I serve God by serving others. Whereas the world defines greatness by how many others serve me, God defines greatness by how many people I serve. Rick Warren provides several ways I can discern if I have a servant’s heart:
- Real servants make themselves available to serve. A real servant does not fill his time up with other pursuits that will limit his availability to serve. I need to be available at any time, even when it may be most inconvenient.
- Real servants pay attention to needs. A real servant is always on the lookout for needs and for ways he can help meet those needs. When I find a need I am to give it preference and not put it off until I feel like doing it.
- Real servants do their best with what they have. A real servant does not make excuses, procrastinate or wait for better circumstances. I need to do the best I can to help out, even if my service will be less than perfect.
- Real servants do every task with equal dedication. A real servant does every task with all his heart. I can never fall into the trap of thinking that I am too important to help out with various tasks, no matter how menial they may seem. Jesus was an amazing example of someone who did the tasks of a servant, whether it was washing feet or fixing breakfast.
- Real servants are faithful to their ministry. A real servant will finish his tasks, fulfill his responsibilities and complete his commitments. I need to be dependable. When I say I am going to do something I need to do it.
- Real servants maintain a low profile. A real servant will not call attention to himself or promote himself. I need to do what I do with humility and look for eternal rewards, not rewards from men.
Some of God’s greatest servants are people we have never heard of. They are people who spend their whole lives in service, never receiving recognition – they seek only to further God’s work on earth. These are the people God notices and the ones who will receive great reward in heaven.
Warren quotes the Bible twenty times using nine translations and paraphrases. Generally he uses good translations and stays within the proper context of the passages.
Point to Ponder
Today’s point to ponder is “I serve God by serving others.” I agree with this statement, but rather than discuss it (it is, after all, quite obvious) I am going to go on a small tangent.
Warren discusses that real servants make themselves available to serve and maintain a low profile. I started thinking about pastors and how in some ways they may be chief offenders in this area. It seems that in most denominations there is something of a career path for pastors. They often start as youth pastors or associate pastors. As they grow older and become competent preachers they may receive a senior pastorate. Often times these pastors then move to bigger and bigger churches until at last they are able to retire from a mega church.
It is very unusual to hear of a pastor of a large church feeling God’s call to walk away from a large church to start a new church or to take over as pastor of a small, struggling church. I wonder if churches do not fall into a corporate mold, where bigger means better and where “bigger” roles are viewed as more spiritual and more indicative of God’s blessing.
Tomorrow’s topic is Thinking Like A Servant