We often see in scripture that the apostles referred to themselves as “servants of God.” We also use the phrase “serving the Lord” when we talk about work we do in the church. In the Bible, the term “servant” is sometimes replaced with “slave.” We can read in Phil. 2:7 that Jesus Himself became a servant.
Now, the interesting thing about a servant/slave, is that they have no rights. Their responsibility – their purpose -- is to serve their master. If the servant is asleep, and his master calls him, he cannot make an excuse. He must go and serve his master. His life is not his own. His will is subject to the will of the master.
In these modern times of “my rights” and “I deserve it” we really do not identify or understand the role of the servant very well, do we? The very idea that we could not have the freedom to live as we wish is hard to imagine for most of us. The thought of having to humble ourselves to that level and put aside all that we desire to serve another is beyond our comprehension.
In the Bible we see that there were different kinds of servants. Some servants were paid. Serving was their job, and they could go home at night and do what they wanted. We also read of another kind of servant called a “bond servant.” This servant was owned by the master. Israel had rules about this. A fellow Israelite who was in service because of a debt was allowed their freedom after six years. If the servant loved the master, and felt they had a home in his house, they could stay, even after their time was up.
(Exodus 21:6 NLT) If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door or doorpost and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will serve his master for life.
The Apostle Paul referred to himself as a bond servant for Christ. (Romans 1:1) He was one who chose to surrender his rights to the Lord Jesus. He often talked about how we, as believers were “bought with a price.” (1Cor. 6:20 AMP) You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.
Maybe the reason the church is not having much of an effect on the world is because we have forgotten we are servants. We are too often serving ourselves rather than our God. Our time and resources are being used for our own desires. It is “our” time, and “our” money. When we have this attitude, we are certainly not servants of Christ! We are barely acquaintances. I realize this is not a very popular message. I know our pride and our flesh cringe at the thought of being a servant, but until we embrace this concept, we cannot experience the deep joy and blessing that comes from surrendering totally to the King. This passage is from the Amplified Bible. It makes things quite clear.
(Mark 8:34-36 AMP) ... If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and [joining Me as a disciple and siding with My party] follow with Me [continually, cleaving steadfastly to Me]. For whoever wants to save his [higher, spiritual, eternal] life, will lose it [the lower, natural, temporal life which is lived only on earth]; and whoever gives up his life [which is lived only on earth] for My sake and the Gospel's will save it [his higher, spiritual life in the eternal kingdom of God]. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life [in the eternal kingdom of God]?
My heart’s cry is to become that one who would cling steadfastly to my King – to love His ways and His will – to follow Him obediently. I know this is the key to REAL life! In what way has the Lord called you to be a servant? When have you served others? How have others served you?