Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Behold My Servant

In Isaiah 42:1-4  we find a prophecy concerning God’s faithful Servant.  Comparing Matthew 12:14-21 with the Isaiah 42 passage we note how the Lord Jesus perfectly fulfills this prophecy. From these passages we as Christ’s servants can learn lessons in service from observing Him.

 

A Chosen Servant

 

God takes the initiative by choosing us, Jesus tells us in John 15:16, “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit.”   In Ephesians 1:4 we learn that “He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

 

He chooses us, not for what we are; but for what He can do through us for His glory as we see in Ephesians 1:6 & 12. 

 

As Jesus was a despised Jew of Nazereth, so He still chooses those who are despised by the world for Jesus’ sake to be His servants.

 

A Voluntary Servant

 

It is possible for us to be both chosen and voluntary servants of God. In Philippians 2:5-8 Paul writes of how Jesus in humility submitted Himself to His Father’s will and voluntarily came into this world with a servant heart.  So we are to have the same humbleness of mind.  As Paul says in I Corinthians 9:19,  we are free in Christ; yet we serve Christ by willingly choosing to serve others.  We are constrained  to servanthood by cords of love for Christ  and not by chains of force, Paul writes in II Corinthians 5:14-15.

 

Though God chooses us for service and wants to use us, He will not force anyone to serve Him.  We must volunteer, as Isaiah did in Isaiah 6  and as Saul of Tarsus did in Acts 9.

 

A Beloved Servant

 

A faithful servant of God will experience; not only the hatred and disdain of the world, as Jesus taught in John 15:19-23 and the Apostle Paul taught in  II Cor. 4:7-12;   but he will also experience God’s loving support from those who love the Lord.  No true servant of God is normally popular with the world and often with his own family. In fact, Jesus warns His servants in Luke 6:26 to beware “when all men speak well of you.”   To the contrary, Hebrews 13:12-13 warns us to expect just the opposite; rejection and suffering from those we would serve.  Those who do not learn this lesson early will not last very long in ministry for Christ.  Though it pays to serve Christ in eternity,  it costs to serve Christ in this present age.  

 

Most people liken the ministry of the Gospel to a prestige position: such as being a medical doctor or a lawyer or the president of a firm. Young person, if you choose the ministry with this expectation, you are in for a cruel awakening, especially if you are faithful to Christ and His Word. Though those who love Christ and His Word will treat you with love and respect, many within the church will treat you as II Chronicles 36:16 describes Israel‘s treatment of their prophets. “They mocked the messengers of God and misused His prophets until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people till there was no remedy.”

 

Note God’s sober warning to those who would dare to rise up against a faithful servant of God as found in I Chronicles 16:22  “Touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm.”  One who dares to do that is playing with something more dangerous than lightening.

 

If you are a preacher who finds yourself hopping from church to  church because you feel you are not loved and appreciated, perhaps you have missed your calling.  Hopefully, you are a faithful pastor who has had a wrong view of the ministry; but are humble enough to receive reproof and make some changes in your attitude towards your calling.

 

Early in my ministry, I read in Ezekiel 3 of how God called the prophet Ezekiel and of the response he would receive to his ministry.  That has helped me to have the right response to opposition throughout my ministry.

 

Understand this, dear servant of God.  Though hated and despised by the world and sometimes by carnal Christians; you are beloved of God. Read John 15:10-15 and understand that Jesus does not deal with His servants as servants, but as friends.

 

A Faithful Servant

 

God the Father was well pleased with His Son Jesus, who came as a servant to earth. Jesus had set His face like a flint to go to Jerusalem and to the cross.  He had prayed for His Father’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane.

 

A servant’s most important trait is faithfulness.  Proverbs 20:6 declares that faithfulness is a rare quality in men. I think all of us would agree, What good is someone to you if you can never count on their word,  if they never do what they say they will do?

 

An Empowered Servant

 

God asks us to do a supernatural work.  That can only be accomplished through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. Luke 4:1 tells us that even Jesus ministered in that same power that’s available to us.

 

According to Colossians 2:6-10 we are complete in Christ to be what He wants us to be and to do what He wants us to do.  I Timothy 3:16-17 teaches us that we are equipped by God’s Word.  As David, when he went to fight Goliath, as recorded in I Samuel 17;  we do not need the armour of the world.  All we need are the five smooth stones of God’s Word.

 

A Gentle Servant

 

According to Matthew 12:19-20  God’s servant is gentle.  The Apostle Paul in II Timothy 2:24-26 and II Corinthians 10:1 emphasizes the importance of gentleness in our dealings with people.  We compel by love; not force. God’s wisdom is exercised by gentleness.  James 3:17   The Fruit of the Spirit includes gentleness.  Gal. 5:22.

 

 A Victorious Servant

 

Political causes will fail. As much as we love America,  it will fail one day. It’s been crumbling morally for as long as I can remember.

 

Religious organizations, including denominations, churches, colleges and seminaries have fallen under the control of Theological  Liberals for more than a century. One day the Lord Jesus is returning to this earth to reign and the Bible tells us that faithful Christians will reign with Him.

 

 

President Woodrow Wilson said, “I would rather fail in a cause that will triumph, than to triumph in a cause that will fail.”   We can apply that to Christians and the cause of Christ.  One day Christ’s cause will triumph and faithful Christians will share in that triumph.

 

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December 1, 2008 - Posted by | Christmas Series

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