You Must Be a Servant to Follow Him

 

Servant is Service

Reading: Exodus 17:8-19:15, Matt 22:34-23:12, Psalm 27:7-14, Proverbs 6:27-35

S – Scripture:

Matt 23:11 (NLT) “The greatest among you must be a servant.”

O – Observation:

Why is it that we don’t want to be known as a ‘servant’ in most countries? It’s seen as being one of the lowest  positions in society. Yet the Lord consistently tells us that we need to serve each other. The Word of God says that we need to be servants of God.

Here’s a definition:

servant, service The translation ‘servant’ spares the harshness of the Hebrew and Greek words for a slave, and modern translations often prefer the reality. As such, the OT ‘servant’ possessed no legal rights though he was admitted to membership of the covenant people (Gen. 17: 12) and observed its basic laws (Deut. 12: 18). (APA definition)
In the NT Jesus speaks of people as servants of God, i.e. wholly given to his service. Jesus can himself accept this role of extreme humility (Mark 10: 45). Matt. (12: 18–21) quotes the first Servant Song (Isa. 42) as a portrait of Jesus, and Paul’s words in Phil. (2: 7) seem to echo Isaiah; so Christians are also to be servants of each other (John 13: 14) because they are servants of Christ (1 Cor. 7: 22). (encyclopedia definition) 

In today’s readings in Matt 23:1-12, Jesus speaks to the crowds of people who follow him and his disciples. Jesus explains (Mt 23:that the teachers of religious law and Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses.  However Jesus said, “practice and obey what they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach.  He went on to say that everything these “religious” teachers did were for “show”, they want to be honored – yet verse 11 and 12 – Jesus said that the greatest are servants and those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

A – Application:

My application for todays’ scripture is simple, be humble, be a servant of Christ, don’t try to be above everyone else, and be an example of what a Christian is supposed to be by following the commands of the Lord!

P – Prayer:

Father I thank you for your love and grace. Forgive me for my sins. Help me to know and do your will. Help me to be an example to others that reflects you; even in times where the world’s view is saying the opposite of what you teach me, let me be strong in your commands. In Jesus name, amen.

(encyclopedia definition)W. R. F. BROWNING. “servant, service.” A Dictionary of the Bible. 1997. Retrieved February 03, 2010 from Encyclopedia.com:http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O94-servantservice.html

Today’s Date: February 03 , 2010

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

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Forgiveness: Be Reconciled

Today’s Date:  January 17, 2010

Title: Forgiveness: Be Reconciled

Reading: Gen 35-36:43, Matt 12:1-21, Psalm 15:1-5, Proverbs 3:21-26; Blackaby daily devotional: Matt 5:24

S – Scripture:

“Leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”  –Matthew 5:24

Here’s Blackaby’s daily devotional:

“It is useless to give offerings to God while you are at enmity with your brother.  Jesus said that His followers should be reconciled with anyone who has something against them.  The world seeks reconciliation on limited terms.  Christians are to be reconciled, whatever it takes.

You say, “”But you don’t know how deeply he hurt me!  It’s unreasonable to ask me to restore our relationship.””  Or, “”I tried but she would not be appeased.”” Jesus did not include an exception clause for our reconciliation. If the person is an enemy, Jesus said to love him (Matt. 5:44).  If he persecutes you, you are to pray for him (v. 44).  If she publicly humiliates you, you are not to retaliate (v. 39).  If someone takes advantage of you, you are to give even more than he asks (v. 41).  The world preaches “”Assert yourself.”” Jesus taught “”Deny yourself.”” The world warns that you will be constantly exploited.  Jesus’ concern was not that His disciples be treated fairly but that they show unconditional love to others regardless of how they were treated.  Men spat upon Jesus and nailed Him to a cross.  His response was our model: “”Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do”” (Luke 23:34).

If there were ever a command that is constantly disobeyed, it is this mandate to be reconciled.  We comfort ourselves with the thought, “”God knows that I tried to make things right, but my enemy refused.”” God’s word does not say “”Try to be reconciled,”” but “”Be reconciled.”” Is there someone with whom you need to make peace?  Then do what God tells you to do.”

