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A Heart of a Servant Is Compassion

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A Heart of a Servant Is Compassion

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A Heart of a Servant Is Compassion

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The importance of having compassion in our Christian walk.

Sermon Notes

Title: The Heart of a Servant

Introduction:

 

Tere Tulemast! (Estonia), Willkommen! (Germany), Välkommen! (Sweden), Sveiciens! (Latvia), Tervetuloa! (Finland)  Greetings my friends from the various nations here, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Sweden, the USA and forgive me if I missed any others and a warm welcome to any of our guests!

 

Welcome to the final day of the Feast of Tabernacles 2009 with bears such monumental significance for the world following the return of Jesus Christ.

 

We have all gathered together to learn more of the ways of God, and what is expected of us now and into the future.

 

What kind of leaders should we be and as leaders what should we be doing?

 

Long before the start of the New Testament church, Christ the God of the OT called ancient Israel to a great calling but Israel was missing something important.  Deuteronomy 5:29 Deuteronomy 5:29O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
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Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!  They did not have a right heart or spirit in them.  Each of us, though have been called to a special calling and given the Spirit of God to be of service to God and mankind in this tumultuous age of conflict and confusion.

 

Following our calling many of us were comforted by:  1 Corinthians 1:26-27 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 [26] For you see your calling, brothers, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: [27] But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
American King James Version×
26For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty....  We have a high calling!

 

Comment:  Christ, who is the originator of “servant leadership”, said that with a calling and the giving of understanding comes a time of healing as referred to in Matthew 13:15 Matthew 13:15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
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“should heal them.’  Those called now and later will be in a healing process!

 

SPS:   The title of my Split Sermon today is “The Heart of a Servant.” Body:

1.    Present Day Tragedies of Our Age:

 

Tragedy #1:  In Arizona, about a month ago I read an article about a girl named Esperanza Reyes –Esperanza means “Hope” in Spanish.  On the first day of her life, 18 years ago she was dumped in a garbage bin when she was only 3 hours old.[1]  In my mind this is one of many sad tragedies of society today and the feelings of rejection and hurts of so many people in our troubled world.

 

My reaction to this - so many years ago as I, too felt rejected and cast off.  I thought then of the Scriptures where anciently it said this of Jerusalem:  Ezekiel 16:4-5 Ezekiel 16:4-5 [4] And as for your nativity, in the day you were born your navel was not cut, neither were you washed in water to supple you; you were not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. [5] None eye pitied you, to do any of these to you, to have compassion on you; but you were cast out in the open field, to the loathing of your person, in the day that you were born.
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(NKJV) 
4As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths.  5No eye pitied you, to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you; but you were thrown out into the open field, when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born.  How many people have felt that way?

 

Tragedy #2:  On a radio program in Phoenix I heard about a young woman by the name of Kim Meeder who at the tender age of 8 years witnessed the murder-suicide of her mother and father.  Her father shot her mother and then shot himself in front of her.  Ultimately this woman founded a sanctuary for abused horses and eventually invited formerly abused children to visit the horses.  Let me read this: Kim Meeder, co-founder of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, describes how she and her staff rescue abused horses and pair them with hurting and formerly abused children for mutual healing.  This ended up helping both the children and the horses.  The children were especially helped in their own healing process as they helped the horses.  The children were part of the healing of their emotional or mental hurts and devastations.[2] 

 

These are just a couple of the agonizing problems in our troubled world.  Is there anything we can do to help and be of service?  What does this have to do with servant leadership?

 

2.    Servant Leadership Defined:

 

My Definition of Servant Leadership:  The heart of a servant and servant leadership is obedience to and service to God with a right heart and helping in the healing process of a suffering mankind separated from God!

