A Legacy of Servanthood

To serve or be served that is the question. Forgive my Shakespearean paraphrase, but I think the question bears asking. As followers of Christ where do we lay on the scales of self-offering? Have we grown fat on the junk food of self-indulgent quests that lead to a bloated yet empty existence? We seek for what we think would be satisfying, when in fact the satisfaction we seek is found in laying aside our desires. 

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20:25-28.

In recent days, Eastern Hills has lost, or is about to lose, some more strong servant leaders. Individuals who quietly lived out their faith, joyously, unassumingly, but with accumulative effect on those around them. 

A sermons inspirational impact may last a few days, and hopefully does help us move closer to God in our faith journey. However, a life that is demonstrated by servant leadership day in and day out, speaks emphatically to a deep seeded faith. Our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and even acquaintances are mentored by such a hospitable existence. 

These individuals shower those around them with genuine warmth, encouragement, good humor, and others centered living. Those of us who know them, realize at the core of their giving nature lies a divine relationship that rudders their ship of life. That centeredness is so vital to their existence that it cannot help but permeate every spoken word, every outstretched arm, every monetary gift, and every daily activity. The realization that they themselves are recipients of such a great gift, the gift of undeserved, unmerited favor bubbles forth in a geyser like existence that has eternal impact on those who encounter its spray.

Most of these men and women are quiet souls. They will be nameless in the worlds list of great leaders. None the less, they are unmatched when placed on the genuineness meter of life. They give without assuming anything in return. They contribute to missions’ offerings not expecting to see the fruits of their giving in this life but trusting an all-wise God to be faithful with their gifts. They cook meals, wash dishes, make phone calls to the sick, contribute to local food banks, hold the hand of a dying friend, quietly sharing their faith as they go. To these dear souls our hats are off. We applaud them with undying gratitude. They inspire others like me to stay the course, remain faithful, not seeking a name or congratulatory platitude; to pursue honor, dignity, faithfulness, dependability, forthrightness, self-control…all to God’s glory! 

These are my heroes of the faith. Not the big-name Christian musicians, eloquent preachers, famed performers, gifted and educated seminary professors many of whom have had a deep impact on my ministry. No, the real heroes are these quiet, ordinary, unassumingly genuine men and women of faith who serve without the need for accolades or evidence of success. 

They are our beacon toward a life of servanthood. Reminding us to look to the needs of others above our own comforts, tastes, or preferences.  Lives of honor, dignity, forthrightness, and Godly character are but a few of the adjectives which describe their lives and the lives to which we should aspire. 

Is there hope for the future? Certainly. The hope lies in rediscovering a true servant heart amidst the “me” centered living of our present culture. As followers of Jesus Christ, when we are willing to lay down our lives for His Kingdom and our comforts for His glory, then we begin to model what Christ Himself lived out perfectly. Through that modeling the world can be turned upside down for His glory!

Let us continue forward with fortitude, humbleness, faithfulness, and perseverance for the Kingdom’s sake!  Make us living sacrifices of your love Lord Jesus as our prayer and aim, serving arm and arm to accomplish this high calling.

Pastor Keith

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