The Willing Servant

“…behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you will call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. …When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him:  he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son.  And he called his name Jesus.” Matthew 1:20b-21; 24-25

We’ve talked about Mary this month, who was indeed God’s servant, but today I thought it would be appropriate to mention Joseph.  His sacrifice for God was also great.  No doubt he endured some disapproval and/or ridicule for marrying an already pregnant girl.  Later, after another God-sent dream, he flees with the family to Egypt, abandoning his home, friends and livelihood.  He does all this without complaint or questioning.  He doesn’t hesitate or procrastinate.  In fact, He never speaks!  The Bible does not include a single word spoken by Joseph. What we do have is a record of his action — obedience.  God knew the kind of man He wanted to raise His son;  a man who understood servanthood and could model it for Jesus as He grew up.

Christmas

It is humbling to realize how far I fall short of this ideal.  Often I obey, but in a slow and grudging manner.  I whine about my circumstances and wish for an easier life.  I don’t usually want to suffer or sacrifice, even if it’s for the good of others, even if it seems to be God’s will.  If I’m honest, I’ll have to admit that I’m more like Jonah than Joseph.

So today, of all days, amidst the gifts and the feast, the visiting and rejoicing, I need to take time to meditate on the lives of Joseph and Mary, God’s faithful servants.  The people who raised Jesus, the God-man who lived and died as a servant to all of us.  I’ll remember what truly pleases God.

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”  1 Samuel 15:22

God doesn’t want us to be “good” people;  He wants us to be His people. Dear readers, I wish you a Merry and Blessed Christmas.  Go in peace;  serve the Lord.

 

 

 

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So be it.

Not many women (especially these days) would accept the title “Servant”. In fact most are offended by it and often say things like “I’m not your servant.” I can’t say that I’m not guilty of this mind you, but when I think of it; how can I refuse when my Lord and Savior kneeled to wash our feet and was obedient even in death.

At least one woman, long ago, had the fortitude to say:

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

She was willing to let God take over her body. Not just go get Him a drink or stay at her house. This woman (who had not known a man in the biblical sense) gave up her daily comfort for her God.

Any woman who has been pregnant knows exactly what I mean. And at time when epidurals were not a thing .

I’m not saying women today don’t serve. I’m a mom, I know we do. Still, I think many of us assume that we are the only ones who do.

Pray To Be A Servant

“and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.  For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Matthew 10:27-28

This verse tells us that those who desire to be honored in the kingdom of God must imitate His Son and become servants.  That means that as Christians, we should  all be praying daily for opportunities to serve  I found this resource online you might like to use as you ask God to make you His servant in the world.  Maybe you could print it out and try it as a spiritual discipline for one month.  What a great New Year’s Resolution it would be!

http://northgaumc.s3.amazonaws.com/Files/Prayer_Calendar/Servantprayercal.pdf

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!

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?