“21 Qualities for Christians in the Bible”
MOMENTS OF TRUTH
#19 – Servanthood
30 August 2020
Good morning and welcome to “Moments of Truth” a weekly broadcast brought to you by the brethren of the Pekin church of Christ located at the corner of First Street and Karnes Court in Pekin, Indiana.
Each week, we endeavor to present a portion of God’s Word to help you to “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). We also cordially invite you to come and study God’s Word with us. We have Bible Classes for all ages at 9:45. We also continue our regular worship times of 10:30 AM and 5 PM on Sunday’s. All are invited to come and worship with us. We will continue to practice social distancing and use of Personal Protective Equipment and single serve communion emblems with our collection tray accessible for giving. We will also continue to utilize our Facebook “Live-Stream” capability for all our services. Don’t forget about our daily “Bible Point to Ponder” which is also “Live Streaming” on our Facebook Page. We hope you will be able to take advantage of all these opportunities to study more of God’s Word as we continue to go through these trying times. We would also like to ask that you do all you can to remain righteous before God so that your prayers will be heard and answered. James tells us in James 5:16, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
And when you pray we ask that you remember to pray for all men as Paul instructed in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”
If you have any questions concerning today’s lesson or would like a transcript, please give us a call at 812-967-3437 or 812-896-6613. You can also contact us through our web site at www.pekinchurchofchrist.com. We’d also like to offer you a Home Bible study at your convenience as well as a free Bible correspondence course. Our desire is to help you with your walk with God.
We are utilizing the New King James version of the Bible.
This is our 19th lesson in our series entitled “21 Qualities for Christians in the Bible.” We must remember our goal is to aid in our growth as Christians and help to develop servant leadership traits inspired by men and women of Scripture. The apostle Peter tells us in 2 Peter 3:18, “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Peter also tells us to “add” to our faith in 2 Peter 1:5-11, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.” These are just a few of the Scriptures that teach Christians to grow and mature as Children of God. These things aren’t done to make the Christian better “than” those around them but better “for” those around them. As Christians are to be as Jesus says in Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
You see, the Bible is not only the greatest book ever written, it is the greatest leadership book ever written. Everything we could ever want to learn about leadership – vision, purpose, thinking strategy, communication, attitude, encouragement, mentoring, follow-through – it’s all there. We must be open to what God wants to teach us. We learn from the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 55:11 concerning God, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Three things we must recognize in this text, (1) God’s Word always fulfills His purpose. (2) His Word does not return to Him void; (3) It accomplishes what He pleases and prospers in what He sent it for.
So, for Our lesson today we examine: Servanthood: The Right Heart Will Take You A Long Way.
When you think of servanthood, do you envision it as an activity performed by relatively low-skilled people at the bottom of the organizational chart? If so, you have a wrong impression. Servanthood is not about position, status, or skill. In fact, Jesus made that clear when he taught that the greatest must become the least. The org chart really should be turned upside down. The higher the leaders, the more they should serve. They surrender their own agenda to that of their followers. This is more than a willingness to put their agenda on hold. It means intentionally choosing to learn about people’s needs, to value those needs above their own, and to take concrete action to meet them.
Servanthood should never be motivated by manipulation or self-promotion. Often, servanthood demonstrated by a leader results in a willingness to follow by their people. But that should never be the goal. True servant leaders are motivated by love and unselfishness. They serve their followers because they want what is best for them.
Because servant leaders must put the needs of others first, they first must be secure in themselves. Insecurity is the enemy of servanthood. Leaders who believe they are too important to serve are essentially insecure. After all, how we treat others is really a reflection of how we think about ourselves. Leaders who accept and believe in themselves are the most capable of demonstrating acceptance and belief to others.
To be a servant, a leader should be willing to go first. Just about anyone will serve if compelled to do so. And some will serve in a crisis. But when leaders initiate service to others, they reveal their heart. Servant leaders see the need, seize the opportunity, and serve without expecting anything in return.
Becoming a servant leader is the right thing to do according to God’s Word. But it’s also the practical thing to do. People don’t enjoy following leaders who demand servitude. They willing follow leaders who seek to serve them. When leaders put others first, followers tend to do likewise. This creates an enjoyable and productive team environment. And all are free to succeed together.
