You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:25-28
As I write this article in a city in Malaysia my wife and I are guests to one of the wealthiest families in the region who have interests in timber, realty, newspaper and helicopter production amongst myriads of other businesses.
The founder, highly regarded by everyone, is well known for his humility, philanthropy and also as a leader with a consuming passion to serve.
The servant hood characteristic of this tycoon is what made him great and influential.
How often in our pursue for greatness and influence we forget that the basic attribute of an enduring leader is not found just in a position of authority but more so in the innate ability to win the hearts and minds of followers. Mother Teresa won the hearts of Hindu-majority based India by her untiring willingness to serve in areas where few would ever consider venturing.
She received inspiration from the medieval St. Francis of Assisi who in turn gave up his wealthy inheritance for a life of servitude to Christ for those in poverty.
Jesus Christ showed us the path to greatness is not in lording over others but to serve and he sets an example by washing the feet of his disciples.
The ultimate act of servant hood by the Son of God is in the laying down of His life on the cross and became the sacrificial lamb of the God of righteousness and justice so that everyone can receive forgiveness for their sins and be reconciled back to Him.
Holy Spirit, the Inspiration for Greatness
Where can we begin to cultivate this lifestyle of service to others?
As hinted in the above examples of greatness it begun with an inspiration and it came from none other than from the Holy Spirit! “Apart from me you can do nothing”, says Jesus in John 15:5 and “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses.” Acts 1:8
Worship expressed through Service
Moses was commissioned to speak to Pharaoh these words, “let my people go so that they can serve me” (Exodus 7:16 ). The root word for service in Hebrew is the same for worship. Service is the visible expression of our worship to our living God.
No wonder Eric Liddell, the British Olympics gold medalist featured in the movie Chariots of Fire, expressed his worship through his running,
“God made me fast, when I run I feel His pleasure.”
May we make 2009 and beyond the years we will express our pleasure to God through servant hood.