue to do so, and that those who need to grow in their service will be inspired to do so.
2. Before we finish the series with this last sermon, let’s review what we have learned so far.
3. In the first sermon of the series, we learned that Jesus came to serve and to give and that God wants us to become like Jesus.
a. Just like Jesus, the one who is the greatest is the one who learns to serve and to give.
4. In the second sermon, we talked about how to be selfless in a selfie world.
a. We learned that we cannot be a servant of Jesus and serve like Jesus unless we develop a selfless attitude.
b. We talked about forgetting ourselves into greatness.
5. In the third sermon we talked about how to think like a servant.
a. We learned that real servants think more about others than about themselves.
b. Real servants think like stewards, not owners.
c. Real servants think about their own responsibilities, not what other servants are doing.
d. Real servants base their identity in Christ.
e. Finally, real servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation.
6. In the next two sermons, we explored how the Beatitudes form a perfect portrait of what a servant should look like.
a. True servants are characterized by humility, and the ability to mourn.
b. True servants are meek, and have a hunger and thirst for righteousness.
c. True servants are merciful and have a pure heart.
d. True servants are peacemakers and are able to endure persecution.
7. In the next sermon, we learned about the influence of a servant.
a. The influence of a servant is found in the fact that we are salt and light for the world.
b. I shared the story of the Keeper of the Springs, and suggested that what the keeper of the springs meant to the village, Christian servants mean to our world.
8. Then, finally, in our most recent sermon from the Serving Like Jesus series, we talked about the perils of a servant.
a. We used Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, as a case study in the perils servants encounter.
b. We witnessed Gehazi facing the peril of being overprotective and possessive of the one he served, facing the peril of feeling used and unappreciated, facing the peril of experiencing hostile, undeserved disrespect and resentment, and finally facing the peril of hidden greed that prompted him to take what rewards he wanted.
C. Today, I want us to leave the dark side of serving and end on a positive note.
1. Serving definitely has rewards, and they are numerous.
2. The rewards of serving far outweigh the perils and difficulties of serving.
3. When we think about the rewards of serving, they help to motivate us to keep serving.
D. On one occasion, Peter asked Jesus an important question, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” (Mt. 19:27).
1. We might paraphrase it like this: “We’ve given up a lot to be here. Is it really worth it?”