O – Observation: (and Interpretation)

In searching the scripture my observation is who is considered a “brother” in this verse. Is it my blood relatives, my friends, only Christians? Or is it anyone I have a relationship with? Most bible translations read “brother”; some translations report “person” – none say if that person is a Christian or not. Which goes with the question that Blackaby refers to that Jesus said, “Be reconciled”, not “Try to be reconciled”. My question is what if the person you are trying to reconciled with refuses? I don’t see Blackaby truly answering this, but to keep trying, would that mean that we can never go before the Lord if the other person refuses? Is it our act of going to the person to make right and making assertive, consistent effort enough, so that we can come before the Lord to commune with God?

Here’s a bible definition of what a “brother” is in, The New Testament Greek Lexicon (http://tinyurl.com/bible-bro)

Definition
  1. a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother
  2. having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same people, or countryman
  3. any fellow or man
  4. a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection
  5. an associate in employment or office
  6. brethren in Christ
    1. his brothers by blood
    2. all men
    3. apostles
    4. Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place

Now according to this definition, brother = everyone!

A – Application:

In reading today’s devotional, I must ask the question, what do I do when others sin against me? http://www.gotquestions.org/forgiveness.html

In addition, what happens when we go to someone to “Be reconciled” and they refuse? I read over and over again that we are to lay that issue before God and leave it up to him. My conclusion for this verse is that we make every effort to do what is right before God, to “be reconciled” with all people in our lives and if that person chooses to NOT reconcile then it’s no longer our responsibility. We can now go before the Lord without sin as we have done what he has asked us to do. I believe that the Holy Spirit will convict my heart and mind if I am nonchalant about “being reconciled” and I will not have peace until I do so, to the extent that Jesus says, alright, now that person is against him – because the scripture also says in John 13:20 (NLT) I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me (Jesus), and anyone who welcomes me (Jesus) is welcoming the Father who sent me (Jesus).

P – Prayer:

Father I ask you to forgive me for my sins. I ask that you show me those I have wronged and that you provide an opportunity for me to reconcile. I ask that you reveal whom I need to pray for and that sometimes we may offend others and we don’t know that we have offended that person; and they don’t tell us what or how we offended them, nor come to us to reconcile and then causes sin by not being in your will. Lord I ask that I can come before you daily and I am humbled by your grace and forgiveness so that I can “make right” and reconcile with all that are in my life. Help me to be the person you want me to be. Help me to know and do your will. In Jesus name, Amen.

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Get Over Yourself

January 11, 2010

“Get Over Yourself”

Reading: Gen 24:52-26:16, Mt 8:18-34, Psalm 10:1-15, Proverbs 3:7-8

S – Scripture: “

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3:7

O – Observation:

“Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.” If that don’t slap you in the face! Basically, ‘get over yourself.’ This is how I read this verse. It’s funny cause often I hear people talk about themselves and they’re so impressed with their knowledge that everything is about themselves – some call it call it self-promotion. How else would people know what I’m doing so that I can be promoted or get business or get attention. I don’t think it’s wrong to tell others about what you know, it’s called “sharing knowledge” – if it’s done in a way to help and edify others. However if all a person does is talk about how great, smart, etc they are – then they may be saying, “I don’t need God cause I know everything.” This proverb is saying, fear God – you aren’t that wise! When we do things on our own and succeed, it’s easy to say, it’s cause I know what I’m doing. It’s easy to say I trust in God when you have money, training, head knowledge to do something you believe God lead you to do. But it takes faith to move a mountain that you know you can’t do on your own.

A – Application:

I love my long-term missionary friends. They are truly people of faith and servants of God and His people. The many people who I have met through the years who live on very little in foreign countries, where they may or may not know the language, don’t know where they will sleep or when they will eat – they are just called to do God’s work by serving others –  these same missionaries also never say, “look at all I have done” – they say, “look at what God is doing.”  I’m humbled and reminded that these missionaries could have had a much easier life if they just said no, I was trained to do such and such so why would I go to a foreign land and serve people who won’t know who I am or what I sacrificed for serve them.

It’s one thing to be book smart, another to be street smart, but do we promote ourselves a little too much?  I think as long as it’s done with humility, not overly boisterous, then I’m striving to do as this proverb is instructing us to do.

P – Prayer:

Father I ask for forgiveness of my sins. That I never feel that I am better then others. That I am humbled by your servants example to me and that I be a servant to you Father God. That I be given an opportunity to be a witness for you. That you are a shining light within me.

Help me to sow the seeds of righteousness, Proverbs 11:18b (Experiencing God Devo)– Amen

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