The Apostle Paul is known as one of the most radical conversions in the Bible. He went from legalistic Jew, who persecuted and murdered hundreds of Christians, to a head core devoted follower of Christ. None of which would have happened if he wasn’t confronted by Jesus on the way to Damascus (Acts 9:1-20). Christ made an impact on his life, so much soo, that Paul began to refer to himself as, “The Bond-servant of God.”
“Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ…” Titus 1:1
The Term ‘bond-servant’ comes from the Greek word ‘dulos‘ and is defined as:
- 1. A slave, bondman, one who gives himself up to another’s will.
- 2. Those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men.
- 3. Being devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests.
Simply put, being a bond-servant of Christ, means being completely and utter devoted to God, His Word, and His will. It means disregarding your own desires and will in order to lay your life at the cross and follow Christ.
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
Why on earth would anyone want to do that? Why would someone want to devote their lives to another’s will? It sounds like a hard question to swallow, but the truth is, many people in Biblical times did just that! James, Peter, Jude, Isaac, Epaphras, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Job, Isaiah, and John all referred to themselves as “bond-servants or servants of God.”
Christ impacted their lives so much, that they gladly assigned themselves the title of servant. Desiring to follow Christ with all their heart and soul they denied themselves daily and gave everything to God. They knew God’s ways and desires were much better than anything they could have concocted on their own. Obviously they were not perfect and made mistakes; however, they put their best effort forward.
Do you know that we too are called to be servants of God? After all, if we know God is who He claims to be, then shouldn’t we want to be the best servant we can be?
“Let a man consider us servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” 1 Corinthians 4:1
So how do we become these loving servants of God? Here are Seven ways.
1. Servants make themselves available
There is a story of a little boy in the Bible who made his 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish available to Jesus. This young boy didn’t have enough food to feed 5,000 people, yet in his faith, he gave Jesus what was requested of him. He made his meager, insignificant lunch available to Jesus, who in turn took it, multiplied it, and used it to feed thousands!
In like manner we too need to make ourselves available to Jesus! Our resources are meager and insignificant, but God takes these unselfish offerings, multiplies them and uses them to feed thousands! The only requirement is that we must be willing to make ourselves available to Him! Don’t just serve when it’s convenient for you. No! God expects you to do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are. You must be willing to give control of your schedule, to God. And don’t get mad or frustrated when interruptions happen, no! My friends interruptions are “God’s Divine Appointments” for your life. Every moment belongs to God, so spend it wisely!
2. Servants Esteem Others better than Themselves.
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
Servants are always on the lookout for ways to help other people. When they see a need, they take action- to meet it. When God places someone in front of you he is giving you the opportunity to grow in servant-hood. Opportunities come and go and they can quickly pass you by if you don’t seize the moment. Don’t resist the urge God is placing on your heart. Step out in faith and do what God asks no matter what it is he is calling you to. If we truly esteemed others more than ourselves, things would be different in this world. So let’s take the leap of faith and put others ahead of ourselves.
3. Servants are Dedicated
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” Colossians 3:23
Whatever servants do they “do it with all their heart.” A dedicated servant obediently accepts any task the Lord sets before them. It doesn’t matter how immense or menial the task is. The only issue should be.. does it need to be done?
You will never arrive at the point in life where you’re too important to help with menial tasks. God will never exempt you from the mundane! It’s a vital part of our character building.
“If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” Galatians 6:3
Jesus himself specialized in menial tasks. He washed people’s feet, helped children, fixed breakfast, served lepers and more. Nothing was beneath him because he came to serve. Great opportunities often disguise themselves in small tasks.
So, rather than looking for great tasks to do for God, just do the not-so-great stuff, and God will assign you from there. Before attempting the extraordinary, try serving in ordinary ways (Luke 16:10-12).
