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Discover the Book - Aug. 27, 2007

  • 2007 Aug 27

Be The Greatest Person by Being the Greatest Servant








This weekend is a call to all of us from the Lord, to renew our servanthood. 


The best husband is the greatest servant, the best wife is the best servant, the best children are those who have servant hearts—the same goes for marriages.  

If you want to excel in whatever you do—be God’s servant. 


Servants of God: Last for Ever 

This evening, each of us here no matter what our age, are given an opportunity by God to be great in His sight. Greatness in God’s sight is really all that ever will matter here on Earth and forever. 


Open with me to Matthew 20:25-28


But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” NKJV 

Now turn over to Matthew 23:10-12


And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. NKJV 


Jesus says that the way up is down. The way to the top is the bottom. The way to greatness is servanthood.  


Servants of God: Live for Others 


So Jesus calls us to be the greatest possible people we can be for Him. He defines greatness in relation to servant hood. So the way we are great to God is to be His servant. Let’s apply that principle.  

·      To be the greatest husband: be the greatest servant of God to your wife.

·      To be the greatest dad: be the greatest servant of God to your family.

·      To be the greatest son or daughter: be the greatest servant of God to your parents and your brothers and sisters.

·      To be the greatest wife: be the greatest servant of God to your husband.

·      To be the greatest mother: be the greatest servant of God to your children.

To be the greatest Christian: be the greatest servant to God. 


And how do we do that? How do we learn to live for others? The greatest example of how to serve others comes to us from the greatest servant of all, Jesus Christ. And as Peter reminded us, He left us an example of how to follow 'in His steps’ (I Peter 2:21). 


Servants of God: Look like Christ 


Jesus said, greatest is the servant; and the greatest servant was Christ. How did He serve? His entire life was as a servant who served. Jesus knew and confessed that He did not come to be served, but He came to serve (Mark 10:45) and to give—give His life, give His love, and give His encouraging blessing! 


·      He gave His life; and so as His servants we are to be a living sacrifice.

·      He led His disciples; and so as His followers we are to be servant leaders.

·      He encouraged His own; and so as His servants we are to encourage and bless those we love and serve! 


So the greatest thing in the entire world is serving God—it is what we shall be doing forever and should be doing now! This weekend at Family Camp I am especially asking some fathers to be servants to their families. You will have the opportunity to serve them spiritually by serving them communion, serve them humbly by washing their feet, and serve them deeply by blessing them. 


What was Christ's Final Action on Earth 


What was the last sight that all the disciples had of Jesus. Remember when Jesus ascended into Heaven? What was He doing as He left? Have you ever noticed that little insight Luke gives us? Turn to Acts 1 and see the Ascension account in v. 8-12: 


Acts 1:8-12 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. 

That is the one we remember most, but there is a second account that gives some precious details we have often missed. Turn back to Luke 24:50-53


Luke 24:50-53 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen. (NKJV) 

Those men would never forget walking with Jesus for 3 ½ year, they would never forget Christ's death, burial, and resurrection; but what would be riveted in their minds? It would be that incredible moment of the last time they saw Him here on Earth. 

Their friend, their Savior, their most precious Lord of all left them in a most touching way. He lifted up His hands and touched them with His blessing! Think about that. Jesus was very careful what He did as He left His disciples, and the picture they would have deeply etched in their minds is Christ's loving, prayerful blessing raining down upon them as He was lifted upward and out of sight. 


Those words of blessing raining down upon them must have been remembered over and over in the days ahead. Words have such power for good or evil. What kind of words do you “rain down” upon those you are speaking to in life? And what are those who listen to your words remembering? Are they “blessed” by what you said? 


Please look at what Peter told us in I Peter 3. After talking about the basic building block of society and the church (marriage and family) he concludes with an incredible postscript: 

1 Peter 3:8-9 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling (spoken curses), but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 


This weekend may I challenge you to renew and expand your use of the…


New Testament Ministry of Blessing Others 


In the New Testament a “blessing” we offer to a loved one is basically a prayer of encouragement for them. 


2127 eulogeo is a verb used 44 times in the New Testament that means: “to praise [your loved one], to celebrate [them] with praises [that] invoke [God’s] blessings and consecrate [your loved one] with solemn prayers [that] ask God’s blessing on [your loved one] to cause [them] to prosper, to make [them] happy, to bestow blessings [that they be] favored by God.”[1] 

That is why Peter says to the church so strongly, watch out for how you “rain down” your words upon others. 


1 Peter 3:9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 


So Peter basically says, “Sow words of blessing and you will reap a harvest of blessing.” What a powerful motivation to primarily use our words, mouths, and voices to bless others in Christ's Name! And that is what we get from nearly every one of the 44 times the work “bless” is used in the New Testament (14 x in Luke). Here are some of the key verses: 


·      [blessing often involves touching] Mark 10:16 And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.  

·      [blessing often points to the future] Luke 2:34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against  

·      [blessing is usually hard but always very rewarding] Luke 6:28bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.  

·      [Jesus ends His earthly ministry with the most vivid memory of blessing for His disciples] Luke 24:50-53 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen. 

·      [lest we miss it Paul repeats the habit of blessing as part of Christ's church’s mandate] Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 

·      [there was a Spirit-prompted work of blessing in the early church services] 1 Corinthians 14:16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 

·      [heroes of the faith made it their last act like Christ's to stretch out their hands and bless those they loved] Hebrews 11:20-21 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 


In the early church there were many pressures, many burdens—but that was far outweighed by the sweetness of the fellowship of other believers. There were many who like Barnabus (Acts 4:36) were characterized by encouraging or blessing people around them. 


Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. 


In the verse above, the word exhort is the Greek word parakaleo. This happens to even be the name of God the Holy Spirit who is the Comforter or Paraklete. This word is found 109 times in the New Testament (# 3870 parakaleo verb) translated in the New Testament as  ‘beseech’ (43x), ‘comfort’ (23x), ‘exhort’ (21x), ‘desire’ (8x), ‘pray’ (6x), ‘intreat’ (3x), and ‘besought’ (1x). All of that to say, that 74x this verb is used as a verbal expression. We are called alongside of other believers primarily to say things that encourage or bless them. The Greek dictionary even defines this word as; “to call to one’s side for exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.; to admonish, exhort, to beg, entreat, beseech; to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort”. 


This sermon will continue tomorrow August 28th when we will look at giving an encouraging blessing to each of your family.

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