Today I am reading day 126 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Servants Maintain a Low Profile
1 Peter 5:5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Matthew 6:1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
Real servants maintain a low profile. Servants don’t promote or call attention to themselves. Instead of acting to impress and dressing for success, they “put on the apron of humility, to serve one another.” (1 Peter 5:5 TEV)
If recognized for their service, they humbly accept it but don’t allow notoriety to distract them from their work. Paul spoke about a kind of service that appears to be spiritual but is really just a put-on, a show to get attention. He called it “eye service,” serving in order to impress people with how spiritual we are.
This was a sin of the Pharisees. They turned helping others, giving, and even prayer into a performance for others. Jesus hated this attitude and warned, “When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1 CEV)
Real servants don’t serve for the approval or applause of others. They live for an audience of One. You won’t find many real servants in the limelight; in fact, they avoid it whenever possible. They are content with quietly serving in the shadows.
You may be serving in obscurity in some small place, feeling unknown and unappreciated. Listen: God put you where you are for a purpose! He has every hair on your head numbered, and he knows your address.
Today I am reading day 125 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Can Others Count on You?
Matthew 25:23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Real servants are faithful to their ministry. Servants finish their tasks, fulfill their responsibilities, keep their promises, and complete their commitments.
They don’t leave a job half undone, and they don’t quit when they get discouraged. They are trustworthy and dependable.
Faithfulness has always been a rare quality.
Most people don’t know the meaning of commitment. They make commitments casually, then break them for the slightest reason without any hesitation, remorse, or regret. Every week, churches and other organizations must improvise because volunteers didn’t prepare, didn’t show up, or didn’t even call to say they weren’t coming.
Can you be counted on by others? Are there promises you need to keep, vows you need to fulfill, or commitments you need to honor?
God has promised to reward your faithfulness in eternity. Imagine what it will feel like one day to have God say to you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Today I am reading day 123 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Serve With What You Have
Ecclesiastes 11:4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
Real servants do their best with what they have. Servants don’t make excuses, procrastinate, or wait for better circumstances. Servants never say, “One of these days ” or “When the time is right .” They just do what needs to be done.
God expects you to do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are. Less-than-perfect service is always better than the best of intentions.
One reason many people never serve is that they fear they are not good enough to serve. They have believed the lie that serving God is only for superstars.
You may have heard it said, “If it can’t be done with excellence, don’t do it.” Well, Jesus never said that! The truth is, almost everything we do is done poorly when we first start doing it – that’s how we learn.
At Saddleback Church, we practice the “good enough” principle: It doesn’t have to be perfect for God to use and bless it. We would rather involve thousands of regular folks in ministry than have a perfect church run by a few elites.
Today I am reading day 122 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Do What Others Won’t
Proverbs 3:28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you.
Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Real servants pay attention to needs. Servants are always on the lookout for ways to help others. When they see a need, they seize the moment to meet it, just as the Bible commands us: “Whenever we have the opportunity, we have to do what is good for everyone, especially for the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:10 GWT)
When God puts someone in need right in front of you, he is giving you the opportunity to grow in servant hood. Notice that God says the needs of your church family are to be given preference, not put at the bottom of your “things to do” list.
We miss many occasions for serving because we lack sensitivity and spontaneity. Great opportunities to serve never last long. They pass quickly, sometimes never to return again. You may only get one chance to serve that person, so take advantage of the moment.
John Wesley was an incredible servant of God. His motto was: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”
Today I am reading day 121 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Serve Even When Inconvenient
2 Timothy 2:4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.
Real servants make themselves available to serve. Servants don’t fill up their time with other pursuits that could limit their availability. They want to be ready to jump into service when called on.
Much like a soldier, a servant must always be standing by for duty. If you only serve when it’s convenient for you, you’re not a real servant. Real servants do what’s needed, even when it’s inconvenient.
Are you available to God anytime? Can he mess up your plans without you becoming resentful? As a servant, you don’t get to pick and choose when or where you will serve.
Being a servant means giving up the right to control your schedule and allowing God to interrupt it whenever he needs to.
If you will remind yourself at the start of every day that you are God’s servant, interruptions won’t frustrate you as much — Your agenda will be whatever God wants to bring into your life.
Servants see interruptions as divine appointments for ministry and are happy for the opportunity to practice serving.
Today I am reading day 120 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Jesus Measures Greatness by Service
Mark 10:43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
Matthew 7:16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige, and position. If you can demand service from others, you’ve arrived. In our self-serving culture with its me-first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept.
Yet God determines your greatness by how many people you serve, not how many people serve you.
The truth is, without a servant’s heart, you are tempted to misuse your God-given SHAPE (spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences) for personal gain. While knowing your SHAPE is important for serving God, having the heart of a servant is more important.
Your shape reveals your ministry, but your servant’s heart will reveal your maturity. No special talent or gift is required to stay after a meeting to pick up trash or stack chairs. Anyone can serve. All it requires is character.
How can you know if you have the heart of a servant? Jesus said, “You can tell what they are by what they do.” (Matthew 7:16 CEV)