Read: Psalm 119:121-128
Consider: The psalmist uses the word ‘servant’ three times in this section of the psalm (v122, 124 and 125). When you think of being a servant, most of us tend to associate it with the word ‘servile’ and this tends to make us shy away from wanting to describe ourselves as servants.
In the New Testament it is striking how the writers of the various letters introduce themselves. Typical of this is Paul who introduces himself as ‘… a servant of Christ Jesus …’ (see Romans 1:1). This is also true of James, Peter, and Jude in their letters. The concept of servanthood was generally well accepted in the early church, but not so well accepted today. Perhaps this is because we misunderstand what real servanthood looks like.
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he says: I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power (Ephesians 3:17). As God’s grace has been poured out on each of us, so we should see ourselves as servants of Jesus and the gospel.
But what should this servant heart look like in us? In Philippians 2:5-8 we read: In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! The servant heart in each of us should be exactly like Jesus. The key characteristic Jesus displayed was humility. Despite the fact that he was God, he was willing to be obedient to God the Father and humble himself and die on the cross to pay the price for our sin.
Ask yourself how you regard yourself before your fellow Christians. Do you see yourself as more important? Do you call yourself a servant, yet are easily offended when people don’t treat you with the respect you think you are due? If so, you need to pray that God would make you more Christlike and that your ego may be kept in check. It doesn’t matter the role you fulfil in the church. Whether you are a pastor, elder, deacon or a member of the congregation; each person is called to be a servant.
Pray: Father, forgive us for our unwillingness to be a true servant and to serve others as Christ served you. May we allow you to develop a servant heart in us. Amen