“Lord, give me the heart of a Servant…”

This is part one of a multi-entry blog series titled, “Lessons I Learned in the Desert.”

In Mark 10:45 Jesus tells His followers that He did not come to be served. Instead, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus came to serve others. In fact, His service would go so far as to include dying for us. In Philippians 2:7 Paul tells the reader that Jesus’ very nature while on Earth was that of a servant. Can we agree that serving others was important to Jesus? If that’s the case, shouldn’t it be important to Christians?

During my deployment, one of my goals was to read the Bible from cover to cover. By the grace of God, I managed to finish this task in 87 days. It was an amazing experience and I learned more than I’ll ever be able to put into words. One of the things the Holy Spirit repeatedly brought to my attention was how frequently the great heroes of the Bible are referred to as servants of the Lord, the Lord’s servant, or some variation thereof. I wish I’d written down all the times I noticed this, but just looking briefly I found where the following people are mentioned as servants of God: Abraham (Gen 18:3), Isaac (Ex 32:13), Jacob (Gen 32:10), Hannah (1 Samuel 1:11), Samuel (1 Sam 3:10), David (2 Sam 7:19), Elijah (1 Kings 18:36), Elisha (2 Kings 3:14), Job (Job 1:8), Mary (Luke 1:48), Simeon (Luke 2:29), Jesus (Mark 10:45 and Acts 3:13), Paul (Col 1:23-25), Timothy (Phil 1:1), Jude (Jude 1:1), John (Rev 1:1) and I’m sure there are dozens of other references.

My point is simple: all the heroes of the Bible (including Jesus, THE hero of the Bible) are referred to as the Lord’s servants. The Church is supposed to be the Body of Christ; shouldn’t we adopt His attitude? The answer is yes! In Philippians 2:5 we’re told that we should have the same attitude as Christ-the attitude of a servant. The greatest thing anyone can ever do is serve others. Has anyone ever used the term “servant” as a derogatory term?

“He’s just such a SERVANT!! I hate it!”

Doubtful. I think that, when done out of love, humility, and a desire to please God, serving has the greatest power to open hearts to the Gospel. No one can say something negative about putting the needs of others before your own. How could they?

Imagine how different our society would be if the American Church truly tried to follow Jesus’ example. We would reach out to the communities around us. We would feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned. I doubt the modern Church would have the negative image that it does today.

Serving reorients our perspective. It reminds us that God is in charge. We are simply His instruments to be used in the world around us for His glory. He should be the focus of our lives. Love God and others, right?