Today we are going to learn Servanthood from David and some men who stayed behind, The Good Samaritan, and Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Each of these Scriptural examples have been preserved to aid us in our efforts to teach us Servanthood. We gain hope from examples like these. Quite simply because these examples teach us to trust in God, in Whom True Hope exists!
In 1 Samuel 30:1-31 we get to see where David stands up for the men who stayed behind to serve,
1 “Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire,
2 and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way.
3 So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive.
4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
5 And David's two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive.
6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, "Please bring the ephod here to me." And Abiathar brought the ephod to David.
8 So David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?" And He answered him, "Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all."
9 So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the Brook Besor, where those stayed who were left behind.
10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so weary that they could not cross the Brook Besor.
11 Then they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David; and they gave him bread and he ate, and they let him drink water.
12 And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. So when he had eaten, his strength came back to him; for he had eaten no bread nor drunk water for three days and three nights.
13 Then David said to him, "To whom do you belong, and where are you from?" And he said, "I am a young man from Egypt, servant of an Amalekite; and my master left me behind, because three days ago I fell sick.
14 "We made an invasion of the southern area of the Cherethites, in the territory which belongs to Judah, and of the southern area of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire."
15 And David said to him, "Can you take me down to this troop?" So he said, "Swear to me by God that you will neither kill me nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this troop."
16 And when he had brought him down, there they were, spread out over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil which they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah.
17 Then David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled.
18 So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives.
19 And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all.
20 Then David took all the flocks and herds they had driven before those other livestock, and said, "This is David's spoil."
21 Now David came to the two hundred men who had been so weary that they could not follow David, whom they also had made to stay at the Brook Besor. So they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near the people, he greeted them.
22 Then all the wicked and worthless men of those who went with David answered and said, "Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except for every man's wife and children, that they may lead them away and depart."
23 But David said, "My brethren, you shall not do so with what the LORD has given us, who has preserved us and delivered into our hand the troop that came against us.
24 "For who will heed you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike."
25 So it was, from that day forward; he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.
26 Now when David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the spoil to the elders of Judah, to his friends, saying, "Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the LORD" -
27 to those who were in Bethel, those who were in Ramoth of the South, those who were in Jattir,
28 those who were in Aroer, those who were in Siphmoth, those who were in Eshtemoa,
29 those who were in Rachal, those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, those who were in the cities of the Kenites,
30 those who were in Hormah, those who were in Chorashan, those who were in Athach,
31 those who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were accustomed to rove.”
David Recognized God provided for their success and that all, no matter where they served, should be rewarded for their service. David made it a “statute and an ordinance” for Israel from that day on to share this way! He also shared with all those in other places where he and his men had roamed! Everywhere David went He served. And Recognized those who served him and those with him. How important this lesson is for all of us!
Now let us turn over to Luke 10:25-37 where we get to learn servanthood from a parable that our Lord taught in answer to a question by an expert in the law. Jesus gave the example of a Samaritan and how he stopped to help,
25 “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?"
27 So he answered and said," 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.'"
28 And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live."
29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30 Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 "Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 "Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.
33 "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.
34 "So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 "On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.'
36 "So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?"
37 And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."”
Jesus used a Samaritan to teach a Jew what it means to serve after the man told him what the Law said about how to inherit eternal life! Jesus helped him to see that the Samaritan had compassion, shared all he had, served the man by providing first aid and then taking him to the inn to continue his recovery. He also expressed his willingness to repay any other expenses that would incur after he left with the man. If you noticed, Jesus simply ended the discussion with: “Go and do likewise!” If you are a Mandalorian fan then we could use the statement of Kuiil, “I have spoken.” Or a slang phrase, “nough said.” Jesus, as our Master simply needs to speak, and we move! If we truly are seeking to follow His example, that is what needs to be done.
From David and his stand for those men who stayed behind to serve, to Jesus and the story of the Good Samaritan who stopped to help we turn to our Lord and Master Himself, who teaches about Servanthood through the ultimate visual aid in John 13:1-17,
1 “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him,
3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,
4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.
5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?"
7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this."
8 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me."
9 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"
10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."
11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean."
12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?
13 "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.
14 "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.
15 "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
16 "Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.
