Summary: There are many different ways to serve, many ways that we as followers of Jesus Christ can bring him glory, but it all starts with a “willingness” on our part to be his servants.
What does it take to be a servant? That’s kind of a strange question, because we don’t always have the best perspective about what a “servant’ really is. Jesus referred to himself as a servant when he said: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to be a servant and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
A biblical definition of a servant is: “One who brings glory to God by willingly meeting the needs of others.”
There are many different ways to serve, many ways that we as followers of Jesus Christ can bring him glory, but it all starts with a “willingness” on our part to be his servants.
This morning I want us to read a passage from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, and to allow those verses to help us have clearer picture of what it takes to be a servant.
Text: 2 Corinthians 2:17-3:6
What does it take to be a servant?
I. We must have a CLEAR VISION of GOD’S PURPOSE (2:17-3:4)
What is God’s purpose for us as followers of His Son? Paul tells us that we are to be His missionaries…we are sent from God to share His message of salvation. Paul showed that to his readers by telling them that “they” were the “proof” of his purpose.
Paul’s life as a believer found its ultimate purpose in sharing the love of Jesus with others. What ever service we try and accomplish for God, it must be centered in our desire to share God’s love with others. In other words…all that we do for Christ should be done for His glory, and to help draw people closer to Him.
It is God’s purpose for each of us to be His servants to: “Bring glory to Him by willingly meeting the needs of others.”
If we want to be servants of the Lord then we need to be impacting the lives of others through the work of His Spirit in us. Paul could see the people in Corinth as the “results” of his service, his ministry for Jesus Christ. They were the “fruits” of his labors. Can you look at your life as a Christian and see any fruit? If not, it may be because you don’t have a clear vision about God’s purpose for you. He wants you to be a missionary…to share His love, His Son, with those around you through the gifts and talents that His has blessed you with.
Jesus said that to be “great” you must be willing to be the “least” of those around you, but that doesn’t mean there are “little” servants, or “little” ministries, because everything that is done in Jesus’ name and for His glory is considered “great” by our Heavenly Father.
What does it take to be a servant?
II. We must have a CLEAR UNDERSTANDING of GOD’S POWER (3:5)
Paul said that our “competency” is not our own… it comes from God. I like the way the Living Bible translates this verse:
5and not because we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves.
Our only power and success comes from God.
As we begin to have a vision for God’s purpose for our lives, we must understand that the POWER for service comes from Him and Him alone.
Too often we fail in our efforts to serve the Lord because we are trying to serve Him under our own power. God gives us gifts and talents to use, but to effectively use them for His glory we must be dependant upon Him. God infuses His power into our lives and our service through His Holy Spirit.
When we become Christians, when we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, God gives us His Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God lives inside of all believers so that we can be empowered to serve God through our daily lives.
The Spirit can enable us to serve, but He will not force us to serve. Remember, biblical servanthood is based on our “willingness to bring God glory through meeting the needs of others.” There are a couple of sayings that I have repeatedly expressed to you over the last six years. The one that I probably say more than any other is this:
Whatever God calls you to do…He will empower you to accomplish.
That’s what I mean when I say to be a servant you must have a clear understanding of God’s power! It’s not about you! It’s not about me! It’s about God, and what He can do through you and me when we surrender our lives to Him.
III. We must have a CLEAR COMMITMENT to be PRODUCTIVE for Christ (3:6)
This last thought is really the application of the first two. We need a vision of God’s purpose, and an understanding of God’s power, but to have vision and understanding is not enough.