 

  1. Biblically, what is meant by the term "Servant or Servant Leadership"?  The words “servant” or “service” appear more than 500 times in the Bible and over 100 times in the New Testament.  In the New Testament certain words are translated from diakonos (1249), which appears 28 times in the Bible and diakoneo (1247) which appears 32 times.  From these words we get “servant”, “deacon”, “minister”, and “to serve”.  Also there is a word for slave or servant from doulos (1401), often translated as servant of Christ! (A meaningful personal Bible Study)

 

When we think about our trials and the two tragedies, just mentioned do we do as it says in Ezekiel 9:4 Ezekiel 9:4And the LORD said to him, Go through the middle of the city, through the middle of Jerusalem, and set a mark on the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the middle thereof.
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where it says “to put a
mark on the foreheads of the men who “sigh and cry” for the pains of mankind?

 

Each of us, like the people around us, has seasons of laughter and seasons of tears.  There certainly seems to be a lot more tears and angst today!

 

We live in an age where people suffer and don’t get the proper healing of their hurts!  Not just for their physical disease, but their spiritual disease and sickness.  For too many people our hope for healing often dwells in entertainment, pleasures, politics, magicians and shamans, and not in obedience to God.

 

Comment:  As with any spiritual plan or program, you can be absolutely sure Satan WILL try to derail or mislead or misdirect through subtle ways.  Therefore, WE must be ever vigilant!  Realize thru the year Satan will throw obstacles in your direction to discourage and dishearten you in your quest to be a servant of God.

 

It is surprising how we grow and learn as the years go by.  Hopefully each of us grows in the attributes of the Holy Spirit.  For me my thinking process certainly is different than it was 40 years ago.  Through our trials and sufferings we are reminded God is always with us.  I am sure each of us must admit we were rough around the edges in years gone by.

 

  1. Disciples-A Matter of Preeminence:

 

Consider the example of the disciples in the early days of the ministry of Christ.  Christ had this to say about his disciples which are also a warning to us.  Turn to Mark 10: 35- 40 35Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, (As a side note, according to Matthew 20:20 Matthew 20:20Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
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their mother was right there egging them on.) came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” 36And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  37They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.” 38But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; 40but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”  Continue in vv. 41-45 41And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. 42But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. (diakonos) 44And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave (doulos) of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, (diakoneo) but to serve (diakoneo), and to give His life a ransom for many.”

 

The other disciples with James and John were upset. Could it be they thought both John and James were a little presumptuous?  Or did they too want a position of special honor?  Then Christ explains that what they asked was not even his prerogative to give.

 

We are all familiar with the example of service where just before His Crucifixion; Christ stooped down like a common servant and gave the example of foot washing which is another important example of ones commitment to be a servant.  For us it is an outward step.  There is a theme throughout these God’s Holy Days of being servants and of service.  We just read that the disciples missed the point.

 

As those called to be a kingdom of priests we don’t serve just to be seen. There is to be mercy and justice. We need more than just tradition and form, but substance.  We need more than an outward appearance, but an inner clean heart. We need to give aid, comfort and gentleness - even when not noticed by others!

 

Each of us truly is a servant and leader when we consider our calling as first fruits.  In the Church our choices, decisions and examples as servants and leaders can have long term effects on the spiritual and physical aspects of those around us.

 

Christ warns his disciples about attitudes that hurt.   Turn to Matthew 23:11 Matthew 23:11But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
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, 12,
11But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.  12And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.  Then beginning in v.v. 13-36 Christ gives several warnings to the Pharisees and others.  But let us just read 23“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.  The Pharisees put a hedge of burdens around the Law.  Sometimes the Pharisees of old were so hung up on tradition they snuffed out goodness.

 

They were more interested in their traditions, in being seen, being in position of authority, in form rather than substance.  They were this way so much so that they forgot or neglected those weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy.

 

3.    Warnings to Solomon, Rehoboam and Jeroboam

 

Let's look back in history at Solomon, Rehoboam and Jeroboam.

 

A)  Example of Solomon:

 

Turn back the clock several thousand years ago and look at Solomon, who was called the wisest man in the world in 1 Kings 4:34 1 Kings 4:34And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.
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.  Of Solomon it says he started well in 1 Kings 3:7 1 Kings 3:7And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.
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- 11 7Now
, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”  10The speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 

 

Solomon had a flaw and a lack of character to do the right thing even when he should have come to know better.  Leadership can be too heady for people; people may say, "Look at how great I am now!"[3]

 

Then a warning to Solomon from God in 1 Kings 9:4 1 Kings 9:4And if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep my statutes and my judgments:
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-
4Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments,  However, Solomon allowed his many wives to lead him astray.

