I have a beloved daughter-in-law who is the essence of servanthood. I would like to dedicate this to her. Dear Ria, my eternal gratitude to you for being a special angel on this earth. God gifted us all the day you were born. Mike, thank you for bringing this very special lady into our lives - and thank YOU for being an angel, too!
A willingness to serve is the trademark of humility and Christlikeness.
A. A servant does nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Consideration for others must precede concern for ourselves.
B. A servant also looks out for the needs of others. It is not wrong to care for one’s self, but not to the exclusion of those about us.
II. Servanthood Developed (vv. 5-7).
A. Jesus did not hold on to what was rightfully His. He willingly relinquished His place in Heaven. Service reveals submission, not inferiority.
B. Jesus took the nature of a servant. Matthew 25 shows that He expects His followers to do the same.
III. Servanthood Demonstrated (vv. 8-11).
A. Jesus humbled himself, even to dying on a cross for our sins. This passage shows Christ descending step by step from His place of equality with the Father in Heaven (vv. 6-8).
B. God’s exaltation of Him in ascending steps is next shown (vv. 9-11). This is the pattern for all who follow the Lord’s example (Matthew 20:20-27). Someone prayed, “If I am called to serve in a place of prominence, keep me humble; if I am called to a place of obscurity, keep me gracious.”
Ways You Can Serve
Think of all the ways you might help someone this week: prepare food or clean house for someone sick; send a note or gift to a shut-in, serviceman, or student; call on someone bereaved; phone one who is discouraged or worried; offer respite to one who cares for a disabled or elderly relative; write a missionary; offer to do volunteer work in the church office. None of these requires any special talent, but all demonstrate a servant’s heart. Don’t just listen to a sermon on servanthood, but be a servant! William James once said, “Impression without expression leads to depression.” Even the sponge, to be useful, must release what it has absorbed.
Something More - The true servant is determined to do something more than might be expected or required. A man walked into a pet store and ordered ten mice and forty-two cockroaches. “That’s an unusual order,” the owner said. “Well,” replied the customer, “I’m moving from my apartment, and the lease says that I must leave it just as I found it.”
Servant-hood means you don’t leave things just as you found them!