Summary: Most people wish to serve God—but in an advisory capacity only.


By: Dr. Dennis Deese -

JOHN 19:18-42 (19&1-3; 18:16-18 & 18:30)

Most people wish to serve God—but in an advisory capacity only.

Quoted in Sunday Express, London

There was a young lawyer who showed up at a revival meeting and found himself called upon to offer a prayer. Unprepared, he gave a prayer straight from his lawyer’s heart:

"Stir up much strife amongst thy people, Oh Lord," he prayed, "lest thy servant perish."

??Senator Sam Ervin

Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

1 Peter 2:21-24 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

There are three challenging aspects of our ultimate & supreme exemplary servant: There is the challenge of:

1. SUBMISSION 19:16-18

John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Luke 9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

1. Willing

Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

2. Prayerful

Luke 22:41 -45 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,

3. Confident

Luke 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Psalms 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

The Bible can provide direction for the believer in the most perplexing circumstances. An experience of some fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico illustrates this truth. They had taken a small boat to their favorite spot about 5 miles from land. They enjoyed themselves and had no difficulty until late afternoon when a dense fog suddenly moved in. By the time they realized what was happening and got the motor running to head back, they were completely engulfed in the "soup" and could see only a few yards ahead. With hearts pounding, they tried to figure out the way to shore. Then one of them remembered that he had a small compass which he pulled out of his pocket. Even though its tiny pointer defied their own sense of direction, they finally agreed to trust it. The men later admitted that periodically they would shout above the noise of the motor, "I don’t think the compass is working. I’m sure we’re headed the wrong way." But they allowed its needle to be their guide. After what seemed like a very long time, they finally saw the dry images of land emerging. With uncanny precision they had been brought out of the fog to within a few yards of the dock from which they started

2. SUFFERING 19:1-3; 18:18 &18:23-24

One of the greatest servants of Christ was Dr. Temple in England. A young clergyman who was being sent by Dr. Temple to a very difficult church turned to him and said, "Dr. Temple, why do you send me there? Don’t you know how difficult it is? It’ll kill me if I go there." You know what Dr. Temple’s reply was? "Well, you and I do not mind a little thing like that, do we? If what God has set for us to accomplish will require our lives, we should be willing to give our lives."

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