 

Even today some allow those around them - whether they be male or female or young or old - to unduly influence them and get them off a Godly course.  Godly leadership is knowing what to do and doing it.

 

B)  Examples of the Rehoboam and Jeroboam:

 

Now let’s think about the examples of Rehoboam and Jeroboam.  First, following the death of Solomon after a reign of 40 years, his son Rehoboam came to power.   Rehoboam rejected the wise advice of the elders, as recorded in 1 Kin. 12:8,  8But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. And he added to the burdens of the people.

 

But then what happens?  Jeroboam came forth with some sound advice to rectify a past problem but something went wrong.  Look in 1 Kings 12:31-33 1 Kings 12:31-33 [31] And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. [32] And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like to the feast that is in Judah, and he offered on the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. [33] So he offered on the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast to the children of Israel: and he offered on the altar, and burnt incense.
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,
31He made shrines on the high places, and made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi. 32Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the feast that was in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did at Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And at Bethel he installed the priests of the high places which he had made. 33So he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart. And he ordained a feast for the children of Israel, and offered sacrifices on the altar and burned incense.  Let us skip ahead to 13:4 4  So it came to pass when King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, who cried out against the altar in Bethel, that he stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Arrest him!” Then his hand, which he stretched out toward him, withered, so that he could not pull it back to himself.  (Jeroboam did not want to listen to sound advice!)  Now let us move over to vv. 33,34  33After this event Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again he made priests from every class of people for the high places; whoever wished, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. 34And this thing was the sin of the house of Jeroboam…"  Jeroboam wanted power, glory, and prestige.  But he would get none of these. He wanted to be in a place of eminence and willingly set up a false Feast in place of God's ordained Feasts.

 

We have heard the terms: "all have gone astray" and "there is none righteous".  In the book of Kings and Chronicles we read a litany of backsliding, half-hearted leaders, kings and misguided people.  So often none wanted to listen to sound advice and rejected the rule of God.  Sometimes man had good ideas, but too often they were blended with evil.

 

Side note-Tragedy #3:  Michael Reagan, the adopted son of a past US President, Ronald Reagan, was adopted 3days after he was born on March 18, 1945.  By the age of 8 years age he thought God hated him [4]  He felt abandoned at an early age never having known his real parents.  At the time of his birth he could have been aborted, which though illegal back then was not uncommon.  His older new sister ran to her piggy bank and gave the adoption lady 97 cents for her new little brother even though she had wanted an older brother.  Michael at 8 years old was confronted with the reality of his life and he tried reading the Bible back when he realized he was illegitimate, but then he thought God hated him.  He did not read the Bible for nearly 30 more years.  During this time there was a hole in his heart as he struggled with a life of inadequacy and even being molested by a camp counselor-a sexual predator.  He sabotaged every relationship he had until he realized the hole in his heart needed to be filled by the healing power of God.

 

4.    The Heart of the Matter-Humility:

 

The failings of so many examples in the Bible and the problems of today by necessity brings us to a brief, but important discussion of humility.  A man who appears on top may not be a leader and servant in the eyes of God.  As we read the examples of many in the Bible we realize that power often goes to the head and corrupts.  Man just can't seem to control his actions.  Too much talent, beauty, money often will cause people to think more of themselves than they should.

 

Be reminded what was once said by a famous writer on leadership.  Surely, "Leadership grounded in charisma, which is what so many want to advocate, inevitably becomes misleadership.”  In the last century wrong leadership not rooted in humility was responsible for the deaths of anywhere between 30-100 million people. [5]

 

Ponder On Humility:

 

Proverbs 3:7 Proverbs 3:7Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
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7Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.  Also the prophet Isaiah declares this in Isaiah 5:21 Isaiah 5:21Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
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21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!

 

Psalms 10:17 Psalms 10:17LORD, you have heard the desire of the humble: you will prepare their heart, you will cause your ear to hear:
American King James Version×
  Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear. 