17 "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
Jesus, Our Lord and Teacher, taught His disciples by modeling the behavior He required of them! He gave them and us an example to follow and instructions to do likewise! He assured them, if they do as He has done for them for others they would be blessed! This goes for us as well! As Jesus shows in this example, there is nothing greater than serving another! As Christians that live in America, this is a challenge. We like to have things our way. We like to have our “wants” met. We must work diligently on becoming like Christ and serving as He did!
As we near the end of our lesson let us recognize David knew everyone had a part in their success no matter where they were during the battle. However, He knew it Was God that ultimately gave them victory and the rewards that followed! Jesus taught the greatest commandment through the “Good Samaritan” and showed how selfless one is to be when it comes to others! Jesus performed as the greatest Servant Leader when He humbled Himself before His disciples and washed their feet!
So, with these examples of servanthood and so many others, let us examine our hearts and see if we “measure up” to the level of servanthood truly desired in us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! The level of servanthood He Himself had when He was willing to go to the cross on our behalf. His servanthood aided Him in going through all that He did on our behalf. All Christians need to practice servanthood in their walk! Our world around us struggles so, because too many true Christians do not practice servanthood in their walk with God! Let us recognize Whom we serve! The One who cannot lie, would have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. The One who sent His Son on our behalf. Let’s be sure to practice servanthood with our faith! Our brethren, family and friends, communities, country and world are dependent upon us in our efforts to truly practice the servanthood the Lord desires in each of us as we serve the True and Living God!
So, for this series of lessons we have studied: Character and we learned from David, Daniel, and Harrod; Charisma and we learned from Josiah, Peter, and Barnabas; Commitment and we learned from Ruth, Caleb, Joshua, and Stephen;
Communication and we learned from Darius, Jesus, and Paul; Competence and we learned from Abraham, Hezekiah and the qualifications of elders and deacons; Courage and we learned from Joshua, Elijah, and Esther; Discernment and we learned from Joseph, Hiram, and Solomon; Focus and we learned from Nehemiah, Jesus and Paul; Generosity and we learned from Boaz, The heart of giving and Paul; Initiative which we learned from Noah, Isaiah, and James; Listening which we learned from Eli, Samuel, and Jesus; Passion which we learned from John the Baptist, Paul and our Great Cloud of Witnesses in Hebrews 11; Positive Attitude which we learned from the ten spies, Isaiah, and Jesus; Problem Solving which we learned from The Shunamite woman and Elisha, Esther and Mordecai and Jesus; Relationships which we learned from Jacob and Isaac, the Queen of Sheba and Solomon, and the Apostle Paul; Responsibility which we learned from David, Jonah and Pilate; Security which we learned from Moses and his siblings, Saul and David, and Nathan; Self-discipline which we learned from the Psalmist, Jesus and Paul. And now we have learned Servanthood from David, The Good Samaritan and Our Lord Jesus Christ. We have learned 19 different qualities for Christians to work on from over 57 examples from Scripture! The Lord has provided for us time and time again these qualities modeled in the Bible for our growth for His Will to be done! It is vital that we take heed and diligently work on our growth! Just as we learn from the apostle Peter in 2 Peter 5:1-11, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Please be honest with yourself as you work on all these qualities. Avoid arrogance and pride. Remain humble as our Lord was. Remember, Jesus says in Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Well, we come to another end of “Moments of Truth” and we want to thank you for listening and studying God’s Word with us today. We hope that you have been encouraged and will continue your studies of the Word of God. We want to encourage you to listen to “Moments of Truth” again next week, where we will study Teachability: To Keep Leading, Keep Learning
Remember also, if you have any questions concerning today’s lesson or would like a transcript, please give us a call at 812-967-3437 or visit our website at www.pekinchurchofchrist.com. Please visit us on Facebook as well! Remember, we are providing our worship services “live streaming” on our Facebook page. The thing is, Scripture teaches in Acts 20:7, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together…” Please recognize the importance of being with your brethren in worship. We all need to remember Hebrews 10:24, “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…” So, let’s continue to utilize the habits we developed during the pandemic and make calls, send cards and do all we can for our brethren, our friends and neighbors and our communities. Please continue to abide by the instructions given to combat the corona virus! And please, please, please, pray! Finally, we ask that you please remember, we want to help you with your walk with God.