Posts Tagged ‘True Servant’

20
Jan

Bible Devotions From II Corinthians 12

Posted by: admin    in II Corinthians

I have spoken to you a number of times, both from this portion and others, about the heart of a true servant. I have pointed out to you from the life of My servant Paul how his attitudes and his conduct exemplify the heart of a true servant. In this portion I want to call your attention to those things that specially express the principles that guided him both in his dealings with the church in Corinth and with other churches and believers as well. Many would be misled by his boasting and fail to realize, even as he tries to express it here, that this was actually the manifestation of his humility. You know from what I have called to your attention previously that he only boasted as an extreme measure to defend his apostleship against false apostles and teachers who were seducing the Corinthians away from the truth. Actually, as he declares here, he was very reluctant to boast, but regarded it as necessary in order to protect the believers from the false apostles and teachers who had been seeking to undermine him and his teaching. So then out of a profound love for and dedication to the believers he was willing to humble himself and to exercise extreme measures in order to protect them from those who were false. Yes the heart of a true servant is not only humble, but willing to take extreme measures, even measures that are uncomfortable for him, in order to fulfill all the requirements of his service. Secondly My servant was willing to exercise discipline, even severe discipline, in order to deal with unrepentant sin and disorder. But you notice that before he was to come and was willing to do this if he found them in the same disorderly and unrepentant state, that he warns them of that impending discipline so that they might correct themselves before hand. For you see that like My heart, the heart of My true servant does not delight in severe discipline, but is ready to exercise it if warnings given and opportunity extended for change go unheeded. The third principle is that My servant refused to be a burden or to gain personally in a material way for his service, for he sought only one reward for that service. He expressed it in the words, “I seek not yours but you”. He wanted them as a result of his service to be truly given over to Me. And yet you can see that his love for them was with the longing and the hope that they would love him in turn. And this was so, not only because genuine love truly desires a return of love in kind, but because Paul’s desire for them, that they should fully give themselves to Me, also involved that such self-giving should be manifested by their love and their gratitude toward my servant as the vehicle of My love. But also notice that My servant Paul implies in his admonition to them that his love for them will not cease or diminish because it is unrequited. And in this way does he not more perfectly exemplify My love?

In all of these principles and their outworking you see that each of them was severely tested, but because they were not merely ideals in Paul’s mind, but were rooted in his heart, they were consistently manifested, even in the midst of severe testing. And as they were so rooted in the heart of My servant Paul, I want them also to be rooted in your hearts and in the hearts of all who would be My true servants. Your willingness, even your desire to have them rooted, is the essential quality that permits Me to affect that rooting. If you will so choose and continue to persevere when the testing comes, you will find that like Paul you will gain the heart of a true servant. And that heart will certainly be manifested in your attitude and in your conduct, even as it was in Paul’s.

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19
Jul

Bible Devotions From Hebrews 13:20-25

Posted by: admin    in Hebrews

As the writer brings to a close this letter and especially this portion filled with exhortations, observe that he concludes with a request for prayer and a blessing upon those to whom he has written, an appeal and personal words of report and greeting. Recognize in his request for prayer, a testimony of his good conscience, an expression of his desire to be restored to those to whom he writes. See in this request for prayer humility to acknowledge his need, but also confidence concerning his honorable way of walking. Yet the very requests indicates that he takes nothing for granted, but desires to continue living honorably in every aspect of his life. But also consider that in his desire to be restored to them, he manifests his love for them. So then there is revealed, even in this request, the heart of a true servant who walks in humility with a good conscience and in love towards the brethren. His blessing really reflects a desire towards Me to bless and enable those to whom he writes to walk in a way that is well pleasing to Me through their relationship in My Son.

And he gives them in his blessing strong encouragement when he identifies Me as the God of peace who brought My Son up from the dead. And because He is a living Lord, He is able to care for them as a great Shepherd. And because He triumphed over death, He is able to minister to them everlastingly through the blood of the covenant. You can see in the words of this blessing, that he affirms the great foundation upon which their lives rest and the glory that I receive through the life of My Son as He continues to minister to His flock the triumphant resurrection life, that which is truly well pleasing to Me and blessed and fruitful for those who walk in it. When he appeals to them to bear with the word of exhortation that he has written in this letter, he does not mean just to endure what is difficult, although there are difficult words written in it, as you know.

No, it is not a matter of endurance, but a matter of acceptance and appropriation of those exhortations that is meant in this appeal. And in the final words of report and greeting you can see his intimation of joy that Timothy has been set free and anticipation that he will once again be able to accompany the writer. The greetings show the link of unity and of warm brotherhood that existed between the saints. And you see that what the writer sent was not just concerned to greet the leaders, but all the people, thereby showing his deep regard for every member of the body. And so you see through all of these closing words the gracious heart of a true servant, who is not just willing to exhort and correct. Does not this heart help you to realize that he was imbued with the very spirit of all the words that he wrote to them? And you know, as I have told you before, that such a heart was truly touched by and reflected My heart. And I assure you that as you take these words of exhortation and the example of My own servant into your heart, that you like him will reflect My heart in every good work and through it bring blessing to My people and glory to Me.

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10
May

Bible Devotions From Philemon

Posted by: admin    in Philemon

You might wonder why this very small and personal letter was included among those that were preserved to comprise My Word. As you think about the grand and expansive themes that are included in the letters of My servant Paul and the other letters, does it not seem that what is presented here is very small, very narrow and of questionable significance when judged by those other great themes? But I want you to see something that is very important for you to understand regarding the true character of My work, for here the focus is upon two individuals. And while My servant Paul commends Philemon as one who through his love and faith has blessed and refreshed the hearts of the saints, you can detect that this good influence was towards a relatively small circle. And while Onesimus is spoken of as a man whose life has been greatly transformed from a rebellious and runaway slave into a true son of My servant Paul, who ministered lovingly and faithfully to him, and was now willing to return to the master he wronged, yet does this not seem to be a rather small and insignificant happening in the midst of all the things that seemed far greater in comparison that were happening in the life of the church and the ministry of My servant Paul.

But if you so judge these things as relatively insignificant, you fail to appreciate the great testimony that is born here to the power and the love of My Son to transform lives. You must see that here a curtain is drawn back upon the value of individual lives and the wonderful consequences of the changes that took place in those lives as they were transformed by faith, and by the love of My Son. Here My Holy Spirit gives to you My estimate, My valuing of the lives of individuals who though not famous, nor bearing a large and expansive ministry, were very precious to Me. Not only this, but you see the esteem with which My servant Paul regarded both of these men, and how he greatly valued the reestablishment of their relationship in My Son. Also see how he was willing to sacrifice in every way that was required to assist this reestablishment. Let these values about which I have spoken to you here enter into your own hearts. Hold with great reverence and appreciation the value of every individual whose life has been touched by My grace. Seize upon every opportunity that is given to you to bless and encourage each one within the sphere of his or her circumstances. Be willing to make personal sacrifices to help reestablish or further broken or damaged relationships. Do not discount the importance to Me and to the work of the gospel of every individual, for you do not know what will be the outcome and the fruit of sowing faithfully to their lives. Be ready to leave with me the final judgment and value of your involvement in what may seem to be small and insignificant matters.

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