 

Before King David, Saul was given an opportunity to rule.  He had a proper perspective and it says in 1 Samuel 15:17 1 Samuel 15:17And Samuel said, When you were little in your own sight, were you not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed you king over Israel?
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, 19 
17So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel?  19Why then did you not obey?

 

Later Samuel had to anoint David as king after it was declared that the kingdom would be taken from Saul and we read this in 1 Samuel 16:6-7 1 Samuel 16:6-7 [6] And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD's anointed is before him. [7] But the LORD said to Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.
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6 So it was, when they came that he looked at Eliab and said, "Surely the Lord's anointed is before Him." 7But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

 

5.    Christ the Servant and Healer:

 

The World Needs a Healing. What is our response to the tragedies around us?  Would I act as a part of the problems or act in a manner that helps the healing process? Israel and the world are suffering for spiritual leaders are not truly doing what they should. (Jeremiah 30:13-14 Jeremiah 30:13-14 [13] There is none to plead your cause, that you may be bound up: you have no healing medicines. [14] All your lovers have forgotten you; they seek you not; for I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of your iniquity; because your sins were increased.
American King James Version×
)

 

God brings them low who oppose Him!  Why?  Of the “shepherds”  we read in  Ezekiel 34:1-5 Ezekiel 34:1-5 [1] And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, [2] Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say to them, Thus said the Lord GOD to the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? [3] You eat the fat, and you clothe you with the wool, you kill them that are fed: but you feed not the flock. [4] The diseased have you not strengthened, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought again that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have you ruled them. [5] And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.
American King James Version×
1And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. 5So they were scattered because there was no shepherd… .

 

We are in a sense, spiritual shepherds in training!  Shepherds can be spiritual or physical leaders leading people astray by the tragic blending of evil with good.  (Preachers teach some sound doctrine and we may even get good ideas from some of these preachers.  However, one needs to be careful that accommodation does not lead to compromise.)  Remember, Satan did not tell all falsehoods.  He blended good and evil in Gen 3.  In reality Satan is the ultimate “Master of Deceit”.

 

By contrast Christ is spoken of as the “Good Shepherd” in John 10:11 John 10:11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.
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,14,16  who deals kindly and with mercy and brings a healing and a binding.  We know the story of Lazarus  in John 11:33-35 John 11:33-35 [33] When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. [34] And said, Where have you laid him? They said to him, Lord, come and see. [35] Jesus wept.
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  Christ wept!

 

Read from Psalms 147:3 Psalms 147:3He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.
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, 6, 11,
  3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.  6The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground. 11  The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.

 

Conclusion:  (WC 240)

 

In conclusion, we can be servants in the healing process of those, like the 3 hour new born who was cast into a garbage bin, like the woman who as an 8 year old saw her father kill her mother and then kill himself, or the young boy who was put up for adoption, later sexually molested by a camp counselor and then went thru most of his earlier life thinking God hated him.  We can and will be a part of the healing process now and into the coming Kingdom of God.

 

We must look at the examples of those called by God in the Bible.  Leaders of the Bible are not always the strongest, the most educated, the best businessman.  Christ called fishermen, scholars, a physician, farmers, herdsmen, shepherds, and ordinary people.

 

God wants people to be true servants.  He wants His people over time to be growing, to be faithful, humble, quietly, and meekly serving.  He wants them continuously exhibiting a kind and gentle demeanor without attempting to place themselves into the limelight.

 

With the heart of a servant practice the “servant leadership” of our Lord and Savior, our perfect example, Jesus Christ.

 

We need to be as the light of a city on a hill.  We look forward to the return of Christ which will ultimately bring forth the Servants of the Lord, the sons of God and a healing of this world’s wounded and suffering.

 

[1] http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/08/30/20090830hope0830.html

[2] Dr James Dobson 9/2/09 Phoenix, AZ Focus on the Family Daily : Horses & Healing: New Hope for Kids 1 (09/02/09) Hope Rising

[3]  Peter Drucker

[4] Michael Reagan,  :Twice Adopted”, 2004

[5] Peter Drucker  in  Training & Development Magazine. 1998, p 25

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