Make Me a Servant

When Kelly Willard was asked how her song, Make Me A Servant, came to be written, this is how she answered:

“Well, it’s pretty simple, what happened. I was at home, and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart saying very gently, “You know, you could stand to have a little more of a servant heart.” I went straight to my piano and began playing and singing this prayer…”Make me a servant, humble and meek, Lord let me lift up those who are weak…And, may the prayer of my heart always be, make me a servant, make me a servant, make me a servant today.” I still pray for a servant’s heart.”

Let Kelly’s plea sink into your heart and make you a servant today!

Advertisements

AFLC 2019 Bible Study for Women

Every year the AFLC(Association of Free Lutheran Churches) Women publish a Bible Study written by a WMF (Women’s Missionary Federation) member.  I wrote the 2017 study which was on the book of Acts.  This year, the study was written by Beverly Enderlein and is entitled, God’s Servants Teach Us Life Lessons.  Since our theme this month is Servants of the Lord, it seemed like an opportunity to highlight it.  Here are the chapters:

LESSON 1 A POOR WIDOW…Obedience brings blessings
LESSON 2 RUTH…The Romance of Redemption                                         LESSON 3 THE WOMAN AT THE WELL…Jesus Satisfies completely and forever
LESSON 4 A LITTLE FAMILY IN BETHANY…We Shall Rise Again
LESSON 5 HANNAH…A Godly Mother
LESSON 6 ADAM AND EVE…The Problem of Temptation
LESSON 7 JOSEPH…God Working Out His Perfect Plan (Part 1)
LESSON 8 JOSEPH…God Working Out His Perfect Plan (Part 2)
LESSON 9 NEHEMIAH…Build A Strong Wall of Christlike Living
LESSON 10 STEPHEN…How to Die Victoriously
LESSON 11 DORCAS…Showing My Love For Jesus in Practical Ways
LESSON 12 MARY, MOTHER OF JESUS…God Keeps His Word

For further study on servanthood, you might like to purchase this guide, or just use the topics to do some research on your own.  The Bible is full of examples of servanthood, and we can all learn from good role models.

If you are interested in purchasing this study, or learning more about the Women’s Missionary Federation, you can go to this link for more information.  Happy studying!

https://www.aflc.org/women/resources/bible-studies/

New Month/New Theme

Okay, everybody time to delve deep, our theme this month is – Servants of the Lord. There are too many verses to list them all but we are told throughout the Word that we are to have a Servant Heart, Servant Mind, Servant Demeanor and so forth.

What does this mean to you?

Who are you a servant of?

Talk to me, I want to know

 

I Have Given You an Example

When we’re deciding on a direction for our lives, it is not uncommon to follow someone else’s example.  As children, we naturally look to our parents.  As we get older, teachers, friends, and siblings influence us.  At work, we may choose a mentor, someone we respect, and imitate their work ethic or philosophy.  Sometimes we even look to celebrities or heroes whose lifestyle we wish to duplicate in our own lives.  Often those we choose to follow end up disappointing us in some way.  We find out that even the greatest saints have feet of clay… or as one Christian author said, we’re all cracked pots.

Jesus is the one person whose example is always perfect and safe to follow.  Earlier this week I went to Maundy Thursday service and I learned something about that (for those who are from not from liturgical background, this is the evening when we celebrate and remember the Last Supper).  Before the Passover meal Jesus deliberately set an example for the disciples.  He knew that His time with them was growing short and He wanted to impress upon them this matter of great importance.

“When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them.  ‘Do you understand what I have done to you?  You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that you should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.'” John 13: 12-17

Jesus set the example for us — servanthood.  As His disciples, He expects us to follow.  Are you moving in the right direction?

The Mind of Christ

“….complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord of one mind.”  2 Philippians 2:2

In this letter to the church in Philippi, a church Paul obviously loves, he tells them that nothing would please him more than knowing they are in agreement, or having the same mind.  Then he goes on to tell them exactly whose mind they are to have– not their own but Christ’s!

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”  Philippians 2:5-8

The mind of Christ means having a humble spirit, willing to sacrifice for others.  Paul explains further that being of one mind with Christ means they will:

“Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit” Philippians 2:3

“look…to the interests of others.”  Philippians 2:4

“in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”  Philippians 2:3

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we were all in our right mind (Christ’s)?

Image result for images of the mind of christ

 

Washing Feet (continued)

In our society, few of us experience being a servant.  We have bosses at our jobs and we are subject to their authority, but we can walk away at any time and get another job.  Most of us would not put up with being treated like a servant in our relationships – we would get a divorce or just refuse to comply with those expectations. We are taught to avoid “being a doormat.” Yet as Christians we are called not just to be servants, but “slaves of God.” Romans 6:22.  A slave has no choice in where he goes, or what he does, he is totally controlled by the commands of his master.

 Once in a Bible study a member of our congregation told us she learned to be a servant when she cared for her mother with Alzheimers. That really impressed me.  I had never thought about being a “servant” as an opportunity. 

 I am thankful to this friend for her insight because in a few years God gave me this same “opportunity.”  Once a week, I went to my mothers house (a one hour drive).  Mom had dementia.  I helped her to shower – yes, I washed her feet.  If you have never done this, it is a humbling experience.  I knelt on the hard bathroom floor and having arthritis myself, it was sometimes hard to get up.  It was not easy to see Mom in such a vulnerable position.  I had to help her dress and undress.  Sometimes she soiled herself.  Next I fed Mom lunch, or took her out to lunch.  I cleaned her house and checked her refrigerator.  Sometimes we went to the bank.  We looked through her picture albums or watched TV.  Most of the things I imagined doing with her when I retired were not possible—her attention span was too short, and her memories just not there anymore.  It was difficult for us to carry on a meaningful conversation.  It wasn’t always pleasant.

 Now I am not holding myself up as a wonderful Christian example of service.  Far from it. For one thing, I love my mother.  She took care of me, so in a sense caring for her was no more than payback.  The Bible tells us that “even the tax collectors” do good things to those they love.  I also am fortunate to have six siblings who shared in her care.  Some of them did much more than I.  I gave up my time only once or twice a week and I did this only for a year before Moms condition worsened, and she went to a nursing home.  Many, many people care for family members constantly and under more challenging conditions.  What I want to say is I am thankful that due to my faith, I was able to accept this task as what God wanted me to do, and know that it was not just for Mom’s good, but mine.

 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28

 So what did I gain from this experience?  I learned patience and humility.  I learned adjust my expectations to what Mom was able to do.  I learned to slow down and do the best I could each day I was with her. I learned to appreciate her as a child of God, rather than anything she could do for me. I learned gratitude for other family members and for small affirmations, like the time Mom told me, “all my children are good to me.”

 So, I ask you again, “whose feet have you washed?”  How do you feel about being a servant, and what have you learned?