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FIRST STEPS (7)
New Hands - Serving God
Have you ever been asked to do something that you really didn’t want to do? Husbands, maybe your wife has asked you to make the bed … or mow the lawn, or go shopping with her … or watch the kids. Young people, maybe you’ve been asked to tidy your room. What would be your response to washing someone’s dirty feet? Would you offer to do this menial task?
Well, that’s what Jesus did when He and His disciples were about to have a meal together. (Read John 13 to get the whole story). It says that Jesus got up from the meal, “took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (John 13:4,5)
This act of service was revolutionary. Only a slave, or a servant would do such a thing, not a leader, and certainly not a king! This was completely opposite to the mindset of humanity – a mindset that expects each of us to be number one, and for others to serve us.
But Jesus came to turn the world the right way up. Ever since the Garden of Eden and the introduction of sin into the world, the world had been inverted, serving it’s owns purposes. Now Jesus was bringing back God’s original design to the world, the Kingdom of God – where people would model an others-orientation in their thoughts and actions.
In this study we are going to see what it means to develop the heart of a servant, and how each of us can have a significant impact upon others as we serve the Lord.
As followers of Jesus, we are encouraged to have a kingdom mindset, the same mindset and attitude that Jesus modelled to a sinful broken world. Take a moment to read
. Paul says in v.2, that we ought to be
“like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”
Would should not be evident in our attitude as a Christ follower? (v.3)
What should be evident? (v.3,4)
Verse 7 says that Jesus made Himself ...
Our attitude towards others is very important to God. He is looking at the attitude of our heart, and has purposed to shape our character to become more and more like His Son – Jesus Christ. And the more we choose to put aside our will … and follow God’s will, is the more we become like Jesus. If we only obey or serve out of a sense of duty or obligation, we have missed the point.
What does Jesus say in Mark 9:35?
Jesus shows us that the Kingdom of God is completely different to the way this world thinks and operates. Jesus shows us that serving is in fact a sign of true greatness in God’s eyes, as it models God’s heart of love and selflessness.
God has given you a vital role
Years ago … I (Ps Tony) used to work in a brick factory, making concrete pavers. It was possibly one of the most boring jobs on the planet. I would put in the cement, the grit, the blue-metal, the water etc, and also a tiny ingredient. This ingredient was a detergent and it was
in making good strong bricks. Without it, the bricks were always dry and weak.
(of the Spirit)
1 Corinthians 12
, Paul explains that those who are in Christ are “… baptized by one Spirit into one body, and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.” He goes on to explain how the eye is needed, the hand is needed, the feet are needed, every part is needed – even the tonsils!
And then in v.27 he says
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
Paul mentions 9 specific gits of the Spirit, that the Holy Spirit chooses to impart to the Believer as He wills. The
of the Spirit are not meant to make the person operating in the gifts look "super spiritual", but to reveal and demonstrate God's power, wisdom, and will.
Just as there are different parts to the human body, so each part has it’s own function to act as a gift to the entire body. God graces believers with desires and abilities that are to be out-worked for the common good. Take the time to read
You may not realise this yet, but
you have a vital role
in the Body of Christ – His church.
You may not feel like you have much to contribute, but your contribution is vital. The gift that God has placed on your life is needed for the body to function properly. Without each and every person fulfilling their part
there is lack.
According to Rom. 12:3, who is the giver of spiritual gifts?
What does this teach you about a proper attitude toward those gifts?
List the specific gifts mentioned in the Romans passage.
Do you know which of these spiritual gifts you have been given? Write down the ones you think you may have.
, Paul explains that God has given to His church, people who have been entrusted with unique roles (or offices) who have a specific purpose. These roles (or offices) are often referred to as the "5-fold ministry".
According to Ephesians 4, what is the main purpose or role of the 5-fold ministry (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher)?
Empowered and Released
Take time to read
Right from the beginning, God said to the first humans “be fruitful and multiply”, “take dominion over the earth”, “rule in my authority over creation.” God’s heart has always been to
empower and release
God doesn’t mind if your faith gets stretched a little. God has empowered you to do the same things that Jesus did. It happened at Pentecost. God has empowered you to heal the sick, raise the dead, preach the gospel, make disciples. And He is releasing you as willing servants to go and do it.
Write out what Jesus says in Mat 10:8
If you are into archery you would know that you can have the best arrow in the world sitting in your quiver, but it’s useless unless it is mounted in the bow, pulled back (empowered) and released. And in the same way, God is calling each of us to be empowered and released to serve Him.
Talk to your mentor about discovering your unique God given SHAPE. (
xperience). This could be a real helpful way to get started. (You can find this at www.freeshapetest.com)
Start serving where you can. Don’t worry about the perfect fit or role. Serving in the car park and cleaning is just as valuable to God and others as healing the sick, or casting out a demon.
Develop the heart of a trustworthy servant: faithful, available, teachable, servant-hearted, obedient to instruction.
Don’t wait to be asked to serve – offer, see a need in others and ask God to help you meet it in love.
If you are asked to serve in some way, be open and available for God to use you to impact the lives of others.
A willing heart
God is not interested so much in your ability, rather He’s looking at your availability. He’s looking for someone who will say “God count me in … I don’t care what it takes … I don’t care what others will say … I’m laying it all down for you.”
Just like Jesus, when He was just hours away from the cross, He could have run away, He could have done anything … but He says “Father, not my will … but your will be done.” (Mat 26:39)
Paul says in Eph 6:6-8 “… like slaves of Christ, [do] the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
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