Essence Of Servitude
The important thing is not that you have your way. The important thing is that you meet somebody else’s need.
And hello radio friends, how in the world are you? Aren’t you glad you can be in the world but not of it? You don’t have to be tarred with the world’s brush, you could be kept by the power of God. Peter says, “You who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed at the last day”. God is in the business of keeping you until you get safe home to glory, “He that hath begun a good work in you”, says Paul in Philippians 1:6, “will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”. Jude says, “Unto Him that is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy”. Halleluiah! He is my keeper, “The Lord is my keeper and I will not fear”, the psalmist says. Aren’t you glad you’re dealing with God? David said, “Let me now fall into the hands of God, let me not fall into the hands of wicked men”. You’re in God’s hands. Jesus said, “My father who gave thee Me, is greater than all and no man is able to pluck them out of His hand”. God’s hands are on your life today.
Well, let’s look at Mark chapter 10. Our Lord Jesus, on the way to Jerusalem, has with Him a group of men who are both amazed and afraid. Amazed because of the, the fact that He’s been giving them truths that run exactly counter to normal human nature, and afraid because of the possible cost of following the Lord Jesus Christ.
So He said, I, I’m going to let you in on this now. We’re going to Jerusalem and I’ll be condemned to death, and the Gentiles will mock me and scourge me and spit on me and kill me, and the third day I’ll rise again, Mark 10:33, 34 are the verses. Now, there’s no recorded response, no recorded response for that. I wonder why. Have you thought about that? Well the reason is their minds were still on the, on the other things. They didn’t get it. It went right past them and you can tell that it went right past them when you go into to the next verse. “James and John, the sons of Zebedee came unto Him saying, ‘Master’”, we want you to do us a favor, “We would that Thou would do for us whatsoever we shall desire”. Do us a favor and He said, “What would ye that I should do for you”? They said, “Grant unto us that we may sit, one of Thy right hand and the other on Thy left hand in Thy glory”. See, James and John.
Why they said, look, John is, is, is great in dealing with people and James is great in, in dealing with finance and John could be Prime Minister and, and James could be the, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and, and we’d like to be with you when you set up your kingdom.
See, He’d been talking about the kingdom of God, verse 25, “Rich men enter into the kingdom of God”. He talked about little children, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child”, kingdom of God. So, He’d been talking about the word kingdom, and that was what is in their minds, except that they were defining it with their typical, at that time typical, definition of throwing off the yoke of Rome and instead setting up a messianic kingdom. So, they said, “We think that we’re, we really can, can help you in this. Master, you need a Prime Minister and you need, you need a finance man and so John can be Prime Minister and, and I’ll be Chancellor of the Exchequer”. Now we can laugh at it after 2000 years of gone by, but I’ll tell you some of us have been pretty close to the same kind of a situation again and again, haven’t we?
He said, “You know not what you ask”. He said, “Can you drink of the cup that I drink of”? Now, what cup did He mean? Go to the Garden of Gethsemane and hear Him praying so earnestly that his sweat was like bloody drops the, the capillaries ruptured with the intensity of His praying and blood was mixed with perspiration as He prayed there. He said, “Oh my Father if it be possible let this cup pass from Me”. What cup? Calvary: the trial, the mocking, the scourging, the crown of thorns, the carrying of the cross. The crucifixion when those spikes bit through muscle and blood and flesh and bone, then to be suspended between heaven and earth, where every breath was in agony. Crucifixion. See the victims of crucifixion died not of their wounds, but of suffocation, because they were so positioned on the cross with bent legs, that, that they had to the exert force from their legs to lift their body in order to take a breath. See, their arms were pulling on the diaphragm and breathing became increasingly difficult, and so they would have to lift that body in order to breathe. That was what He was going through, “this cup”.
So He says, “Can you drink of the cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with”? They said, “We can”, Greek word, dunamai, word dynamite, Lord we’re dynamite. Dear, how naïve and how self-assured. Jesus said, “Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of and with the baptism I am baptized withal shall he be baptized”, He talked about the Holy Spirit there, “but to sit on My right hand and on My left hand is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. When the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.” They said, oh boy that’s bad, going behind our backs and trying to, try to get a position of, of influence, they were displeased, but He called them to Him. Doesn’t that sound like human nature to you? He said, “You know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them and their great ones exercise authority upon them, but so it shall not be among you. Whosoever be great among you should be your minister and whosoever will be chiefest shall be servant of all, for even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life, a ransom for many”.