4. Servants Are Faithful
“Serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all the hearts and understands all the intents of the thoughts….” 1 Chron. 28:9
Servants are faithful. They serve with a loyal heart and a willingly mind. They finish tasks, fulfill responsibilities, keep promises, and complete commitments. They don’t quit when they get discouraged and they don’t give up! Sadly many people today don’t know the meaning of commitment. Far too often people make commitments and them break them for the slightest reason without hesitation, remorse, or regret. Every week schools, churches, and other organizations are forced to improvise because volunteers didn’t prepare, show up, or even bother to call to say they weren’t coming in.
Can you be counted on? Are there promises you need to keep, vows you need to fulfill, or commitments you need to honor? Maybe it’s a test, maybe God is testing your faithfulness. Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, Daniel, Timothy, and Paul were all called “faithful” servants of God. Imagine God telling you one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord!” (Matthew 25:23). This is what I long to hear!
5. Servants are humble
“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5-6
Servants don’t promote or call attention to themselves. Instead of acting to impress; they put on that cloth of humility. And when they are recognized for their service, they humbly accept it but they don’t allow that recognition to distract them.
“When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven” Matthew 6:1
Real servants don’t serve for the approval or applause of others–they live for an audience of One! Contently they quietly serve in the shadows. Sadly, many leaders today start off as servants and end up as celebrities. If you are serving in obscurity in some small place, feeling unknown and unappreciated, just know that God knows who you are, and that’s enough!
In heaven God is going to openly reward some of the most obscure and unknown servants; people we never heard of before. While others, who we’d expect to have ‘gigantic crowns,’ may just have nothing!
6. Servants are Surrendered
So what does it mean to live a surrendered life? To the world it’s a bad thing, after all, “Surrender in the name of the Law” usually means trouble! To the world it means giving up on victory, raising the white flag, losing to an opponent, or giving into something not wanted. But to a believer it means so much more! It means yielding ownership to, relinquish control over what we consider ours: our property, our time, our rights. When we surrender to God, we are simply acknowledging that what we own belongs to Him and we admit that He is in control of everything in our lives.
Surrender is a verb. It’s a motion something that you do. It’s not something you accept and then do nothing about. It requires a response from us. Take a horse for example. You can have a horse that is faster than any other horse in the stable. But if that horse is not broken when the time comes to race it, then another horse–that may not be as swift, gifted, or fast–will be chosen. And why, simply because he is broken and the other is not. The rider chooses the submitted horse because he knows that it will not deviate from its path except at the nudge of his hand. It is completely surrendered to its riders authority.
It is only in our cooperative surrender that God has the freedom to use us to the extent He would like. It is our job to trust God will transform us into what or whom we are called to be. It is God’s job to do the transforming.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
7. Servants don’t give God their leftovers…
“When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 1:8
The priests of Malachi’s day though their sacrifices were sufficient. They had spotless animals that they could have sacrificed, but instead they chose to keep those animals and give their less desirable’s to God. After all if it was going to be burned on the altar, why give your best? They assumed God was pleased because they sacrificed something. But they were dead wrong!
Malachi 1:10 goes on to say…”Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands.”
God was not pleased with the weak sacrifices of the laid-back priests. He didn’t want their leftovers and surely he doesn’t deserve our ‘leftovers’. Our leftover time, leftover money, leftover service. God is not looking for perfection, he just wants us to do/give our best. Don’t give God a scrape or two because you feel guilty for giving him nothing. God deserves so much more! As servants we should serve out of love, not out of obligation. After all being a loving servant is what a disciple of Jesus is called to be.
A few weeks ago while driving around town I glanced over my shoulder and noticed a group of Navy men holding signs, that read…
“Navy Car Wash, Raising Funds for Firefighter Relief.”
I thought to myself, “What are they doing? Don’t these military men know they do enough for us already!” Here they were, already setting aside their lives for our freedoms, yet doing more? They didn’t have to do more, they could have just done there duty, but instead they choose to serve to their fullest extent–to do more. Go above and beyond the normal call of duty–because that’s what servants do!
In the same way, we loving servants should go above and beyond the natural devotion to serve the One we love. And Obviously don’t over-do it, we are not meant to plug in everything and do everything. But aim to live the life of a good servant. Do your best and acquire that bond-servant mentality!!
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, [well maybe we didn’t come to be served EITHER!], but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Love you all!