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Posted by: Pastor J Jacobs on Wed, Jul 24, 2019

Mike Rickman

Christmas is in the air… Do you like Christmas? I know that for some Christmas may be difficult because of the loss of a loved one or because of bad holiday memories. But Christmas is intended to be appreciated…

Even in the culture the appreciation of the season is seen by the myriads of movies and songs that have been produced over the years.


And songs like all of our traditional Christmas songs… JINGLE BELLS… SILVER BELLS… as well as GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER…

But we all know that there is a reason that we appreciate Christmas and it doesn’t have anything to do with Santa Clause. It is the beautiful picture painted for us by Matthew and Luke in the bible of the birth of our Lord and Savoir Jesus Christ. But I wonder if everyone really appreciates the story…

Let’s turn to Luke 1 and read part of the Christmas story… the angelic visitation to Mary…

30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “Since I am a virgin?”
35The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called£ the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God.”

That would be a nice place to stop reading wouldn’t it? The truth is that many people would actually prefer that it stop there because what we see next is the pattern for all believers, by which we can live our lives.

38“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” …

Do you think that God wants His children to respond to Him in that way today?

Philippians 2:1-8,

1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross! that you have a purpose for your life that does not include just sitting in a pew and getting blessed.

You have been SAVED TO SERVE

Would you agree with me that Jesus’ life on earth gave us a pattern by which we can conduct our lives?

As Pentecostal believers one of the things we emphasize is the power and authority that has been given us by the Son to do the things that He has done. Amen? 1 John 2:6, Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. The letter to the Ephesians tells us what it means to be “in Him”. Eight times it uses those two words together. Ephesians 2:10 tells us exactly what it means to be in him… 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Are we supposed to do the things that Jesus did? Are you created to do good works? We are not saved by good works, but it is those works that defines who we are. Now, in order for us to put this in proper perspective, we need not only to look at the works that we do, but also the attitude and focus behind those works. Mark 10:45, For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 

Did Jesus come to do good works? Yes! Did He come to save? Yes! Did He come to heal? Yes! Did he come to set prisoners free, open the eyes of the blind, cast out demons, make the lame walk, and raise the dead? Yes, yes and yes! But you can scour through the New Testament and find nowhere that Jesus ever did any of those things for His own benefit. He was filled with compassion for the multitudes… the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve… and to give…

Turn over to John 13. Here we see the story of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples during the last supper. What I want you to see here is this – Jesus not only took on the form of a servant by laying aside His crown and His robes and His glory and coming to earth, on this night He chose to be the lowest of the lowest of servants by being the foot washer. In the culture of that time it was customary to wash the feet of visitors before the meal and that job was given to the least of the servants. Why? Because of the filth and dirt that was in the city streets. Especially at this time in preparation for the Passover offering, thousands would be crowding the streets of Jerusalem with their livestock for the offering and you know that where there is livestock walking there is something else left behind and people stepped in it. 

Everybody getting the picture/

But in John 13, beginning in verse 12, 12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Did Jesus do this out of a pure heart? Is that what His purpose on earth was – to be the foot washer? No, He came to save us – but He was not above serving.

Here is a great test to see what you are made of. When we get to the point where we have a half dozen infants in the nursery downstairs how many men would volunteer to work the nursery and change dirty diapers?

Or, if we were going to paint walls in all the Sunday School rooms, how many of you who hate to paint would show up to help anyhow?

Do you see my point here? Jesus did not limit Himself to what His calling was. His heart was to do what needed to be done regardless of what it cost. Touch a leper and be considered unclean? Outrageous! But Jesus did. Take a dead girl by the hand and raise her to life? Unheard of! But Jesus did. Eat supper with tax collectors and sinners? Nobody in their right mind would do that. That’s not how you get to the top in religion. But Jesus did. 

Romans 12:3, For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

So what we see here is that servanthood is not so much as an action you perform, it is a desire that you have. I want to serve because I love God and I trust God and I love people. 

John 12:26, whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.

J. I. Packer wrote this in his book Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.

"Servant" in our English New Testament usually represents the Greek doulos (bondslave). Sometimes it means diakonos (deacon or minister); this is strictly accurate, for doulos and diakonos are synonyms. Both words denote a man who is not at his own disposal, but is his master's purchased property. Bought to serve his master's needs, to be at his beck and call every moment, the slave's sole business is to do as he is told. Christian service therefore means, first and foremost, living out a slave relationship to one's Savior (1 Corinthians. 6:19-20).
What work does Christ set his servants to do? The way that they serve him, he tells them, is by becoming the slaves of their fellow-servants and being willing to do literally anything, however costly, irksome, or undignified, in order to help them. This is what love means, as he himself showed at the Last supper when he played the slave's part and washed the disciples' feet.
When the New Testament speaks of ministering to the saints, it means not primarily preaching to them but devoting time, trouble, and substance to giving them all the practical help possible. The essence of Christian service is loyalty to the king expressing itself in care for his servants (Matthew 25: 31-46).
Only the Holy Spirit can create in us the kind of love toward our Savior that will overflow in imaginative sympathy and practical helpfulness towards his people. Unless the spirit is training us in love, we are not fit persons to go to college or a training class to learn the know-how or particular branches of Christian work. Gifted leaders who are self-centered and loveless are a blight to the church rather than a blessing. 
John 13:34-35, 34“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. 38“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” …

Servant hood means being willing to do things below what you feel qualified to do…

Servant hood means being willing to serve even when it isn’t convenient for you…

Servant hood means considering yourself less important than others…

In closing, in Isaiah chapter 6 we read of the prophet’s encounter in a vision with the holy God of Israel, and his recognition of his own sinfulness. Yet in verse 8 we read,

8Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

I am the Lord’s servant…

Jesus saved you not to sit on the pew and listen as the world perishes. Jesus saved you so you can serve and make a difference in the world, in the church, in one person’s life or in the whole community. 

Servant hood begins with humility. Luke 14:11, For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself…

You are saved to serve…


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