Biblical Servanthood

Biblical Servanthood

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men. Ephesians 6:7

female servanthood portraits

Biblical servant-leadership is something we need to strive for in all areas of our lives. So today, I want to provide some guidelines for understanding a biblical picture of faithful servanthood within the community of Israel.

  • The faithful servants of Israel cared about those they served, and constantly sought new and better ways to serve them.
  • Faithful servants developed new skills to better serve.
  • Faithful servants did all they could to build the esteem and prestige of those they served; and this prestige, in turn,
    brought the servant prestige as well. He took great pride and honor in his role as a bondservant. And he, though perhaps wise in his own right, treated the thoughts and opinions of those he served as being as valuable as his own.
  • Faithful servants performed menial, thankless jobs in order to make room for those they served to exercise their
    gifts. The servant made allowances for the weaknesses of those he served as if they were his own. And in that way, he actively protected them from shame.
  • A faithful servant didn’t dawdle in seeking forgiveness and reconciliation when his own sin caused any damage or
    shame to those he served.

Not a bad life, actually. Of course, to us Americans, this scenario may seem a bit strange. You might ask, “Who’d ever surrender his freedoms to enter such a relationship?” But, in fact, you did—when you accepted the Lordship of Christ in your life. You serve him by serving others.

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. - Albert Einstein 

The humblest occupation has in it materials of discipline for the highest heaven. - Frederick W. Robertson

 

Open The Eyes Of Your Heart

The Eyes of Your Heart

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:18

Forestwander.com

Are you going through difficult times? If it does nothing else for you and to you, it will open the eyes of your heart. Walking through troubled waters is one way that God has of shifting your vision. When your heart breaks, there’s an avenue for God’s compassion to trickle in and envelop your heart with His. You’ll begin to look at others through the eyes of your heart and not through the eyes of quick judgment, harsh conclusions, or self-interest.

Your trip to the grocery store, to church, to Wal-Mart or Starbucks will take on a new hue. You’ll look at people and wonder what their story is; what their childhood was like; what caused them to be so happy or unhappy, why they seem this way or that.

Their job titles will be less important, their type of car won’t impress you, what kind of clothes they wear, or whether they’re wrinkled or stylish won’t matter anymore. You’re more likely to understand that they are in some pain and trying to run from it or trying to hide. Or, you’ll see their smile and demeanor and wonder if they’re truly happy or masking some inner, silent suffering or anger.

Now, you won’t get answers to all that you wonder about people and their stories, but your heart will be softened. You’ll find that you have a level of compassion that most people don’t have. If your heart is broken, let His compassion trickle in to your heart through the brokenness. Let Him open the eyes of your heart today.

A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.Steve Maraboli 

What value has compassion that does not take its object in its arms.Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Parenthood

Parenthood

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4

parenthood.newlife

When parents don’t spend meaningful time with their kids, a credibility gap develops. In fact, one of the most common errors parents make is expecting respect without relationship.  Children might live with this contradiction for years; but if you’re cultivat­ing hurried, superficial relationships with your kids now, the odds are extremely high that, in time, they won’t respect your opinions, invite your wisdom, or respond to your warnings when they need to most.  Inevitably, as author Josh McDowell poignantly observed, “Rules without relationship leads to rebellion.”

The rich experience of parenthood resists short, tidy definitions.  But never forget —despite whatever else parenthood may be—it’s a battleground for the well-being of your kids.  Therefore, it’s im­perative that you learn to fight effectively for your children, and it all starts with relationship—just like it does for us with God.

To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today. – Barbara Johnson

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing. – Albert Schweitzer

Leave your pride, ego, and narcissism somewhere else. Reactions from those parts of you will reinforce your children’s most primitive fears. – Henry Cloud

In the midst of the affliction He counsels, strengthens confirms, nourishes, and favors us…. More over, when we have repented, He instantly remits the sins as well as the punishments. In the same manner parents ought to handle their children. – Martin Luther

Close the Gate

Close the Gate

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32

closing_the_gate

My friend grew up on a farm, and she once told me that her sole responsibility was to close the gate behind her.  That way the live­stock couldn’t backtrack into a field of alfalfa.  All she had to do was close the gate behind her.

Back then she thought gate closing was boring work—just a whole lot of waiting. Then something happened.  She discovered that while gate closing isn’t prestigious or exciting, it’s vitally impor­tant.

On the path to wellness and wholeness, there are many gates to close.  Closing the gate means not leaving loose ends hanging.

Are there people with whom you have loose ends?  Do you need to return something you “borrowed?” Is there restitution or an over­due apology that might renew a relationship?

My friend’s mom used to tell her, “Close the gates behind you.”  Most often she was talking about more than the field gate—she was talking about all the gates of life. What gates do you need to close?

The closing of a door can bring blessed privacy and comfort—the opening terror. Conversely, the closing of a door can be a sad and final thing—the opening a wonderfully joyous moment. – Andy Rooney

Sometimes you only get one chance to rewrite the qualities of the character you played in a person’s life story. Always take it. Never let the world read the wrong version of you. – Unknown

28 Quotes on being thankful

thankful quotes

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
― William Arthur Ward

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. – H. U. Westermayer

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. – Psalm 95:1-5

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say, ‘Thank you?’ – William Ward

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. – Psalm 100:1-5

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. – John F. Kennedy

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed. If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude. – Robert Brault

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. – 1 Chronicles 16:8

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. – G.K. Chesterton

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! – Henry Ward Beecher

I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. – Psalm 7:17

Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all. – William Faulkner

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.’ – Isaiah 12:3-5

If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. – Gerald Good

From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained. – Jeremiah 30:19

Who does not thank for little will not thank for much. – Estonian Proverb

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? – 1 Corinthians 10:16

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. – Eric Hoffer

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. – 2 Corinthians 9:10-12

When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep? – George Canning

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. – Ephesians 1:15-16

Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart. – Henry Clay

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. – Ephesians 5:3-4

The grateful person, being still the most severe exacter of himself, not only confesses, but proclaims, his debts. – Robert South

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. – William Arthur Ward

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers. – Philemon 1:4

Tour Israel with Steve Arterburn and New Life Ministries