Servanthood does not nullify leadership; it defines it. Jesus does not cease to be the Lion of Judah when He becomes the lamblike servant of the church. ~ John Piper
Royalty is my identity. Servanthood is my assignment. Intimacy with God is my life source. ~ Bill Johnson.
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will place the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then He will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome Me, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
~ Jesus, King of The Universe, in Matthew 25
Oh beloved, it is true.
Each of us may try to be someone who does some good in this world. We go out to make an impact, but usually we don’t even make a dent. We go into things with a focus on what we think is right. And while this is sometimes the case, often it is just misguided effort.
Much of this is fixed by two things.
One, we just keep failing to make a difference. We bloody and batter our heads against the wall of our situations. Each and every time we try to help, we just kind of fall pitifully short. And, in the failure, we begin to see that our agenda was much less noble than we originally thought. We find that, instead of actually helping others, we were trying to control situations to look good, or to bring safety and comfort to ourselves.
The second flows from the first. In our realization that we really cannot do anything – of any use – apart from Him, we come to Him and find what some call a second act of Grace. Oh, this is not that we are any more “saved” than before in an eternal sense, but now we are finally getting saved from more than just our sins. We are getting saved from ourselves.
Said more simply: Both of the above dynamics show us that G_d is G_d, and we are not. And once we embrace this, things finally begin to work.
Can we see it?
Once we come to the end of our self, and its failures and messed up motivations; once we come to see Jesus for Who He really is, we begin to see things as they really are. In this space, we begin to see the exquisite beauty in others, and within the new man He has made us into.
Suddenly, instead of trying to make a difference, or trying to make things a little better, we find ourselves looking out over an incredibly rich field. This field is full of people, made in His very image, and we are literally drawn to their beauty. We don’t try to make their lives better, we simply go in and tend to the beauty, and goodness, and value, that is already there.
Some of you have found this. You find yourselves, pouring yourselves out for people to utter exhaustion of of your body and soul. But, the strangest thing is, is at the end of the pouring out, just as you have drained the last drop of you in celebration towards those around you – you feel more full, and whole, and real than you felt at the start of it.
This is servanthood. You are not improving the lot of others. You are dancing in eternal fields, celebrating the amazing beauty of the people in your midst.
So, are you worn out by trying to help people? It happens. This fool of a missionary often finds himself in this place too. However, the answer is just as simple as it has ever been: Quit trying. Let G_d be G_d. See things the way He sees them, and let the dancing begin all over again.
Tonight is your night beloved. Pour out, that you might be filled.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: Before the judgment seat of Christ my service will not be judged by how much I have done but by how much of me there is in it. No man gives at all until he has given all. No man gives anything acceptable to God until he has first given himself in love and sacrifice.
~A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.” Proverbs 15:8