This, my dear friend, is the great truth about the purpose of living for the Lord, “not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many”.
Now, let’s go back and talk about this. I’ve sort of read and commented as we went along. Human nature, they were still wanting the front seats, they were still wanting the positions of responsibility. They didn’t get over it when He asked them, “What was it you are arguing about, by the way”, for by the way they were disputing who should be greatest. They didn’t get over that. It was still in their minds. Small thought here; you don’t get over yourself, ego trips, by somebody lecturing you. My talking to you right now isn’t going to get you over the, the desire to be first and to be greatest, to be recognized and to be elected and all of that. No, I don’t kid myself that that these broadcasts are going to change your point of view on that. You’ll still be the same person, just as these men were. The Lord Jesus spoke so, so tenderly to them, but He told them, if you want to be great, “Last of all and servant of all. Be like a little child”. But, that didn’t change them, for here they’re coming, James and John, “Hey, we want to be Prime Minister and Finance Minister, respectively, and when the ten, the other ten disciples heard it, you can be sure that Judas was put out about it because he, he had plans of his own, finance. So, you don’t change people’s attitudes, beloved, by lecturing them. Don’t do it.
Instead, you get them in touch with the Lord Jesus in prayer, you do some praying for them and for yourself. I think as Evelyn Christensen points out, our prayer has to be, “Lord, change me”. In one of her books, she points out that while she was discontented with some of the attitudes of her own family members, she came down to the realization that she had to start praying, “Lord, change me”, and when she found God working in her life, there was a reflection of that work in the lives of others. I’ve had husbands and wives tell me the same thing, that when they began let God work on them, the relationship with their partner in the marriage improved immeasurably. There’s a book written by someone who said that she, she was always trying to remake her husband. But when she gave up trying to remake her husband and started praying that God would do something in her own life, the relationship improved drastically and immediately. So, lecturing doesn’t do it, but if you get in touch with your blessed Lord and ask Him to change you, you’ll find that other people around you are reflecting those blessed changes as well.
So He said, you don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able? They said, sure Lord we’re able, we’re dynamite. Well He said, “You’ll drink of the cup and be baptized with the baptism. But it’s not mine to give you the right hand and the left hand”, and so on. Now, comes the grumbling of the rest of the disciples, they said, what a nerve they got going behind our back trying to set up their own special little deal. Oh, they were upset. Now, He said, “Take a look at people around you. You know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them and their great ones exercise authority upon them”. Lordship has to do with your position of leadership, authority has to do with the leverage you can apply. To have a position of leadership and to have the power to enforce that leadership; these are the things that are counted, especially valuable among people generally, but He said, “So it shall not be among you. Whosoever shall be great among you, be your minister. Whosoever of you should be chiefest, servant of all”. Minister’s our concept of Deacon, servant is our concept of slave. He said, “You want to be great? You meet a need. If you want to be chief you serve”, and He said, “Your example is, is your Lord, even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many”. “Even the Son of Man”, boy,that puts me in my place doesn’t it?
I grumble about things, just as you do, and I want my own way on things, just as we all do Jesus said, “Not to be ministered unto”. The important thing is not that you have your way. The important thing is that you meet somebody else’s need. The important thing is not that you be recognized, the important thing is that somebody else be able to thank God that you came along. Have you thought that through for yourself? Makes so much difference. You know you can, there are so many times in church work for instance, when you work so hard on something and nobody gives you the time of day about it. You worked hard for a church supper and nobody commented on the fact that the chili was good. Or you worked so hard on the church paper and all that ever happened was that somebody pointed out one lone typographical error and nobody ever said that was a nice job. You feel bad about it, right? Here, I work my fingers to the bone and nobody cares, nobody cares. Oh, the sad dirge of the unappreciated. Nobody cares. Listen, you don’t have to be appreciated, you have to be faithful. You don’t have to be first elected chairman, you have to meet a need and if you’ll meet somebody else’s need, you will be in a position of greatness.
Dear Father today, help us to keep on serving, meeting other needs, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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