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  • Shoba Mary Thomas
    Servant-hood. What is the meaning of servant - hood? Being a servant means serving without being thanked or recognized. It often entails giving and going
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 4, 2003
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      Servant-hood. What is the meaning of servant - hood? Being a servant
      means serving without being thanked or recognized. It often entails
      giving and going unnoticed, being tired and not rested, sorrowful and
      not comforted. Servant - hood by its very nature implies working behind
      scenes, being humble; and it always demands quiet reliability on the
      part of the servant. The heart of the ministry is to serve, not
      shine. True service is discriminate in its ministry. It has heard the
      command of Jesus to be the servant of all.

      A natural and understandable hesitancy accompanies any serious
      discussion of service. The hesitancy is prudent since it is wise to
      count the cost before plunging into it. We experience a fear that
      comes out something like this, "If I do that, people will take
      advantage of me, they will walk all over me". Right here we must see
      the difference between choosing to serve and choosing to be a
      servant. When we choose to serve, we are still in charge. We decide
      whom we will serve and where we will serve. And if we are in charge,
      we will worry a great deal about anyone stepping on us, that is
      taking charge over us. But when we choose to be a servant, we give up
      the right to be in charge. There is a great freedom in this. When we
      choose to be a servant, we surrender the right to decide who and when
      we will serve. We bocome available and vulnerable.

      When Christ came into the world, he could have come as a king, born
      in a palace. Instead, he chose to come in the form of a carpenter's
      son, born in a stable among the animals. His humblesness also showed
      through his actions, the people he mixed with and what he said. For
      example, take his chosen disciples. They were not royalty or people
      who were of high class. Rather, he called people who were willing to
      serve. These people were simple people such as fishermen. Christ's
      humility is also portrayed in his attitude. Philippians 2:6‑11
      explains the attitude of Jesus. He always had the nature of God, but
      he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with
      God. Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and
      took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and
      appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of
      obedience all the way to death ‑ his death on the cross. For this
      reason, God raised him to the highest place above and gave him the
      name that is greater than any other name. And so, in honour of the
      name of Jesus, all beings in heaven and in the world below, will fall
      on their knees, and will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father. In this Christ has shown us the
      greatest lesson in humbleness.

      As the cross is the sign of submission, so the towel is the sign of
      service. When Jesus gathered his disciples for the Last Supper, they
      were having trouble deciding who was the greatest. This was no new
      issue for them. Gathered at the Passover feast, the disciples were
      aware that someone was needed to wash the other's feet. The problem
      was that the only people who washed feet were the least. So there
      they sat, feet caked with dirt. It was such a sore point, that they
      were not even going to talk about it. No one wanted to be considered
      that least. Then Jesus took a towel and basin and rede­fined greatness.
      Having lived out servant‑hood before them, he called them to the way of
      service. " If I then your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you
      also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example
      that you also should do as I have done to you."

      In today's world, who are the servants? The servants of today are
      missionaries, social workers, pastors, people who help around the
      church, committee members and Sun­day school teachers. These people
      are willing to spend their time and energy helping around the church.
      This is usually voluntary work as they are not paid. For example,
      Sunday School teachers spend time planning interesting lessons,
      missionaries go to foreign countries to spread the gospel. There is
      more to service than specific acts of serving. The Bible refers to a
      believer as a servant. It is one thing to act like a servant, it is
      quite another to be a servant.

      Though God is our master, we should be willing servants and want to
      serve him because of love for Him not because of compulsion or
      because we are forced to. I Timothy 4:6‑8 says , "If you give these
      instructions to the believers, you will be a good sevant to Christ
      Jesus, as you feed yourself spiritually on the words of faith and of
      the true teaching which you have followed. But keep away from these
      godless legends, which are not worth telling. Keep yourself in
      training for a godly life. Physical exercise has some values, but
      spiritual exercise is valuable in every way because it promises life
      for both the present and for the future.

      If Christ served, how much more should we. The happiest Christians
      are those who are serving others in the name of Christ.

      Shoba Mary Thomas K.L
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