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The words “servant, ” “service, ” and “serve, ” in various forms, occur around 1,000 times in the bible.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for servant, ebed, contains at least two key ingredients: action and obedience because servants belonged to other people and performed a variety of tasks.
Many people in the Old Testament are called “servants”, among them Abraham, Jacob, Joshua, Ruth, Hannah, Samuel, Jesse, Uriah the Hittite, Joab, Isaiah, Daniel, Ben-Hadad of Aram, and Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Moses is called a servant about forty times and David more than fifty times.
In the New Testament, the term used is Doulos, which means a masters slave and Christians would call themselves “bondslaves” or “bondservants” based upon this word and idea that they were absolutely dependent and fully committed to the one they served with no initiative of their own.
Paul, Peter, James, and Jude all called themselves a “bond-servant of Jesus Christ”.
“Holy Servant” is the name Luke gives Jesus in Acts 4.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond- servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Jesus calls himself a “bond-servant”
- To be a servant requires humility.
- We must serve in selfless love, humility, and without complaining.
- Being a servant must be intentional and voluntary.
Why are we called to serve?
If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
- We are given an example by God in what service looks like
- We are instructed by God how to serve each other.
- We are blessed by God when we follow Him and serve others.
Who are we called to serve?
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
- We are called to serve EVERYONE.
- Primarily we serve the Lord and in serving others we are serving the Lord as well.
How are we called to serve?
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
- The world is watching you, Christian!
- Proof of our salvation and of our Savior will be found in our service!
How much are we called to serve?
26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him
- How ever much it takes. Jesus did so unto death.
- Our life should be filled with service
but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
- Jesus, our creator, served us, his creation!
- This is the outworking of the love we have for Jesus in our hearts.